This year’s school reopening has been – and continues to be – an unprecedented challenge for all schools. Reimagining school facilities to create safe spaces for presence learning, setting up cleaning stations, barriers and markers, temperature measuring protocols has added heavy burdens to already-overextended administration bodies. In setting up remote learning, so many schools had to consider, perhaps for the first time, the hardware and connectivity limitations of their students. Social inequalities bubbled up to the surface. And on top of all that, there’s been the challenge of organically preparing the students themselves to conduct themselves within social-distancing protocols.
It’s no wonder so many schools fell short.
Charter schools have performed well, and in many cases have been ahead of the curve – according to two new studies. These studies, one from the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools and the other one from Fordham Institute, found that many charter schools achieved remarkable success – pivoting quickly and efficiently to remote learning.
The schools in the Fordham report distributed tens of thousands of Chromebooks, set up internet hotspots, and were quick to offer a robust mix of live and recorded instruction, causing student engagement and morale to stay high in the face of this transition and the health crisis facing all of us.
The common denominators all center around caring for the student as a full human being.
The Five Keys To School Reopening Success
These five factors rose to the top as contributors to school success:
- Meeting students’ nutritional, social and emotional needs;
- Proactively distributing the needed technology to the students;
- Quickly creating structure that approximates their old normal routines and maintaining grading practices;
- Reaching out to families, and listening to families, on a frequent and ongoing basis;
- Being team-oriented in all aspects of instruction, grounded on a common curriculum.
The studies also highlight areas for improvement – such as increased communication with families and parents of students with disabilities to discuss and clarify how the school can best fit their child’s needs. In some schools, the effort to integrate students with disabilities was well-executed, but parents and families were just not aware enough to fully take advantage of this.
It’s also worth mentioning that these studies are limited in their scope.
That said, both studies show that charter schools across the nation are rising to the challenge, and have been nimble and effective in creating a new paradigm where the students continue to blossom.
We are proud to serve charter schools and help them grow.
If your school is growing, or is facing funding challenges, we urge you to reach out to our team of advisors. We’re here to help.