Danielle Colayco starts every day talking to her 5-year-old daughter, Audrey, in Tagalog. She greets her good morning, asks her some simple questions and tells her that she loves her. The second-generation Filipina American grew up in Southern California, not knowing a word of her family’s language. But during quarantine, she started taking weekly online Tagalog classes through the program Tagalog With Kirby, while her daughter participates virtually through TagalogKids.com.
Lynette Stant teaches third grade in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian community in Arizona. For our Learning Curve series, she shares what a week of virtual learning is like.
Seventh-grader Ayleen Salvador Barraza has been waiting for school to start for months. Yet on Tuesday — the first day of school — she missed it. "I didn’t know the password," she said dejectedly. "I only know the email. So I couldn't really go." This is just one small example of the computer and technology challenges students and a district where English is not the native language of many families face. In Aurora Public Schools, students come from more than 130 countries and speak 160 languages. Those parents and students rallied and brought their hopes and worries to school district officials in a recent Zoom forum hosted by RISE Colorado, an education equity advocate.
Isaac Lozano (@ilozanocrusader) is a senior at Bonita Vista High School in Chula Vista, Calif. In this column, he writes, "When schools went remote earlier this year, low-income students like me, who have limited access to computers and the internet, faced challenges keeping up with schoolwork. Trying to study in cramped quarters and without reliable connectivity was frustrating. But as schools begin this fall, I’d much rather endure the troubles of distance learning than return to campus prematurely and sacrifice my own health or that of my family." This editorial is also available in Spanish.
The new question-of-the-week is: "What are effective instructional strategies to use when teaching an online class?" This new series continues a 25-post "blitz" that began on Aug. 1 supporting teachers as we enter a pandemic-fueled school year.
Schools around the country have been grappling with how or even whether to reopen. In the two isolated farming towns of Grandview and Bruneau, which form the joint school district, there are fewer than a dozen known COVID-19 cases. But in nearby more urban counties, where some of the staff here commute from, infection rates continue to climb out of control.
B. Adriana Ontiveros is the bilingual education and community outreach coordinator for Las Cruces Public Schools. In this commentary, she writes, "Despite all the negative things happening around us, despite the losses, we suddenly find ourselves looking at our position in a new light. In difficult situations like the one we are currently facing, there are only two ways to react. We can either freeze and focus only on the negative, or we try to be positive and see the infinite possibilities to innovate around us."
Whether it happens in-person or remote, this year’s back-to-school season is bringing with it a host of new data privacy concerns. Chief among them: How to safely and legally store and share videos of classroom lessons featuring students, and what to do with all the new sensitive health information being collected by schools now administering health surveys, doing daily temperature checks, and tracing the contacts of students and staff who have contracted or been exposed to the coronavirus.
It has been one year since U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement carried out the largest single-state raid in U.S. history and arrested 680 workers from seven chicken processing plants in Mississippi. Dozens of families were torn apart, leaving communities shattered, and educators, religious leaders and activists scrambling to restore a sense of normalcy, only to have many of those efforts disrupted by COVID-19.
When Kamala Harria first ran for public office, she had not spent much time trying to categorize herself. "That was one of the things that I struggled with," she recalled in a 2019 interview with The Washington Post. "You are forced through that process to define yourself in a way that you fit neatly into the compartment that other people have created. My point was: I am who I am. I'm good with it. You might need to figure it out, but I'm fine with it," she said. On Tuesday, the presumptive Democratic nominee for President, Joe Biden, named Kamala Harris as his running mate.