Throughout history, schools have served a primary function to educate and support our nation’s children and young adults. They are a symbol of American life and were built to support the uniqueness of its families and community going far beyond teaching the core subjects such as English and mathematics.
While school leaders have YET to be given a clear path for opening schools, many re-entry task forces across the country are grappling with the challenges of reopening unknowns and learning gaps created by closing the doors in March of 2020. The importance of social distancing alone impacts the instructional programs and requires tremendous changes impacting class size, classroom design, the school day, transportation, and staffing. To complicate matters more, school districts are looking at up to 20% reductions in school funding.
Ask the Expert: Coming Back to Campus with Phil Lanoue
Join us July 21 for a discussion with Phil Lanoue on the role of schools in recreating the safe haven that was lost to the pandemic.Learn More
Even with these challenges, schools will create successful plans to reopen with a focus on meeting the educational needs of children by leveraging the uniqueness and assets of their schools and communities. As schools and their communities plan to reopen this fall, I suggest the following considerations for planning:
- Establish safe school environments through structure changes and safety protocols. (Facilitron can help with this.)
- Develop flexible instructional delivery models from full in-school, mixed delivery to a full virtual environment.
- Educate parents on in-home health screening and instructional delivery as various models are developed.
- Assess the learning progress for every student enrolled whether in your school the previous year or not.
- Determine how teachers will balance the need to make-up for lost learning and start the year with grade level material.
- Review and revise IEP’s and Section 504 plans as well as assess the delivery of ELL services.
- Assess grade level curriculum and scale down offerings in some areas outside of the core.
- Ramp up social emotional supports and parent outreach efforts.
- Establish a continuous implementation review and revision cycle.
- Develop individualized professional development for teachers, para-pros, and other support staff.
Opening schools and meeting the diverse needs of all children post COVID-19 is likely the most daunting task ever undertaken by our nation's public schools. Each one of these considerations will create shifts in the normality of schools and how they carry out their mission.
One fact remains clear: schools are, and will continue to be the foundation of this country. The school house is not only a place where students enter every day; it is the epicenter for families and communities to safely gather.
How Facilitron Can Help
The Facilitron platform documents in one-system-of-record all internal and external events to reduce liability and increase staff, student, and community safety and confidence upon returning to campus. Here’s how:
- No out-of-pocket costs— the Facilitron model allows districts to put an event tracking and revenue-generating system in place without any hit on the general fund
- Re-engaging the community—resuming activities on campuses over the summer through community facility use agreements reintroduces the concept of schools as safe places and allows districts a dress rehearsal for fall reopening
- Features to ensure safety—features like our new Attendee Management can help districts meet safety requirements by managing attendance numbers, pre-registering and checking-in attendees and recording attendee names for the screening, tracking and tracing of people on campus
- Risk management and indemnification—special terms and conditions or hold harmless agreements can be updated and added to the request and permitting process to limit district liability
For a closer look at how the Facilitron platform can be used to help ease staff, students, and community members on campus by streamlining the management of ever changing federal, state, and local guidelines, reach out to schedule a demo.
See Phil Lanoue in person on July 21, 2020 during the Facilitron "Ask the Expert: Coming Back to Campus with Phil Lanoue" webinar. On July 23, 2020 join us for a Facilitron Feature Demo to see how attendee management can create layers of liability protection for your district today!