Most charter public schools across our state have closed their school sites in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. But as one charter school rightly put it last week, schools may be closed, but learning is not.
From all points across California, charter schools are addressing this public health crisis by relying on the strengths that are long-embedded in their operational DNA: flexibility and innovation.
Take the Language Academy of Sacramento for example. Teachers at the school are turning to a wide variety of tech tools while their school is closed, including Zoom, Google Forms, and YouTube. The goal is to maintain solid lines of communication with students and keep them engaged via online school.
“It’s very important during this time while they’re away for them to see our faces,” said Angela Rodriguez, a fourth-grade teacher at the school. She added that LAS’ closure is a “challenge and… a new way for me to grow as a teacher.”
In the Bay Area, Rocketship Public Schools are leaning on digital platforms to create a strong sense of community that would normally come with physically being on campus. Facebook groups, virtual classrooms, and one-to-one attention via phone and video chat check ins have all played an instrumental role in Rocketship quickly adapting to distance learning; judging by the charter network’s social media pages, teachers and students are having a good deal of fun during the transition.
And down south, the Ednovate Schools were agile in ramping up an online school in just three days, finishing with an attendance rate of 95.6 percent during their first week of distance learning. That’s an amazing accomplishment that the L.A. and Orange County-based charter network should be very proud of!
As this public health emergency continues to unfold in unpredictable ways, charter schools across our state are rising to the moment. Leaders, teachers, and staff are getting resourceful and creative. Students are getting the opportunity to continue to learn in unique and personalized ways. It’s a sobering and anxious time, but the innovation of charter schools—combined with the adaptability of the students and parents they serve—is a real bright spot.
Want to let us know how your school is adjusting as a result of COVID-19? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also tag us on Twitter or Instagram @calcharters.
Photo credit: Rocketship Public Schools