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LearningRevolution Webinar: Strategies To End Bullying in Your School: What Schools, Parents & Students Can Do”

“I’m presenting at the free #learningrevolution daily online education conference! I will be delivering a Learning Revolution Webinar on Tuesday, May [email protected] 11AM (Mountain) The topic is “Strategies To End Bullying in Your School: What Schools, Parents & Students Can Do”

Webinar – Who Will Teach The Children? Recruiting, Retaining & Refreshing Highly Effective Educators

Tomorrow, Thursday, May 21, I will be  delivering the 2nd  of 3 webinars for the Learning Revolution(learningrevolution.com) @ 10 AM Mountain, 12 Noon EST.

The webinar is from my latest best-selling book, Who Will Teach The Children? Recruiting, Retaining & Refreshing Highly Effective Educators. The book deals with the global educational exodus. Educators are leaving the field almost as quickly as schools of education are preparing them. The problem will only intensify because of the coronavirus.

 

When Schools Reopen, Will Teachers Return?

When schools reopen a significant portion of the teaching workforce could be a risk.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have indicated that 29 percent of all teachers are at higher risk because they are  over the age of 55 and that 92 percent of all of the deaths caused by Covid-19 virus are for people over the age of 55. Those who are over the age of 55 are more vulnerable to the Covid-19 virus and are more prone to have asthma, chronic lung disease, diabetes, kidney disease, severe obesity and liver disease.

The White House would like to open schools in order to get the economy moving. But in order to do that, provision must be made to put teachers back into classrooms so that working parents can work. Also, President Trump doesn’t possess the legal authority to mandate that schools reopen. He has stated, “ I would like to see schools open, wherever possible.” He went on to say that with respect for teachers over the age of 60 or older, “ I think that they should not be teaching school for a while and everybody would understand that fully.”

There are certain potential problems that must be addressed before schools reopen.

  • Educational resources are distributed unequally across the country so some districts will not be able to address all their problems like broadband and sufficient number of computers.
  • Most states are now financially tapped and are making overtures about cutting the number of educators, their salaries or their pensions.
  • According to an AEI (American Enterprise Institute) report, four states have one quarter of  their teachers 55 years and older.
  • Over one quarter of all school principals are over 55 years of age.
  • Those numbers do not account for the educators with other health concerns or with high-risk family members.
  • Both the American Federation (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA) have said that schools shouldn’t reopen until there is more widespread testing and contract tracing.
  • The New York City Education Department has reported that at least 72 New York City staffers have died including 28 teachers and 28 paraprofessionals. What if this is true in the rest of the country?
  • Most states are already facing a shortage of teachers especially in critical areas such as in Special Education, Science, Math, Technology and English as A Second Language.
  • How will children be transported to school with regard to social distancing?
  • At best, it will be difficult to social distance in school especially in the halls, in physical education classes, in mass locations like lunchrooms and auditoriums?
  • Over 50 percent of students receive free or reduced lunch how can schools continue to feed them if school lunchrooms cannot not provide enough space between students?
  • Class size limits do not provide enough space for social distancing.
  • How will last term’s work be made up? Marked?
  • Will students be promoted to the next grade? To middle or high school?

Schools should not reopen unless there is a vaccine, widely available and distributed, to contain the spread of the coronavirus, widespread testing and tracing of the illness to ensure the public’s confidence that children can safely return to schools. And that teachers and other staff will be protected.

https://schargel.com/2020/05/19/when-schools-reo…-teachers-return/ ?

Learning Revolution Webinar

“I’m presenting at the free #learningrevolution daily online education conference! Join at https://www.learningrevolution.com” I will be delivering a Learning Revolution Webinar on Tuesday, May1 [email protected] 11AM (Mountain) The topic is “Helping Students Graduate: Tools & Strategies to Lower Dropout Rates & Increase Graduation Rates.”

Is Education An Essential Service?

According to CNN, Mike Dewine, the Governor of Ohio, announced a 4 percent cut in funding for Ohio’s schools.

When I lived in New York, I met with a high government New York City official. He said, “I am more concerned with the dog owners than with the children. Dog owners vote. Children don’t”. While the statement is true; it is also reprehensible!

Education is a major part of most municipal and state budgets. The states and the Federal Government are, correctly, spending much of their funds to get our country and our states out of the current economic problem. However cutting funds from education is a short-sighted way of addressing tomorrow’s problems.

Today’s students are tomorrow’s workers. If those workers are not well prepared to enter the economy, neither will our country.

COMING OUT OF THE TUNNEL: What will the next school year look like?

Across all 50 states schools have closed – many for the remainder of the school year. Pupils will have missed the entire spring term. Students experience academic regression when schools close for the summer – imagine the loss when schools have closed for an entire term. Many schools and school districts weren’t prepared or were underprepared for dealing with the impact of the coronavirus. Lack of preparedness exposed the enormous gaps between rich and poor districts, minority and majority populations, urban, rural and suburban institutions. Closing of schools exposed a tech-gap between affluent and lower-income families or those living in rural areas where high-speed internet isn’t available.

