Coronavirus Coverage - Education | New Hampshire Public Radio

Coronavirus Coverage - Education

Michael Brindley / NHPR

 

A task force convened by the New Hampshire Department of Education to determine how schools should re-open in the fall has sent their final recommendations to Gov. Sununu.

The recommendations emphasize the need to prepare for multiple scenarios next year – including in-person instruction with new safety guidelines, continued remote learning, and the option many states are considering: a hybrid model of remote and in-person instruction.

Sarah Kolk

In early May, the Exchange interviewed three college seniors living in New Hampshire about their commencements, summer plans, and feelings about the future. We recently checked in again to see how they’re doing and how their job searches are coming along. 

Sarah Kolk studied Anthropology modified with Biology as well as Geography at Dartmouth College.

How are you doing Sarah? What’s changed for you since we last spoke? 

Flickr Creative Commons / Brave Sir Robin

Dartmouth College has announced that it plans to allow about half of its undergraduate student body back each term starting this fall.  

Students arriving on campus this fall are required to get tested for COVID-19, and to quarantine for 14 days after arrival. Dartmouth plans on staggering those arrivals.

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Jessica Hunt/NHPR

The transition from high school to adulthood is already major life change, and COVID-19 has complicated that process for many recent graduates. We talk with three graduating seniors about what's next for them, how their plans have changed during the pandemic, and what they're looking forward to. 

Air date: Thursday, June 25, 2020.

Flickr/Ivan Radic

The N.H. Department of Education says districts need to prepare for a hybrid model of remote and in-person learning for the next school year as the pandemic continues.

The hybrid model is one of a list of draft recommendations a state task force is working on to deliver to Gov. Chris Sununu next week.

Courtesy of Kimiya Parker-Hill 

High school seniors are having an unusual end to their senior year, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Graduation ceremonies have moved online, or to mountain tops or drive-in movie theaters, and many colleges don’t know how or when their campuses will reopen

NHPR’s All Things Considered Host Peter Biello interviewed three graduating high school seniors: Chloe Armstrong from Kennett High School in North Conway, Kimiya Parker-Hill from Manchester West High School in Manchester, and Shannon Jackson from Coe-Brown Northwood Academy in Northwood.

Ed Meyer / Dartmouth

New Hampshire colleges will likely continue with some aspects of virtual learning when students return to campuses this fall. It's a particular challenge for disciplines like earth science, which rely on field trips and physical lab work.

Kennett High School seniors and their families traveled up a ski mountain in North Conway, N.H., to receive their diplomas.

"Out of all the different types of graduations different high schools are having, I think this is the coolest," says senior Eva Drummond. "It's the Mount Washington Valley and we're known because we have our mountains and our ski areas."

Drummond grew up skiing Cranmore Mountain, but she never expected to go up it in her graduation gown and sneakers.

Needpix

Now that the school year has largely concluded for New Hampshire districts across the state, we turn our attention to what education might look like this fall.

We reflect on how remote learning went, review what we've learned, and discuss what options are available for the upcoming academic year, whether that is more remote learning, a transition back to in-person learning, or a hybrid model of both methods. 

Courtesy of Enna Grazier

 

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way many of us do our jobs, including those of us here at NHPR.

Our reporters haven't been able to get out and record your voices as much as usual. So, we've asked people to step in for us - to record their own lives and share how daily life has been interrupted in big and small ways.

Via khsmwv.com

High school graduations typically follow a pretty familiar script: Graduates sitting side by side in caps and gowns, each one getting a handshake from the principal as they receive their diploma.

But in this unprecedented year, high schools across New Hampshire have had to go back to the drawing board to figure out what they can pull off that’s both safe and celebratory.

Kristy Cardin

The New Hampshire Department of Education is wrapping up a survey it says will help the state plan for re-opening and redesigning schools next fall.

The survey, which has been completed by over 50,000 parents, teachers, and administrators, asks participants to rate how remote learning has gone, and whether families and educators want to head back to school. The goal is to get input to share with a state task force on school reopening and redesign (STRRT).

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

An order issued by Gov. Chris Sununu regarding services during the pandemic for students with disabilities is drawing praise from special education advocates and concern from school districts.

The emergency order issued Tuesday clarifies the timeline and requirements for districts to meet the needs of students who get special ed services through an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

Sara Marzinik

On March 15, Gov. Chris Sununu announced K-12 school closures across New Hampshire and a transition to remote learning. Just over a month later, he extended his order through the end of the school year.

The decision, while necessary, changed the way the education system operates. 

