COVID & the Classroom | New Hampshire Public Radio

COVID & the Classroom

The coronavirus pandemic has upended the education system across the country, and in New Hampshire. School leaders are making some of the hardest decisions of their lives, and school staff, students, and families are navigating unknown territory that could have big consequences.

For some, the risks of contracting and spreading the virus are too high to return to school. But closing or limiting access to school can hamper kids’ education, deepen existing inequalities, and wreak havoc on family finances.

NHPR’s “COVID & the Classroom” tells the stories of how Granite Staters are weighing the necessity of employment and school with the realities of the pandemic. We’re here to answer your questions, investigate what’s not working, and share how communities and families are adapting.

Learn more about stories we’re working on and ways to get in touch.

We welcome tips, questions and stories about what you’re experiencing - and we love to see photos showing how learning is different right now. Get in touch at education@nhpr.org.

Courtesy of Sarah Wong

In the two weeks since a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol, many people in New Hampshire have been trying to make sense of the news. That includes kids, who are still learning the basics of government and politics. And it also includes many families and teachers, who say with the right approach, the events of this month can become teaching opportunities.

Dan Tuohy for NHPR

The New Hampshire Department of Education is partnering with a new online program to offer free tutoring to high school students.

A continuación, encuentra las noticias del lunes 11 de enero.

Escucha haciendo click en el audio o léelas en esta publicación. 

Una nota: Lo escrito es nuestro guión para nuestras grabaciones. Tenlo en cuenta si ven algunas anotaciones diferentes.

Funcionarios reportan nuevos casos y nuevos fallecimientos mientras continúan en primera fase de vacunación

Los funcionarios de salud de New Hampshire reportaron 797 [setecientos noventa y siete] nuevos casos de COVID-19 el domingo.

Dan Tuohy for NHPR

Students, teachers and school staff in New Hampshire now have prioritized access to COVID-19 testing. The state says close to two dozen hospitals and outpatient practices across the state will give priority appointments within 24 hours to members of school communities who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

Flickr/Ivan Radic

Far fewer young children are attending public kindergarten and preschool programs this year, according to recently released data from the New Hampshire Department of Education. The decline is part of a state-wide trend of decreased public school enrollment during the pandemic that is most dramatic among younger grades.

Dan Tuohy for NHPR

Most of New Hampshire's biggest school districts have gone largely remote, as coronavirus cases continue to rise.

Of the state's fifteen largest districts, the majority were in virtual instruction at some point this December.

Shane Adams via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/OJ5Pe

A continuación, encuentra las noticias del jueves 17 de diciembre. 

Puedes escucharlas haciendo click en el audio o leerlas.

Una nota: Lo escrito es nuestro guión para nuestras grabaciones. Tenlo en cuenta si ven algunas anotaciones diferentes.

Contagios, hospitalizaciones y fallecimientos por COVID siguen aumentando en New Hampshire

Los casos de COVID-19 continúan en un número elevado en New Hampshire. 

Manchester School District

por Sarah Gibson, traducción por Daniela Vidal Allee

El distrito escolar de Manchester ha publicado nuevos datos que muestran que los estudiantes de secundaria y bachillerato han tenido dificultades durante la pandemia, especialmente, los estudiantes de color. 

Un análisis de las calificaciones y asistencia del primer trimestre -- cuando la mayoría de los estudiantes tomaban clases remotas -- mostró que en comparación al año pasado, casi 10 por ciento más de los estudiantes perdieron o faltaron a clases este otoño. 

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

Snow is on its way to New Hampshire, but some schools say students and parents shouldn’t expect a snow day to come with it.

With tens of thousands of Granite State students now learning at home, superintendents now have to decide if a snow day is warranted. Some say it isn't.

Courtesy of Manchester School District

The Manchester school district has released new data that shows middle and high school students are struggling during the pandemic, especially students of color.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Throughout this school year, NHPR’s COVID & The Classroom reporting initiative has asked students, teachers and parents to share their stories of what education looks like during the pandemic.

Although many New Hampshire schools are currently in hybrid or remote status, many are still moving forward with winter sports.  COVID-19 transmission in school buildings has remained relatively low, but high-contact sports have raised some safety concerns.

There are strong feelings about this. Many school boards are in favor of continuing sports — while school administrators have pushed back.

As schools debate the issue, we asked our audience,  “Can winter sports be safe during the pandemic, and are they worth the risk?”

This is a snapshot of the state's school dashboard as of Dec. 11. The actual dashboard might reflect different numbers, depending on when you're reading this.
NH.gov/COVID19

Measuring the impact of COVID-19 in New Hampshire schools is a major concern for officials at the state and local level, not to mention families and school staff.

Emily Donati

New Hampshire's school nurses are among the people on the front lines of the pandemic. Emily Donati began working as a school nurse this year at Lamprey River Elementary School in Raymond. She spoke with NHPR's Peter Biello.

