Preparing for a new school year is always challenging but even more so in 2020. Some schools in the U.S. have already opened their virtual doors and are busy figuring out distance learning programs as they go. Others are finalizing what the new year will look like once they begin later this month or in early September.
The majority of K-12 schools will be remote to start, although some are offering a hybrid approach. The fortunate institutions are those that offered one-to-one computing programs and possibly some distance learning components pre-pandemic. For many others though, devices and acceptable internet connectivity was step one and many schools are handing those out now. How they are funding the effort also varies. In the Detroit Public Schools Community District for example, a philanthropic effort aimed at bridging the city’s digital divide was required to fund needed devices and connectivity for students.
Still other districts, like Chicago Public Schools have announced a budget that relies on additional relief from Congress for additional pandemic response, which includes improved distance learning and more computers.
However schools are getting their adapted education models in place, one thing is certain. The quick roll out of remote learning back in March showed many bumps in the road and improvements must be made now for the new year ahead. We recently sat down with Eric Ramos, CTO of Duarte Unified District in Duarte, California for a look back on lessons he and his team have learned throughout the pandemic. He also offers what his district is doing going forward to ensure devices and learning resources are accessible to every student and that they are protected with reliable security controls.
Listen to this quick video clip and then watch the full conversation that is part of our K-12 Peer Advice Forum, What’s Working for IT and Security Teams here.