Juggling Classrooms: Adjusting to hybrid learning models and distanced learning

Planning for the 2020-2021 school year started in June for The Learning Center as the team looked at every detail to ensure each student was equipped for a smooth start to the year.

For the school-aged student classrooms, the initial planning process included scenarios for all virtual or all in-person classes. However, a few weeks before the start of classes, Easton Area School District announced its hybrid learning model, and TLC team had to change its course.

Juggling Classrooms: Adjusting to hybrid learning models and distanced learning  1

A student attends class through Zoom, using an iPad. School-aged students are doing a lot of learning from Third Street Alliance this school year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“This has been the hardest schedule for us to plan around,” said Nancy Fredrick, Director of The Learning Center.

The team has 27 student schedules to keep track of, which includes a rotating schedule of in-person and virtual instruction days. Additional staff was hired so each classroom could maintain CDC social distancing guidelines.

Technical supports were added to meet the needs of the students, including additional wireless hot spots from the school district and an increase of broadband at Third Street Alliance. The teachers are also working hard to accommodate each student’s schedule, which can include up to four Zoom classes a day. Teachers have had to be flexible with the student’s schedules, working around lunch breaks, and planning other activities for the students.

For working parents like Tiffany, The Learning Center has provided peace of mind during the transitional time. Tiffany has three school-aged students in the program and was nervous starting the virtual learning. But she has been happy with the transition as she works with the school district teachers and The Learning Center.

The teachers here have been awesome. They have been helping the kids to do their work,” she said. “So far, I haven’t had to help with any homework, besides reviewing with them on the weekends.” 

For our younger students, the new school year has opened the opportunity for the Pre-K Counts classes to offer a distanced learning program for 20 students. These students will learn from home with their caregivers or parents and the support of the Pre-K Counts teachers.

“Our lead teachers have participated in distanced learning training with our Creative Curriculum that all of our classrooms utilize,” Nancy said.

Allowing half of our 40 Pre-K Counts students to learn from home allows the classrooms to follow CDC guidelines for social distancing.

With the use of cloud technology, teachers can share their lesson plans, learning games, books, and more tools for families through online access. Parents or guardians will work with the teachers to document their child’s growth, which will be part of the teacher’s assessment process, as well as helping to plan for future activities and lessons.

“The great feature about the Creative Curriculum Cloud is the ability for families to continue being their child’s first teacher and share observations of their child’s development and learning from home,” Nancy said.

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