The White House, governors, mayors, school boards, parents and children wish to reopen schools and get 33 million unemployed back to work and the economy back on track. But states, school boards, school superintendents, and the U.S. Department of Education need to address several questions.

Those responsible for running schools have an opportunity to prepare for the challenges that will appear when schools reopen. Now is the time for them to look ahead and start planning for when schools reopen and the need to pay special attention to providing essential support for those in greatest need. What will schools do to help their students? their teachers? their staff. their parents?

Let’s look at some of the unanswered questions that schools will need to address:

  • Where will states get funds to pay for the services they supply? Spending on phase one of the virus has financially strapped most states. Unlike the Federal Government, states cannot print money and must balance their budgets. State governments supply essential services like education, police, fire, sanitation, public health, and repair highways, roads and mass transit. States have been dipping into “rainy day” funds in order to pay for essential services. Many states have been hemorrhaging cash. States receive the bulk of their income from sales and income taxes. With 33+ million people unemployed, many people are out of work, not shopping, or going out to eat or going to movies and not putting money into their state’s treasury.
  • How are schools expected to pay for Chromebooks and iPads which were purchased as a product of remote learning?
  • How can states narrow the gap between highly motivated learners and those less motivated? Remote learning is not as effective as face-to-face instruction and has exposed a large gap between those with working parents and those with stay-at-home parents. Parents who work have to balance jobs and home schooling their children.
  • The immediate question is who will watch children if schools are opened? Who will provide childcare for those children too young to attend school? Schools cannot reopen unless provision is made for parents who need to work.
  • Many children will return to schools with unanswered questions. They will be frightened and fearful. “Will schools be closed again? “Will I  be promoted? Will I  graduate? What has happened to all the work I’ve done prior to the break?” Will my father/mother be rehired? Will I have enough food to eat?” Will I die?” In addition to providing learning, teachers will need to provide answers to these and other questions.
  • How will schools provide meals to those children who are not getting enough to eat? The Brookings Institution in a survey in late April(reported in U.S. News, May 6, 2020) indicating that nearly 1 in 5 children are not getting enough to eat. That figure is more than three times higher than in 2008, during the height of the Great Recession and roughly 4 1/2 times higher than in 2018, according to government data. Students will need to eat lunch at their desks which will cause difficulty in getting food to them as well as cleanup problems.
  • How can districts narrow the technology gaps that the coronavirus has exposedin schools? The virus has exposed a technological gap between affluent and underserved and lower-income families and those living in rural areas where high-speed internet isn’t available. Many poor families are not tech-savvy and cannot aid their children in the use of technology. Approximately 17 percent of U.S. students don’t have a computer at home. Many others share a single computer with their siblings or parents. There are no definitive numbers of those homes without broadband. Common Sense (April 9, 2020)  indicates that 12 million children nationwide live in homes without a broadband connection The greatest technology gap is in rural communities, among African American, Latinos and Native Americans on tribal lands. In rural western Alabama, less than 1 percent of Perry County’s roughly 9,100 residents have high-quality Internet at home. A New York City family shelter does not have wi-fi and 175 school-age children only 15 of whom have laptops. A quarter of teens have remotely connecting with their teachers less than once a week. And four in 10 haven’t attended a distance learning class since-in-person school was cancelled.
  • How will schools fund technology? Many schools failed to embrace technology and as a result they didn’t adequately train their staff in how to do online classes. Caralee Adams writing in USA Today (April 17, 2020) wrote that “Experts say teachers ideally should receive several days, weeks or even better of in-depth preparation before launching an online learning program
  • Will states add counselors, social workers, psychologists, nurses and psychiatrists to deal with the increase in childhood stress and trauma caused by the Covid-19? CBS News reported (April 6, 2020) that some states are reporting an increase in child abuse. The ChildhelpNational Child Abuse Hotline is reporting a 20% increase in calls and more than four times the number of texts compared to the same time last year.
  • What can schools do to narrow the achievement gap? The widening of the economic gap will ultimately widen the achievement gap. Some students lacked computer access; others lacked high speed internet. And many students need individual teacher assistance in order to master classroom material, and understand homework.
  • How can schools provide handwashing, on a regular basis, in classrooms? Handwashing will require time to be done just as it was done during quarantine.
  • How do schools narrow the learning and homework gap? Students’ educational needs will have/have not been addressed over the break. While some students have had learning over the break, attendance has been wildly divergent. Some districts have required that work be graded; others have told teachers to pass everyone.
  • Some students lack adequate shelter, food or familiarity with the English language. What can districts do to deal with these problems?
  • How will states achieve “social distancing” of students in classrooms, in lunchrooms, in hallways, in physical education classes? Some states have proposed “platooning” of students into a “A” group and a ”B” group with half of the students attending on Mondays and Wednesday and the other half attending on Tuesday’s and Thursday. Friday’s would be used as a remediation session for those students who need additional instruction. How will schools get the food to students during the time when they are not in attendance? Insider.com said 1 in 5 (about 30 million) young people receive free or reduced cost lunch. The New York Times reported (1/16/2015) before the onset of the virus, and the massive unemployment stated that 51 percent of children received free and reduced lunch.
  • How will the needs of students with physical disabilities or with limited English abilities be addressed?
  • Sonja Santelises, CEO of Baltimore Public Schools said that she was making plans to cut as much as 15-20 percent of her teaching staff. How will systems make up that experience and expertise? Forty-four percent of teachers leave within five years. Will the onset of the virus increase teacher retirements?
  • What will states do to certify those individuals who were unable to complete their student teaching? A number of students taking student teaching have failed to complete their programs narrowing the pipeline to teacher certification. One of the key components to student teaching is teaching actual students and being observed while doing so, being given immediate feedback. The educational pipeline into classrooms was narrowing prior to the arrival of the virus.
  • Schools have always served as “safe havens” for children. Nina Agrwal, A Child Abuse Pediatrician writing in the NY Times, April 7, The Corona Virus Can Cause a Child Abuse Epidemic, “Children aren’t seeing the teachers, counselors and other adults who would normally raise concerns about their well-being. The Covid-19 pandemic has created the conditions for a rise in child about that could go unchecked. Already there are reports of a surge in child abuse cases in Texas. (In the span of one week, doctors at Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth said they saw at least six cases of apparent physical abuse against children, with one of those cases resulting in death.) “When there is household dysfunction -domestic violence, parental substance abuse or a mental disorder – the risk of child abuse goes up, and there’s a reason to believe all of these things will increase during this pandemic. New York is seeing an uptick in domestic violence. Typically, the watchful eyes of teachers, guidance counselors and day care providers serve as lifeline for vulnerable children. CBS News reported (April 6,2020) reported that the Cook Children’s Pediatric Medical Center in Fort Worth treated five other children the same week in suspected abuse injuries serious enough to be admitted to the hospital. If abuse took place outside the view of teachers and other educators who are mandated by law to report it, how will schools deal with it?
  • Will schools provide additional counselors, social workers and psychologists/psychiatrists to address trauma? Children will return to school with more trauma than when they left.
  • How are schools going to recoup the learning loss that occurred when they were closed? How will the lost time be made up? Will schools have a longer school day? A longer school year? Year-round school with no summer break?
  • How will schools plan to deal with another virus outbreak which many expect will take place in the fall or the winter? How will schools get ahead of the curve and prepare if the next outbreak reoccurs in the Fall?
  • Where will schools find the additional funds necessary to prepare for the next virus outbreak or for tornados, floods or other natural hazards?
  • Will students return to higher education? Many students will not be able to afford tuition for colleges and universities because parents have been furloughed, had working hours cut or been thrown out of work. Will they be able to afford the tuition? Will colleges cut their tuition? Will learning be delivered remotely? How will colleges make up for the loss of students and their tuition?
  • What learning supports are to be put into place to deal with homeless children?

