The program initially rolled out March 23 and gives students access to curriculum in core subjects by grade level, including fine arts, life skills, foreign languages and physical education. While most students are accessing the program online, packets have been made available to those who do not have adequate technology at home.
Community Impact Newspaper asked local residents via Nextdoor how the new program was going so far.
Some parents said they appreciate the program’s flexibility and the option for students to work at their own pace. Others said they have been disappointed in the curriculum available and have struggled to navigate the website.
For parents looking for additional support or personalized tutoring sessions for their children, some local businesses are offering live services online. Natalie Hawkins, director of education for Sylvan of Cypress, is offering free assessments and 25% off all sessions while local schools are closed. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-338-2283 for more information.
Advice for parents
Melissa Dawn Gatlin, associate professor of education at Lone Star College-University Park, offered advice to parents supporting their students academically during this time.
“I would tell parents to be patient and keep a positive attitude,” Gatlin said in a statement. “Children look to adults to gauge how they are supposed react to new situations. Stay calm and your child will be less anxious about learning in a new way.”
Gatlin said creating a space for students to be productive from home is one key to their success. Older students might work best in their bedroom, while the dining room table might be a better fit for younger children who need additional guidance, she said.
It is also important for parents to be in communication with teachers on a regular basis. As teachers are also adjusting the way they do their jobs from home, Gatlin said parents should be patient with their child’s teachers and with themselves.
“Do not feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders,” she said. “Children are resilient. They can rise above struggles and continue to learn.”