Coronavirus Coverage - Parenting and Families | New Hampshire Public Radio

Coronavirus Coverage - Parenting and Families

Photo Credit woodleywonderworks via Flickr Creative Commons

The state’s child care licensing unit has received four applications this summer to reopen non- day care spaces as sites for child care and remote learning. 

Officials tell NHPR they did not receive applications like this last year. This comes as many businesses in the state are struggling to remain open due to the economic stress of the pandemic. 

One of the businesses applying for this license is Cowabunga - an indoor playground in Manchester that hosts parties for kids. 

NHPR File

Bus drivers are among the many school employees raising concerns about districts' plans to reopen.

New Hampshire has struggled for years with a school bus driver shortage, and the pandemic could make it even harder to retain drivers.

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As scientists study the burden of COVID-19 around the globe, it's pretty clear that despite some cases of serious illness, kids tend to get infected with the coronavirus less often and have milder symptoms compared to adults.

"It seems consistently, children do have lower rates of infection than adults," says Dr. Alison Tribble, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital at the University of Michigan.

Concord Parks and Rec Department

New Hampshire’s day camps are allowed to open today, but some won’t be bringing kids back until later in the season.

Rus Wilson, Portsmouth’s recreation director, says that city's camps are starting up on July 6th, the same day its public pool opens.

Pixabay

Children are facing not only the stress of remote learning and social isolation as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but also a week of social unrest across the country. In the midst of all this uncertainty and loss, how are they handling the turmoil? We discuss childrens' mental health, how we can address their concerns and what the long-term impacts might be. 

Air date: Tuesday, June 2, 2020. 

As school lets out, parents look to school districts, recreation programs, and overnight camps to keep kids busy, happy, and safe. We talk with summer programs across the state about how they're preparing in the midst of the pandemic, and the tough decisions they're making to ensure safety of children and staff, as a vital resource for families and our economy. 

Air date: Tuesday, May 26, 2020. 

Courtesy DDA604 via Flickr/Creative Commons. (https://flic.kr/p/6H6XSo)

As of May 1, more than 300 child care programs statewide have been designated as emergency providers to help support the children and families of essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But Christina Lachance of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation says some emergency child care centers are closing their doors due to a lack of demand.

“I think as more businesses have shut down, some centers, although they had wanted to remain open, just don’t have enough volume to remain open,” she says.

Wikimedia Commons

State child care advocates say New Hampshire’s essential industries will not be able to operate at full capacity without first expanding access to and affordability of child care.

Health and Human Services Associate Commissioner Chris Tappan says that in the grocery industry, for example, over a quarter of employees are in need of some type of child care.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

New Hampshire is laying out a potential phased plan for resuming normal operations at state parks and other outdoor recreation sites, with new controls to protect public health.

Most state parks have remained open and well trafficked, including by out-of-state visitors, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, many public and private campgrounds, beaches and other amenities and attractions have closed.

VIA Q1045

With schools closed for the rest of the year, many major milestones for high schoolers are suddenly being canceled as well - everything from graduations, to proms, spring sports, and school plays.

Because of this, teens may be feeling overwhelming loss, disappointment, and uncertainty about the future, which can lead to more serious mental health problems like anxiety and depression.

NHPR's Peter Biello spoke with Kallie Provencher, the school social worker at Nashua High School North, to learn more about how teens are coping with the COVID-19 crisis.

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.

Courtesy Gabby Bradt

Before school closure, Dr. Susan Pike’s classrooms were loud, and she prided herself on it.

Students in her high school science classes at the private school St. Thomas Aquinas High School, in Dover, would do calculations together on the white board, bounce between group experiments, and crowd over microscopes to inspect pond scum.

“One of the favorites is the pond water [lessons], where we're looking at different species and then doing things with food webs, and they're all looking at microscopes and finding these disgusting worms,” she says. “And people are talking to each other and sharing their ideas.”

Courtesy of Cadence Solsky

It's been a tough week for New Hampshire students, teachers and parents.

Governor Chris Sununu officially closed schools for the rest of the academic year, which means seniors like Cadence Solsky of Concord will spend their last semester of high school at home.  

Click here to sign up for our coronavirus newsletter to get the latest updates.

NHPR Photo

Gov. Chris Sununu has ordered remote learning at New Hampshire schools to be extended through the end of the academic year. That means all public schools, and private schools, will remain closed, as students continue their studies from home.

NHPR's Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Department of Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut about what this means for students, parents, and educators across the state.

(Editor's note: this transcript has been edited lightly for clarity.)

Remote Learning: How Are Grades K-12 Faring?

Apr 17, 2020
Needpix

It’s been one month since schools in New Hampshire were shuttered to stem the spread of coronavirus, and now, they'll be closed for the remainder of the academic year.

