As We Move to Distance Learning

Fairfax County School Superintendent Scott Brabrand shared today with parents via email the district's plan for distance learning. With schools closed due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, learning can only continue inside children's homes. In the email, the following provides briefly what is inside the distance learning plan: "The plan includes paper learning packets, video broadcasts, lessons/assignments and learning materials posted to Blackboard and completed individually or collaboratively, along with scheduled web chats." Related to this, Education Week has recently shared a quiz on personalized learning. One of the questions in the quiz is quite meaningful. And I answered it correctly, as my daughter and I paid her school a visit this afternoon.

My daughter's elementary school, Mason Crest, has the best front door.

The specific question is the quiz is as follows:

Since a great majority of those who took the quiz answered the question on how teachers become familiar with their students' lives outside school incorrectly, it maybe worth reminding us that a school is not merely an academic setting. While we worry about continuity in learning, while parents and teachers spend time worrying about specific lessons that can be taught inside homes, while we focus so much on math, reading, social studies, and science, we must not neglect that children consider their schools as a home. There are relationships between a teacher and a child, and among the students themselves. The school my daughter attends does make her feel awesome, appreciated, able and amazing. That is what we need to achieve inside our homes as well.

The COVID-19 situation does not look good. I was too optimistic last time I extrapolated the number of serious cases. In February, most cases were in China. Outside China, the number of individuals that can be possibly infected is six times bigger, so I should have adjusted my estimate. So, here is my latest extrapolation.

The peak is now occurring later, April 17. And the maximum number will reach about 60,000 serious or critical cases. We have a long way to go. And I hope at this time, while our children are learning at home, we will also make them feel awesome, appreciated, able and amazing.