The state of New York, once a major center of coronavirus infections, now has one of the nation’s lowest infection rates at only 1 percent currently infected, according to the Washington Post. Based on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announcement on August 7th, now that the infection rate is below the fifth percentile, schools will be allowed to reopen. However, it is entirely up to the school district in question.
The Seneca Falls school district within the Rochester-Finger Lakes region is one such district that is cautiously approaching the concept of reopening. However, teachers in the district have mixed emotions about what’s to come next, uncertainty being a common thread. With the help of the FLCC, however, schools in Seneca Falls as well as its surrounding districts are being armed with the knowledge they need to reopen.
Coming Out Of Quarantine
Despite the anxiety surrounding the situation, schools in the Rochester-Finger Lakes region intend to combine remote learning with in-person classes once the new school year begins. Teachers have expressed nervousness about the effect of this action to the virus’ transmission, but have also said that they are excited to see their students in person again.
To ensure maximum safety for the students, the strictures of social distancing are going to be enforced even more intensely within schools in the Rochester-Finger Lakes region. In Seneca Falls particularly, classrooms have been reconfigured so that every seat is six feet apart from one another. This way, students can take off their masks and attend class comfortably. The option to go back to class on site is a significant stride since last spring when everyone was forced to continue school activities at home.
An Increased Online Threat
On the other hand, those who opted to do all their schoolwork online are presented with another set of challenges entirely. Cybersecurity attacks, as well as cyberbullying remain significant threats to the well-being of a student. In this age of increased tech know-how, the two may even go hand-in-hand. In such an event, parents are advised to tell their children to record interactions with the bully. Then, tell them to ignore the bully once the evidence has been collected, and consult a bullying lawyer. Doing so builds your case against the offenders and gives the legal team solid evidence to work with.
Parents are also advised to couple these with the usual cybersecurity methods. These include using antiviruses, employing anti-phishing techniques, and even simply covering your webcam. Together, these prudent measures should lead to a better overall online experience for your child.
New Academic Structures In The New Normal
To ensure that the academic process returns to as close to maximum efficiency as possible, teachers are introducing new rules and structures to their classes. This is particularly directed to students who chose to take their classes online. These students will be required to keep their webcam on and be at their desk for the duration of the class.
For the overall teaching scheme, teachers have been working together to build their lesson plans off of a teaching model called “backward design”. This model, introduced by Finger Lakes Community College to school districts in the area, centers around selecting key concepts and skills that the students are meant to have. Then, courses are planned for them to achieve that knowledge by the end of the term. This leads to an overall more efficient way to educate the students, trimming the setbacks for both online and in-person learners alike.
The challenges both students and teachers must hurdle to continue the education process are nothing short of monumental. However, with the tireless work of teachers across the country, and the FLCC’s assistance, surmounting these challenges should be a little bit easier.