Giving Compass’ Take:
• Samantha Smylie highlights some of the issues Illinois school districts are facing in the move to remote schooling as a result of closures from COVID-19.
• How are other states handling the nationwide shift to online schooling? What can you do to make the transition easier?
• Have questions about school closures from COVID-19? Read more here.
A survey conducted by the Illinois State Board of Education found that almost two-thirds of educators in the state said their school districts were not prepared to conduct remote learning.
That involves teaching and learning via technology devices and the internet, which the state has encouraged schools to use during the upcoming two-week closure to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
State board spokesperson Jackie Matthews said that school leaders lacked devices, connectivity, and software. In response, the board and the governor’s office are seeking help from donors “to see if we can get every school district in the state equipped with the technology that they would need to be able to do e-learning in case the closure extends beyond March 30.”
Chicago Public Schools has said it is not set up to do districtwide e-learning, but many schools are sending home enrichment sites for parents and families to use during the closures. Speaking to reporters Monday, Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson said many, but not all, district schools have devices that students can take home during the closure. She said the district has appealed to philanthropic organizations to help with an effort to provide computers to students who might not have access to them.
Shayla Ewing, an English and drama teacher at Pekins Community High School in Central Illinois, said that each one of her students have Chromebooks and most of her lessons are online. However, most of the work she has online was meant to supplement classroom instruction, not replace it.
“My current struggle right now is finding ways to make sure that whatever I produce I can allow students to have the same experience whether they have access to that online learning environment or access to some sort of printed copy,” said Ewing.
Read the full article about school closures from COVID-19 by Samantha Smylie at Chalkbeat.
Boards and Governance is a complex topic, and others found these selections from the Impact Giving archive from Giving Compass to be good resources.
Are you ready to give?
If you are interested in Boards and Governance, please see these relevant Issue Funds, Charitable Organizations or Projects where you can get involved.