This post is part of an ongoing series sharing the positive stories that have come out of the challenges our schools are facing. To see all of the posts in this series, click here.
In a short amount of time, COVID-19 has changed the way we live. The term social distancing is a new norm—and families around the world are forced to adapt to new routines. While the lives of many have changed significantly, one thing that has remained consistent is the drive of school leaders and teachers to continue serving their students the best way they can. Despite the problems many Americans are facing, there are many examples that show how educators are going the extra mile.
Schools provide child care for first responders
First responders, medical workers, and other essential professionals are reporting to work so that many of us can stay safe at home. To help them out, different campuses at IDEA Public Schools in southern Louisiana and Texas are open for child care services. Essential city-wide workers can drop their children off who attend an IDEA school at one of the campuses while they work. In addition, IDEA public schools in Texas and other select locations provide free curbside meals to children under the age of 19.
Students receive emotional support online
Counselors at Vista Grove Preparatory Academy in Arizona are providing emotional support to students beyond school walls. These students who normally receive counseling services at school can now meet with a counselor one-on-one online. The goal is to help provide stability for students and decrease feelings of loneliness. Academica’s charter schools are also helping to keep students connected and provide a sense of normalcy through their Academica Virtual Education platform. More than 60,000 of their students participated in live online classrooms, wearing their uniforms and raising their hands to answer questions as they would in the classroom.
Helping students gain internet access
The Providence Public School District in Rhode Island, which includes two public charter schools is working to help students get internet access. They have a map on their website that links families to the WiFi spots in Providence. Residents simply type their ZIP codes to find the connection closest to them. In New Orleans, school district officials recently purchased 5,000 hotspots and are looking into using their meal-distribution sites as possible areas for wireless hotspots.
If you have an uplifting story to share about educators going the extra mile, please send it to me at email@example.com.
Brittnee Exum is the manager of communications and marketing at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.