Day one of remote learning for 1.4 million students and teachers in public schools is in the books. Or, more accurately, online.
"It's not all going to work. But we're going to figure it out together. So flexibility and patience are the two words I want parents, students and educators to keep in mind," Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said.
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Teachers are using tools like Zoom to talk to students in real time and take their questions... and Google Classrooms, to take attendance, share assignments, show slideshows...And at P.S./I.S. 499 in Queens...take stock of their students' feelings during the coronavirus crisis.
"It even includes an emotional check-in for students, using emojis, so the social emotional learning we were implementing in our school carries through into the remote learning we are doing," teacher Giovanni Catinella said.
Parents surveyed over social media had mixed feelings, many applauding the hard work of the city's teachers. But some, especially those with younger or multiple students at home, say it's difficult to juggle working their own jobs from home with guiding their children through the online workday. Catinella had some tips.
"Parents can make maybe a schedule as if they were having a class, set daily routines and regimens for themselves so that way they don't feel overwhelmed with what's going on," he said.
Catinella says he's keeping in mind some families are juggling many responsibilities during the crisis... and is keeping lessons up online so students who can't be there in real time can review them later.
Some students are learning via paper packets as they await new laptops and tablets ordered by the city to get them online. The city has distributed 175,000 devices so far, leaving 125,000 students waiting to get one.
Meanwhile, 4,500 signed up to attend one of the 93 new regional enrichment centers, where nearly 5,000 certified educators are watching over children of first responders, and healthcare and transit workers. A photo shared by an Education Department employee on Twitter shows students sitting several feet apart.
Some advocates say children of grocery store workers and homeless students should also be eligible.
"It's all going to depend on how many volunteers we can continue to get, how many locations we can continue to develop and that's going to give us the capacity to serve more and more New Yorkers."