Giving Compass' Take:

• Common themes emerge as school leaders discuss the best practices for school re-openings amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

•  How can donors help school re-openings and transitions go smoothly? What resources do schools still need? 

• Learn about school considerations for preparing SEL needs amid re-openings. 

Rain or shine, snow or no snow, the students of Homestead School, a private Montessori in Glen Spey, New York, will be spending a good part of their school days outside. There they will learn about vertebrates, biodiversity, writing poetry and more.

Using the campus’ 85 acres was the best and safest way school leaders determined in-person learning could continue amid a pandemic.

“We put our attention to how we could move experiential learning outdoors. We thought it was so important to get the kids back on campus,” said Nisha Gupta, head of financial affairs, head of curriculum, and a middle school teacher at Homestead School.

Gupta shared her school's successes and challenges with face-to-face instruction on a webinar panel Wednesday hosted by the U.S. Department of Education and moderated by Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education Frank Brogan.

Gupta and the four other school system leaders who spoke on the webinar said while some or all of their students are attending classes in-person, they all offer a virtual learning component for students who can’t or don’t want to attend face-to-face.

Where school doors are open for in-person instruction, there are several common themes occurring across the country, according to the school administrators participating in the department’s webinar.

  • Communicating with the community
  • Understanding the potential and challenges of technology
  • Keeping plans organized

Read the full article about best practices for reopening schools by Kara Arundel at Education Dive.