Updated: Aug 28, 2020
Normally, at this time of year, parents are making sure they have purchased items on their student lists to ensure their child has everything they need for the school year. This year, it's a whole new ball game. Connection to the Internet, navigating Zoom, and learning how to mute your microphone have all taken the place of tears at drop off, getting along with others, and pranks on underclassmen.
This series of short blogs are going to focus on important points to consider when navigating the world of school in the 2020-2021 school year. This first piece will focus on equipment. The Lighthouse will be releasing activities you can do at home, Zoom etiquette tips, and more information to aid families at this time.
First up: Making a connection
Before we delve into the finer points of interconnectivity and screen sharing presentations, make sure you have reliable wifi and a reliable device. If you don't have either one of these things the whole process, while already difficult, can quickly become impossible. Reach out to your school. If you have no luck, call directly to your local school district. Schools districts are receiving sizable amounts of additional funding, establishing partnerships with tech companies, and even reaching out to local nonprofits to make sure all students are online and ready to learn. So, don't be shy. The devices are to help your child learn. Get them if they're available.
Also, for anyone that is concerned with immigration status, schools are supposed to serve all children within their designated area. It is not their job to report you to immigration and, in my experience, schools usually draw that line with the local government. Most schools take this very seriously and regard school as a sanctuary. Unless you have heard otherwise at your local school reach out and get a device for your kid.
Schools take boundaries more seriously than anything else regarding supplies. So, be honest about your address. Now, If you're homeless, there are a sea of programs established just for you and, usually, zoning is not a factor. Public schools often go out of their way to get you what you need. Reach out to the school counselor, they can do much more for your student and family than setting you up with a device.
Moving forward, technology will be a very important and integral part of keeping your child up to date with the curriculum. It may be the place for small group instruction, testing, and even electives like gym or music. You and your child(ren) may have a serious learning curve ahead, so don’t delay in obtaining your internet and advice. The sooner you have the equipment the better. If you don’t have the equipment, reach out to your school today!
Next time, we'll discuss navigating Zoom accessibility and what works for who. I've got a great resource to share so please subscribe!
Adam Johnson is the founder of the Lighthouse Guild for the Gifted and an elementary school administrator. His dream is to change education by building morally sound leaders by growing them in all forms of intelligence through elite programming and eventually a school.