This post is part of an ongoing series sharing the positive stories that have come out of the challenges our schools are facing. To see all of the posts in this series, click here.
In a short amount of time, COVID-19 has changed the way we live. The term social distancing is a new norm—and families around the world are forced to adapt to new routines. While the lives of many have changed significantly, one thing that has remained consistent is the drive of school leaders and teachers to continue serving their students the best way they can. Despite the problems many Americans are facing, there are many examples that show how educators are going the extra mile.
Charter School Network Helps Medical Workers with 3-D Printing
A team of educators at Harmony Public Schools are now using 3-D printers to help medical workers on the front lines. In Texas, teachers with the Harmony Public Schools Innovations Lab teamed up to produce face masks and medical supplies for first responders in the fight against COVID-19. And others in the Harmony network are chipping in to ramp up production of these essential supplies as well. The school leader organized a training webinar on Zoom that pulled in more than 100 educators from the charter school network to learn how to manufacture these essential supplies.
Charter Schools Share Virtual Learning Platforms and Advice
As school leaders continue to strengthen their online learning programs, they are sharing resources with other educators and families to ensure every child has an opportunity to experience high-quality learning online. Uncommon Schools, for example, launched a K-8 virtual learning platform that is free and available to educators nationwide. The site contains lessons from the charter school network’s best performing teachers that are recorded to fit a variety of needs and can be viewed on computers, tablets, and mobile devices. After the first day of launching, people from 44 states and 17 countries visited the platform.
In Massachusetts, Atlantis Charter School outlined where they’ve found success with their online teaching and, just one day after schools closed in New York, Brooklyn RISE Charter School launched a YouTube Channel with lessons and educational content.
Charter Schools Distribute Chromebooks to Students
Charter schools are making sure students have what they need to continue exploring and learning online. The Universal Family of Schools—which includes seven charter schools in Philadelphia—passed out Chromebooks to students who were in-need. School leaders also worked with internet providers to help families gain access to the web. In New York, Ivy Hill Prep distributed Chromebooks to their families to help students continue their education. The school is planning to add more content to their distance learning—including virtual martial arts and dance lessons.
Charter School Raises Money to Donate Food to Families
Laureate Academy in Louisiana raised more than $7,000 and created a food pantry for their families in-need. They continue to stock their pantry and deliver groceries to their families and others in the community. Check out this message from the woman who organized this effort on Facebook.
If you have an uplifting story to share about educators going the extra mile, please send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brittnee Exum is the manager of communications and marketing at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.