How schools re-open is much more important than how they closed. We must ensure each student has every opportunity to learn, and that the current crisis doesn’t hinder states’ improvement in education and strengthening of our workforce, Now is the time for districts to develop leadership teams to develop contingency plans. There is an opportunity to develop detailed, long term plans. In the past, schools have depended on addressing problems on ad hoc, piecemeal policies and practices. The results have been fragmented, redundant programs and counterproductive leaving too many students in too many schools without the tools or ability to resume learning. Districts need to conduct professional development sessions for staff and to establish a reopening task force to prepare for the reopening of schools.

Education is in a new era of discovery without a playbook or a roadmap. We need to go in a new direction, learn, adopt, adapt to our individual cultures. We are creating a new future and need to do it together. No one has all of the answers.

While we are in the tunnel, we’re cocooned seeing nothing but darkness. But all that changes when we come out of the tunnel. The darkness will be exposed to light and the light will prevail.” That’s what will happen when we come out of the tunnel.

Adapted from an idea by Marilyn R. Gardner

 

 

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TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEK

This is Teacher Appreciation Week. Contact one of your teachers and let them know that they have had a major impact on your life

To All Teachers Who Are Mothers

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

According to the National Center For Educational Statistics (NCES), there are 3,377,900 teachers in the United States – 77 percent are female.

To those of you who are mothers, let me wish you a happy, healthy and well-deserved Mother’s Day.

Educator Discounts

A number of companies are offering educational discounts in recognition of Teacher Appreciation Week. The discounts can be found on SlickDeals at https://slickdeals.net/f/14029496-teacher-appreciation-day-deals-2020

WE LOVE TEACHERS!

WE LOVE TEACHERS!

Today, May 5th is Teacher Recognition Day.

 Teachers continually change the lives of millions of children every day – their immense work and impact moves us beyond mere words, especially with the abrupt end of the 2019-2020 school year

It is these challenging times that we truly recognize and appreciate how our nation’s educators play such a pivotal role in our children’s lives – inspiring a lifelong love of learning and discovery and making a difference in their well-being and long-term success.

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