Since then, teachers, parents, and administrators have been working to implement remote learning for students in kindergarten through high school. Teachers have had to re-work their curricula while coordinating with parents about students' academic needs.

Meanwhile, students are feeling the pressure, and many are already weeks behind on their schoolwork. In the first hour of our special on how N.H. students are adjusting to remote learning during stay-at-home orders, we talk with teachers, parents, and administrators about how it has been going for them and what changes might be made in the future.

Air date: Monday, April 20, 2020, from 9-10 a.m.

Courtesy of Caly Duquette

Many businesses across New Hampshire are closed right now because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But some are busier than ever.

Birthing centers are in that last group. The small, midwife-led facilities are getting inundated with calls from expectant parents. The new patients say they’re concerned that the hospital will no longer be a safe place to deliver their baby so they’re looking to change their birth plan.

But all this new attention is putting a strain on midwives as they try to maintain a more personalized birth experience.

Sean Hurley

If you’re thinking that right now is the perfect time to bag some peaks and get that Four Thousand Footer patch, AMC committee member Steve Smith says think again.   

“The mantra has been 'Stay Low and Local,'” Smith says, “but we felt that enough people weren't listening to that. And we decided that we needed to take a step further, and just say that we would not count the peaks for anybody that's working on a list as sort of a disincentive.”

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

One month ago today, Gov. Chris Sununu issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency in New Hampshire due to the coronavirus.

Since then, the governor has issued more than two dozen additional emergency orders, touching nearly every aspect of life in the state - shutting all public schools, closing nonessential businesses, and encouraging Granite Staters to stay at home unless necessary.

jimmywayne / Flickr Creative Commons

Universities and colleges are sending updated guidance to families on how to fill out the U.S. Census, in light of confusion over student residency during campus closures caused by the coronavirus.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

There’s a gem of a plot of land in Kensington, in the southeastern corner of the state, that is usually closed to the public.

But with the stress of the coronavirus taking a toll, the owners of the Alnoba property are opening their arms to the community.

File Photo, NHPR

New Hampshire school districts are weighing whether to cancel April vacation in light of coronavirus-related closures. Some districts have sent out surveys to families and teachers before making a final call this week.

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Courtesy Krystin Cooney

Families are spending a lot of time together these days, often confined to their houses – and if they’re lucky, some open space or woods nearby.

That's led to some deep explorations for one family into the mysteries behind their house.

Courtesy of Katie Rivera

Katie Rivera is scared. She’s 38 weeks pregnant, sitting in her car in a doctor’s office parking lot. She’s far enough along now that she’s supposed to see her doctor every week.

She used to like these appointments - they were calming. She’d bring her 2-year-old Elle, the nurses would give Elle stickers - it was nice. 

But now, Elle’s not allowed. Katie is waiting until the last possible second to go in there, to minimize any potential exposure.

Sara Plourde | NHPR

If you’re interested in more information about how to get outside during the COVID-19 Pandemic, check out the latest episode of Outside/In, or the episode of the Exchange from earlier this week.

New Hampshire residents could be forgiven for being slightly confused about whether they’re allowed to go for a hike or not. 

Sara Plourde | NHPR

For parents staying at home right now, there's added pressure besides trying to figure out work, money, and other stressors related to the coronavirus pandemic. That pressure is all about learning at home...and we're wondering, how's that going in your house?

This program aired on Wednesday, April 1st.

Courtesy of Liz Kirwan

New Hampshire school districts began another week of remote learning with a new timeline: school closures until at least May, if not the rest of the semester.

Schools are figuring out how to deliver the essentials to students at home, but a lot of teachers and families say that even those basics are overwhelming. 

CDC

New Hampshire is one of the country’s oldest states - and many seniors here are doing whatever they can to avoid leaving the house. 

Public health experts warn that elderly people are among the most at-risk for developing serious illness or dying from the coronavirus.

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But as NHPR’s Jason Moon reports, that’s exacerbating a problem that’s already present for many seniors – a sense of isolation.

Courtesy of Timberlane Regional School District

Families in the Timberlane Regional School District are awaiting a school board vote Tuesday night that will determine whether to allow videoconferencing for remote learning.

The board will vote on a memorandum of understanding between the Timberlane Teachers’ Association and the district, outlining the implementation of videoconferencing and giving staff the option to use it.

As of now, there is no video conferencing in the district, making it an outlier in the statewide shift to online remote learning.

US Army Corp of Engineers / Flickr CC

A coalition of administrative and teacher associations is issuing recommendations for remote learning in New Hampshire. The guidance comes as districts face long-term school closure until at least May, if not for the rest of the semester.

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Courtesy of Gabby Oja

Schools are wrapping up their first full week of remote learning - and for many students and teachers, that’s meant a lot of time online. But this transition has been particularly difficult for families without reliable internet at home.

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