Paradise Lost

Many are doing more with less, while living through the global, systemic retreat from “life as we knew it”, induced by a virus we cannot see. For some, though, doing the “same with less” is now their life’s maxim, having accepted substantial pay cuts to remain employed during the current economic upheaval.  As Megan Casella of Politco writes: Now, with…

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The Best Laid Plans are Those that Survive Unplanned Predicaments

In response to the COVID-induced disruption of education, the college admissions process is changing. Many parents and students are now questioning how applicants will be evaluated for Fall 2021 admissions and in years beyond.  Traditional metrics for evaluating admissions, like GPA, are less reliable, given many high schools implemented Pass/No Pass-style marks in spring 2020, effectively lowering students’ cumulative GPA’s.…

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Normal Interrupted

Until mid-March 2020, parents and students each had defined roles and processes when working together to manage a student’s education. Yet, the COVID-induced closure of school campuses and the subsequent implementation of distance learning, upended a well-worn family dynamic. During a typical Pre-COVID school day, all students had a ready-made structure to manage their academic work. Bells indicated the next…

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Parents’ Educational Sentiment in the Time of COVID-19

“If I could bubble wrap them, I’d do that,” said Pavanish Nirula, of San Jose, whose 15-year-old daughter will be starting 11th grade this fall, while his 17-year-old son goes off to college. EdSource June 29, 2020 In conversations I’ve had with parents of late regarding the upcoming school year, they have echoed Mr. Nirula’s sentiments both in terms of…

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When life gives you lemons, make lemonade

Since mid-March 2020, students, parents and educators have been developing ways to ensure a continuity of learning for all students. However, in the uncertainty of the continuing pandemic, 65% of parents worry “whether their children will stay on track and be prepared for the next grade”, with 60% believing school closures will have a negative impact on their kid’s education,…

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Phased Return to Educational Normalcy

Leaders in the California Department of Education are proposing to reopen schools in phases, by grade level with elementary school students and teachers returning to campuses first. Elementary school students constitute the greatest number of K-12 students and the greatest percentage of schools in California, so prioritizing their return to school will serve the most students and families.  Though as…

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COVID-19 impacts Fall 2020 academics

As K-12 school administrators debate different options about how to re-open school campus doors to students and teachers in the fall, they are deferring to doctors and public health officials for guidance. So, families must decide, based on the most accurate information regarding the coronavirus outbreak they can acquire, what degree of risk they are willing to take beyond what…

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The Quandry of Reopening Schools in a Pandemic

As school officials brainstorm ways to reconvene students and teachers in the school building, while living in the midst of a pandemic, educators add “montioring students’ health” to their primary mission of helping students learn. As such, students will also add “decontamination ritual” with “do your homework” as their “get ready for school” checklist. In pre-pandemic days, the morning parent-student…

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Open for business, partially

Although more states are beginning to reopen, which is progressing everyday, the degree of “reopening” will vary given the differences in political inclinations of each city, county and state, as well as the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak in a particular region. And, although states, counties and/or cities may be lifting shelter-in-place orders, as Goldman Sachs suggests, the process toward…

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Learning to be self-directed

With school closures and the substitution of distance learning, every student is learning to be self-directed, rather than teacher-guided or parent-approved. Although parents worry their children are falling behind, maybe they’re actually catching up, trying to reconnect with their authentic selves, discover more about their interests and aptitudes, which unfortunately, students can lose, in the busy-ness of regular school work…

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Educational Investing Quagmire

As state revenues shrink, the subsidies to public K-12 schools and higher education systems will shrink proportionately, effectively increasing the (or likelihood of) fiscal deficits for educational institutions. In a recent Bloomberg News article discussing the economic state of affairs in California, the fifth largest state economy in the United States:  California Governor Gavin Newsom said the economic slowdown caused…

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Distance, Yes. Learning, Maybe.

What I’m calling, “The Great Distance Learning Experiment of 2020” has commenced for nearly all of the 57 million K-12 students in the United States.  In such an experimental phase, the continuity of instruction is muddled, and students, teachers and educators find themselves in uncharted waters.  The old rules, like attendance policies, don’t apply, at least here in California.  The…

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