Top Education Stories You Don’t Want to Miss: September 4 – September 11, 2020

Adapting Instruction for Remote Learning: Spotlight on Johnson College Prep #NobleReadyForRemote

BY R. Powers for The Noble Network of Charter Schools

“Teachers across Noble have prepared for a different, yet great school year. We’re talking to a number of them to hear how they approached remote learning in the spring, what they learned and how they’re thinking about teaching this semester. We sat down with Amelia Gernand, a U.S. History teacher and Humanities Content Lead at Noble’s Johnson College Prep campus, to hear how she handled the curveball of COVID-19 closures in her classroom. Amelia has been a teacher for 10 years and is heading into her seventh year at Noble.”

Professional Development for a “Virtual” First Day of School #NobleReadyForRemote

By M. McCabe for The Noble Network of Charter Schools

“Noble teachers have been preparing for the new school year in many different ways this summer. We talked with Lyndsay Cowles, Ph.D, Noble’s Senior Manager of Instructional Development, to learn more about the professional development provided to teachers to ensure successful remote learning this semester.”

North Lawndale Prep Holds In-Person Classes; ‘We Know They Are Safe Here’

By Vi Nguyen for CBS 

“This school year is looking very different for Kelly Martin. The math teacher greeted students Tuesday morning with hand sanitizer and wipes because of COVID-19.  He’s been a teacher at North Lawndale College Prep for 15 years. “First of all, welcome back,” Martin said. Students who chose the hybrid learning model will meet twice a week in person and twice a week online. “I know the teachers have taken a lot of precautions during this coronavirus and stuff like that,” said student Lovell Miller. He’s a senior. “It may be a little bit different from how it use to be, but it’s still the same school,” Miller said. The charter school made some changes throughout the building to protect students and staff. Anyone entering the building must get their temperature checked and answer a list of questions like have you been in contact with anyone that had COVID-19. Each classroom will have no more than 15 students. And they must wear a face mask at all times. Desks are spaced six-feet apart. The hallway is marked with decals to remind students of safety. Start times and lunch will be staggered to limit students from gathering. “We’re going to get past this,” Martin said. “We’re gonna try to make it as authentic as possible.” Teachers at North Lawndale College Prep said the place is more than just a school. Everyone here is family and the building provides a safe haven for many students.”

Chicago Public Schools announces ‘record-high’ graduation rate despite remote learning challenges as mayor vows district is ‘not sitting this year out’

By Hannah Leone for The Chicago Tribune 

“With Latino students driving the trend, Chicago Public Schools students have reached a record-high five-year graduation rate of 82.5%, district leaders announced Friday. The rate got a boost in part from a new method used to calculate the percentage of graduates. Under the old method, it would have been 80.8%. “This record graduation rate isn’t just a statistic, it represents a revolution in how we value education in our city, and how we support our students’ futures,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Friday.” “I mean, it’s the same exact school year but in a different location, so don’t be afraid.” Teaching from home to young students while in quarantine lockdown due to Covid-19 outbreak. With the coronavirus moving classes online for Chicago Public Schools, students are likely to see some big changes starting Tuesday.”

Back to school, from home: CPS begins a new school year with a return to remote learning, successes and frustrations

By Hannah Leone for The Chicago Tribune

“Surrounded by four computer monitors, Nightingale Elementary teacher Lauren Kullman joked that she felt like she was producing the Emmys. But it was just the first day of school. As Chicago Public Schools on Tuesday began fall quarter with remote learning, most educators were teaching from their homes, though some streamed lessons from their school classrooms. Families around the city reported a range of successes and frustrations as the watershed day came to a close. Kullman is married to a special education teacher, and the couple has a 5-year-old in kindergarten along with a younger child. “Our house is embracing the chaos,” she said Tuesday. “… We are just so grateful that we are remote. The challenges we will face are nothing compared to what we could have faced in an unsafe environment.”

On First Day Of School In Chicago, Mayor Lightfoot Confident CPS Tech Bumps Will Be Smoothed Out

By CBS Chicago

“It’s the first day of school for students at Chicago Public Schools, but the classroom today isn’t at school, as the year starts with remote learning. CBS 2’s Mugo Odigwe explains why Tuesday is bound to be somewhat challenging for CPS students, parents and teachers. When you think about the first day of school, there’s usually that excitement of meeting your teachers and making new friends. It’s a new world of remote learning and unlike last spring, the district is using a new reopening website to mark attendance this year. Meaning attendance is mandatory. So parents will have to take on more responsibilities, helping their children navigate remote learning. It’s double work for parents like Joddecci Lozada who’s taking college classes. “I’ll probably get distracted drifting off and trying to not pay attention,” Lozada said. “So then I’ll have to stop what I’m doing to get him focused again.” For parents who need a place to drop off their kids while they are at work, CPS has six supervision sites and more will be added in the coming weeks. The district said a staff member at each site will supervise classrooms of no more than 15 kids as they e-learn, socially distanced and masked.”

Chicago Parents Ask CPS to Create Black Student Achievement Taskforce

By Chicago Unheard 

“Today, a coalition of parents and advocates from Chicago’s Black community sent a letter to the leadership of Chicago Public Schools demanding critical attention to the experience and outcomes of Black students during the remote learning period and beyond. “We are requesting that Chicago Public Schools establish a Black Student Achievement Taskforce to work in concert with the district to support our children’s academic growth—increasing graduation, college, and career success rates,” writes Chicago parent and brightbeam activist Natasha Dunn.”