Congressional Democrats have accused U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos of trying to reroute hundreds of millions of dollars in coronavirus aid money to K-12 private school students. The coronavirus rescue package, known as the CARES Act, included more than $13 billion to help public schools cover pandemic-related costs.

Courtesy of Dave Warrender

High school career and technical schools are slowly reopening to students studying for jobs deemed essential during the pandemic.

This week, Concord Regional Technical Center began bringing in small groups of EMT and nursing assistant students who are preparing for their licensing exams.

Courtesy Moira Ryan

For many students with disabilities, school closure has been a major setback. That’s because in addition to regular classes, these students get extra support - anything from tutoring to help walking and eating. And as NHPR’s Sarah Gibson reports, many families are wondering when their kids can resume these services in person.


Sarah Gibson, NHPR

The University System of New Hampshire plans to work with the state Community College System to safely welcome students back to college campuses across the state soon.

Flickr Creative Commons / Brave Sir Robin

Dartmouth College says it has seen a surge in current and accepted students asking for more financial aid amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The college says it’s anticipating an increase in financial aid of $8 to $10 million more for next school year.

Johannes Thiel via Flickr cc

The New Hampshire Department of Education has created a task force to determine how public schools should resume this fall.

The School Transition Reopening and Redesign Taskforce will look at lessons from remote learning and at different approaches schools could take next year as the pandemic continues.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

A group convened by the Department of Education met for the first time Thursday to figure out how New Hampshire’s schools can resume in the fall.

Starting Monday, Advanced Placement exams, which test high schoolers' knowledge of college material, will take an unusual form. The high-anxiety, college credit tests normally last three hours and are taken in person. But this year, in response to disruptions from the coronavirus outbreak, the College Board, which administers AP exams, shortened the tests to 45 minutes and moved them online.

Jessica Hunt / NHPR

High schools have new guidance from the state on hosting graduation ceremonies during school closure. In a memo shared on Wednesday, the New Hampshire Department of Education says schools can host in-person ceremonies, if all attendees can easily maintain proper social distancing.

The Department of Education suggests car parades and virtual graduations as a substitute.

What will happen on college campuses in the fall? It's a big question for families, students and the schools themselves.

A lot of what happens depends on factors outside the control of individual schools: Will there be more testing? Contact tracing? Enough physical space for distancing? Will the coronavirus have a second wave? Will any given state allow campuses to reopen?

For all of these questions, it's really too early to know the answers. But one thing is clear: Life, and learning for the nation's 20 million students in higher education, will be different.

Courtesy Karena Czzowitz

Karena Czzowitz, a junior at Manchester School of Technology, is studying to be a Licensed Nursing Assistant. LNA’s are in high demand across New Hampshire, especially in nursing homes.

But with school closures during the coronavirus pandemic, Karena is missing a big part of her education. 

Pexels

College seniors face a lot of uncertainty these days, not only about their final grades and graduation, but also about a job market in upheaval.

We talk about the challenges facing the Class of 2020 and hear from New Hampshire students who are leaving school and heading out into the real world. 

Air date: Tuesday, May 5, 2020.

NHPR Staff

The state's community college system is seeking millions in federal COVID-19 aid.

Most of the money would be for tuition assistance. The community college system wants more than $29 million to help students pay for classes.

Chuck Ansell is the system’s chief financial officer. On Wednesday, he told members of the legislative committee advising Governor Sununu on COVID-19 aid that the state's community colleges are ready to help create a workforce relevant to local economic needs.

For the last few weeks, it's been tough for Alexis Jones to focus. The high school senior has been holed up in a two-bedroom apartment with, at times, four other people, on the outskirts of Washington, D.C.

She's busy with her high school classes, AP tests, her online college course, plus her job at a nonprofit, for which she is still working remotely. The things that bring her joy in isolation? Painting with acrylics and daydreaming about college.

This week, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced that more than $300 million from the first coronavirus rescue package will go to two education grant competitions for K-12 and higher ed.

States will be able to apply for a piece of the $180 million allotted to the "Rethink K-12 Education Models Grant" and $127.5 million allotted to the "Reimagining Workforce Preparation Grant."

Courtesy of Sandie MacDonald

The New Hampshire Department of Education estimates about a dozen school districts are ending the school year early, due to challenges of remote learning.

Earlier this week, the Monadnock and ConVal school districts became the latest to announce a truncated school year. Rochester, Milford, and the Groveton, Stark and Stratford district are also ending in May.

Some districts eliminated part or all of April break in order to accrue enough class instructional hours to meet state requirements in less time.

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