Our policies to help students and parents cope with remote learning
Parents and teachers both worry that students of all ages are falling behind due to the pandemic. Many students across the country have been attempting to learn in a remote environment since last spring. While some are back in school at least part-time, others remain remote, without a clear timeline of when schools will reopen.
Remote learning poses barriers for students, parents, and teachers, from technological challenges to language difficulties and lack of support at home.
Lamad Academy understands that students need help now more than ever. We wanted to share some of the resources we are providing to help students continue to learn and grow.
The challenges of remote learning
Technology is an amazing educational tool; unfortunately, it doesn’t always work best when students aren’t in the classroom. When schools shut down in the spring of 2020, teachers and administrators had to create an entirely new learning system. Remote learning comes with some requirements, such as computer access, a reliable Internet connection, and at least one parent to help access websites, log on to meeting software/channels, and email. Many students have also needed help downloading school assignments and completing them.
This situation has posed new challenges for families, especially those with disadvantaged or at-risk students. A Pew Research study found that about “one in five parents with homebound school-aged children say it is very likely or somewhat likely their children will not be able to complete schoolwork because they do not have access to a computer at home (21%) or must use public Wi-Fi to finish their schoolwork because there is not a reliable Internet connection at home (22 percent).”
Another study from RAND Corporation discovered that most teachers (75%) say that “students lack access to technological tools...and students’ lack of access to high-speed internet is a serious obstacle to effective implementation of remote learning.”
Many school systems also educate children from other countries, and English is not their first language. The language barrier can pose challenges for these children, as well as their parents, who may also struggle with the language.
Falling off the grid
One of the other leading problems with the pandemic is students who have “virtually” disappeared. Remote learning makes it more difficult for teachers to stay on top of student attendance. As a result, thousands of students are effectively “missing” from the school system. More than 10,000 public school students in North Carolina are classified as “unaccounted for.”In Florida, 90,000 students didn’t show up for school this year. Other states are reporting similar numbers.
Regular attendance is also an issue. Some children simply fail to show up for remote sessions, resulting in missed days of school. It is difficult for teachers to make sure students are actually “logged in” and doing their schoolwork.
One article from October 2020 estimated that as many as “3 million of the most at-risk students may not have gotten any formal education, virtual or in-person, since schools shut down in March…that’s about 6 percent of public school students nationwide.”
Lamad Academy offers solutions
Education is one of the most important factors in success. We are dedicated to ensuring that every one of our students receives the best education possible, despite our current obstacles.
Here are some of our latest solutions:
Internet access – Lamad Academy will contact Internet companies directly and coordinate the installation and/or upgrade of service for families who do not have reliable Internet. We will pay for this service, as well.
Computer access - All students and parents are provided with a laptop upon enrollment, so students have the equipment they need to do their work.
Accountability and attendance - Lamad Academy offers several solutions to help students stay accountable when it comes to attendance and turning in schoolwork:
Dedicated engagement staff that gives parents/guardians a daily report on attendance/engagement.
If a child is not “present” in class, our staff will immediately reach out to the student or parent/guardian to learn the reason.
Teachers have group check-in time every morning to find out if there are any issues or problems at home. Students can then ask to speak to the teacher in private.
Teachers are required to take attendance twice a day.
For multi-lingual students:
We have multi-lingual teachers on staff to help students with language issues. We will coordinate with other classroom teachers to address those issues.
Students can choose which language to receive online instructions and directions.
Teachers use Google Translate to communicate with students who speak a language other than English.
Lamad Academy is here for your child during COVID-19
These unprecedented times call for us to be creative and go the extra mile to ensure our students do not fall behind. We have put these measures in place to help students continue to achieve and thrive, despite the challenging circumstances.