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.

Every few weeks, we ask you a new question to help inform our reporting. Click here to see our current question.

You can also email us tips and questions about what you’re seeing, or photos of remote learning at education@nhpr.org.

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. 

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.

biologycorner / Flickr Creative Commons

 

Groups representing public school administrators and teachers are calling for the state to postpone student assessments this spring, in light of emergency school closures.

U.S. Department of Education told states they could apply for a waiver to defer tests required by federal law until the end of the national emergency. The DOE is streamlining the application process for states applying for the waiver; nearly all have applied, with the exception of New Hampshire.

NHPR Photo

It’s a big transition week for school districts in New Hampshire. By next Monday, they’re expected to begin remote learning for students until at least April 3, as part of the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Districts are communicating with families and teachers about how this will all work, but many questions remain. 

Courtesy of Manchester School District

 

Manchester, the state's largest school district, is racing to get ready for remote learning as part of the statewide closure of all public schools.

Like many districts, Manchester is compiling data from surveys sent out to parents and students about their home access to Internet and computers or tablets. 

Courtesy of Martha Dalrymple

 

With New Hampshire schools now closed, teachers are facing an unprecedented challenge: how to teach their students remotely for at least three weeks. Schools are figuring out how to get meals and computers to students in need, and teachers are trying to figure out how to keep students engaged while isolated at home. NHPR’s Sarah Gibson has more.

File Photo, NHPR

As states across the country announce school closures in response to COVID-19, an increasing number of districts in New Hampshire are following suit, as they assess their ability to offer remote learning in the event of long-term shutdowns.

USDA / Flickr CC

The New Hampshire Department of Education is asking the USDA for waivers so that schools can continue offering meals to students even if buildings close in response to COVID-19.

Other states are making similar requests, as schools prepare for the possibility of having to close buildings and shift to long-term remote instruction.

Click here for our live blog for the latest updates on coronavirus in New Hampshire.

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