Some advice and guidance for the week ahead

March 22, 2020

Dear all:

  1. A lot of news to catch up on.  Tomorrow starts remote learning for NYC public school students.  If you don’t have an online device, the Chancellor said on Friday that you can pick up written packets of suggested homework at the 400 school sites distributing food.  [UPDATE: apparently these packets are not yet available — as I learned after sending this message.]  If you need a device, you can fill out this form or call 718-935-5100 and then press  #5.  But be aware that for many kids, paper and pencil works better anyway.  Here is also the link for the Regional Enrollment Centers which will be providing child care for health care and transit workers, as well as first responders.
  2. Here is a Parents Guide on how to set up Google classroom, available in several languages.  The ASD Nest support group at NYU has also provided advice, primarily meant for Autistic spectrum kids in how to establish a calm and focused learning environment, but this could be beneficial for any child. Here is some basic guidance from my Parent Coalition for Student Privacy on how to retain maximum privacy and minimizing screen time while doing so.
  3. Encourage your child to read books! If you don’t have enough physical books at home, you can sign up for a library card here and download books for free on an ipad or kindle. Just log into and log into the catalog. If you don’t have a card, download SimplyE on iTunes or Google Play.
  4. Don’t force yourself or your kids to focus on academics too much.  Check out this great piece in the NYT by an educator; or the wise counsel of Audrey Watters on my Talk out of School podcast, which also featured Jasmine Gripper of AQE on the state education budget and CM Mark Treyger on next steps for NYC schools.  See also this terrific letter from CSA President Mark Cannizzaro to principals.
  5. FYI, the NY State Education  has now wisely cancelled most all state-mandated tests.  Next Wed. at 10 AM on WBAI-FM 99.5 we will interview Akil Bello, testing expert, on what is happening with other exams,  including the SATs and ACTs, and what he thinks should happen in the future with high-stakes tests in general.  We will be letting listeners to call in with their questions and concerns.
  6. Finally, I’d love to hear from each of you — parents, students and teachers — about what’s working here in NYC and elsewhere with our new national experiment with online learning, as I described it to LoHud News.  Please let me know by responding to this message or emailing me at .   I’d like to feature some of your experiences as well on my blog;  let me know if I can share them, and if so, if I should remove your name to preserve your anonymity.

Hoping you and your family all stay strong and healthy during these challenging times,


Categories Newsletters, Uncategorized, Updates | Tags: | Posted on March 23, 2020

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