On June 8th, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) confirmed their next steps for reopening schools in the fall semester 2020. This news came only a few short weeks after the CDC released their suggested guidelines for how districts can safely implement in-school learning once again. Not every state is taking the same approach as Massachusetts. In fact, many states are not taking such drastic measures at all. Currently, an Indianapolis school district plans for students to return to school in August as usual, with an online option for families who are concerned about the spearing of the virus. Before panic sets in, we still can’t be certain that this will be how our education system moves forward in the light of the pandemic. So, proceed with caution and with an open mind.
Fall Semester 2020 Guidelines
In the initial release statement from the CDC (and then confirmed by the MA DESE), they recommend some of the following steps for schools in order to keep their students and staff safe:
- Teach and reinforce hand washing and increase monitoring to ensure adherence among students and staff.
- Teach and reinforce the use of cloth face coverings.
- Post signs to promote social distancing.
- Discourage the sharing of any objects (i.e. pencils, erasers, laptops, etc.).
- Physical barriers and physical guidelines, like tape on the floor, to ensure students and staff stay 6 feet apart.
- Children bring their own supplies and meals (and eat in their classroom instead of the cafeteria).
- Smaller, isolated groups assigned to one teacher.
- No gatherings, outside visitors, or field trips.
- Screening upon entry to the building.
The list goes on and on and I’m sure your thought process has been the same as mine—Is this even feasible? What if someone doesn’t have access to these supplies? What about socialization and learning through play? Well, Massachusetts schools have already established a responsibility upon the school districts to provide supplies. They are also still contemplating a staggered schedule, with some days of in-school learning and the remaining days as remote learning. At this point, it’s almost certain we still need to be vigilant with keeping up with our children’s educations on our own as best as we can. We also must remain positive and continue to lean on our expert teachers when it comes to learning.
Apps and Resources for Learning at Home
Just remember this, now we have a better idea of what to expect for remote learning and many education companies are preparing to support families and schools with this new “normal.” You’re not in this alone and we will come out stronger. In the meantime, here is a list of ten fun AND educational iPad apps and websites your child can access over the summer (to help you stay sane, keep the boredom at bay, and help your child stay current with their academics):
- ABC Ya! Educational Computer Games
- Science Kids
- Prodigy Kids Math Game App
- Storyline Online
- Endless Alphabet App
- Endless Reader App
- Math Bingo App
- Endless Numbers App
- Math Learning Center Apps
- Fun Brain
For more resources, visit our post on learning support and supplemental education.