Texas ASCD recognizes the unexpected challenges the COVID-19 pandemic is generating for the educators we serve. Our concern for our membership’s well-being and the inability to predict what lies ahead prompted our association to take proactive measures.
At this time, the association has postponed all remaining March professional learning events. We are in the process of rescheduling these events and will keep participants informed. At this time, institutes and academies intended for April (and beyond) are still scheduled as planned. Please know that we will continue to monitor the situation, as your safety is important to us. The Texas ASCD office is still open to meet your needs. However, the staff will be telecommuting until Monday, March 30.
Discovery Education, one of our corporate partners, has provided the following resources that we’d like to share:
1. For schools and school systems that are experiencing closures and are not currently Discovery Education partners, Discovery Education is offering access to Discovery Education Experience, a K-12 digital supplemental resource, at no cost through the remainder of the school year. To request access to Discovery Education Experience, principals and superintendents of affected school or school districts are encouraged to fill out the Experience Access Request form.
2. For current Discovery Education partners, the company has created a special channel within Discovery Education Experience—the Viruses and Outbreak Channel—featuring digital content that helps educators discuss the Coronavirus outbreak with students. This content includes timely updates on what the Coronavirus is, information on how infectious diseases spread, and essential guidelines for staying healthy.
3. Finally, Discovery Education has worked with their content partners to make the Viruses and Outbreak Channel available to the communities our U.S. school systems serve so that parents, caregivers, and other adults have the same access to the materials children are being taught in schools or increasingly, online. To request access, interested school systems should fill out this form Experience Access Request form.
Edgenuity, another of our corporate partners, has helpful resources and solutions for navigating difficult times through remote learning.
1. Edgenuity is offering a K-12 Virtual School Solution for true online learning, providing structure and progress tracking for students working remotely. Schools get professional development and training for their teachers, and students get the ability to work asynchronously, at their own pace, and earn credits.
2. Where you may have special populations such as graduating seniors or families requiring more help, students may enroll with Edgenuity’s Instructional Services. With this solution, Edgenuity will provide a state-certified highly qualified teacher and on-demand tutoring in addition to the online courses and platform in order to provide more instructional opportunities to students who may need them.
3. Edgenuity is also offering a no-cost teacher-led online solution where customers can use Edgenuity’s online curriculum to provide instruction to students during a school closure. Educators can broadcast themselves teaching/facilitating Edgenuity lessons using Zoom or Google Classroom so students can continue learning. This solution enables districts to respond quickly and effectively – and provides training options so teachers can easily navigate the course content and platform.
Thank you for all you are doing to be safe and ensure the safety of the children of Texas. Since its founding in 1947, Texas ASCD has weathered turbulent events, and we will continue to persevere in order to best serve you. Our heart goes out to you, your families, your district, and everyone affected, nationally and globally. If there is anything we can do, please let us know.
Yolanda M. Rey, Ph.D.