Courtesy of Ken Gordon

The coronavirus pandemic has isolated a lot of us, but it’s also brought community institutions together in a new way. In New Hampshire's North Country, a daily zoom call has become essential for leaders managing the fallout of the pandemic.

An outside classroom in Westmoreland New Hampshire
Sarah Gibson / NHPR

Early research on the coronavirus in schools and among young people suggests that with proper precautions, classrooms are not the superspreaders that many had feared. 

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

As coronavirus cases surge, a growing number of school districts in New Hampshire are closing their doors and offering mostly virtual instruction instead of in-person classes. But Gov. Chris Sununu and state health officials are urging schools to stay open, saying virus transmission in schools is limited and the payoff of in-person learning is high.

NHPR’s education reporter Sara Gibson has been following this and spoke with All Things Considered host Emily Quirk.

Amanda Loder for NHPR

Fewer students in New Hampshire are attending their neighborhood public school this year, according to new data from the state Department of Education.

The state typically sees a one percent drop in public school enrollment each year, due to aging demographics, but this fall’s decline is far more significant: about four percent statewide.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

The coronavirus pandemic has upended the education system across the country, and in New Hampshire. 

NHPR’s “COVID & the Classroom” tells the stories of how Granite Staters are weighing the necessity of employment and school with the realities of the pandemic. And we want to hear from you.

Courtesy of Manchester School District

The coronavirus pandemic has led to a nationwide expansion of the free and reduced lunch program for K-12 students, but unfilled paperwork could mean districts miss out on millions of dollars for low-income students next year.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The state's largest school district is going remote, citing a steady rise in coronavirus cases and potential staffing shortages.

The Manchester Board of School Committee announced the decision on Tuesday, as the 7-day PCR Test Positivity Rate hovered around 7%, one of the highest in the state. The move takes effect Monday, Nov. 23.

Checking In With Teachers

Nov 11, 2020
A teacher writes on a whiteboard.
Pxfuel

In the second episode of our two-part check-in on public education, we talk with New Hampshire teachers about how this school year has been going for them as they manage a variety of learning models and try to stay safe. 

This discussion follows an interview with Commissioner Frank Edelblut on Tuesday, November 10th.

Air date: Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. 

Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut

Nov 9, 2020
Commissioner Frank Edelblut speaks at a press conference for COVID-19.
Dan Tuohy; NHPR

Commissioner Frank Edelblut will answer your questions and talk with us about the ways the Department of Education is providing support for K-12 students, teachers, and staff across New Hampshire, and how the pandemic is impacting enrollment and resources. Send your questions to exchange@nhpr.org. 

Air date: Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

Many school districts in New Hampshire are open, at least for now, with a hybrid or fully in-person model. But in Nashua, schools have remained mostly closed since March.

NHPR File

With coronavirus cases rising and Thanksgiving around the corner, some school districts are weighing whether to go remote until after the holidays.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

A spike in coronavirus cases is forcing many New Hampshire school superintendents to consider going remote.

So far, state officials say school reopening has contributed very little to the state’s coronavirus numbers, but many districts’ reopening metrics require them to reassess their schedule when community transmission levels reach those seen in the last week.

CDC.gov

This post was updated with new information on Nov. 2.

A youth residential facility in Plymouth is dealing with a cluster of COVID-19 cases.

As of Monday, the state's coronavirus data dashboard repoted 19 active cases. A spokesman for the state health department says the latest number reflects ten cases among academy staff and nine cases among youth.

Courtesy of Julie Turner

 

With many of the state’s largest school districts remote or hybrid, students - including young elementary schoolers - are expected to be online for hours at a time. NHPR asked parents and teachers how they’re managing this increase in screen time.

Click here to tell us your story for COVID & the Classroom about navigating school, COVID-19, and the election. 

People sent us stories of creativity, frustration and profound anxiety. Some parents were so concerned about screen time and "Zoom fatigue" that they had opted to homeschool or enrolled in a private school with in-person learning. Here’s a sample of what we heard, and some best practices from local experts on how to manage screen time more effectively.

 

Courtesy of Gorham Middle & High School Facebook page

Schools in the Androscoggin Valley have avoided COVID-related quarantines and shutdowns so far, but COVID-19 cases at the federal prison in Berlin have school leaders on alert.

Elizabeth Roberts via Flicker CC / https://flic.kr/p/4y6u4a

Kids in school have had to take precautions to protect them from COVID-19, and that includes during gym class.

New Hampshire's physical education teachers have made efforts to keep kids physically distant, and some have gotten creative with videos and games to keep kids active as they learn remotely.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

Schools in New Hampshire are getting an additional $45 million to help with coronavirus-related expenses.

Gov. Chris Sununu announced the funding at a press conference Thursday, following recommendations from lawmakers on the Governor’s Office for Economic Relief and Recovery Legislative Advisory Board.

Most of the money - which comes to the state from the federal CARES Act - will go to school districts directly, at a rate of approximately $200 per pupil.

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