COVID-19 is leading to months of learning loss for students across the state of California. So state leaders are providing schools $5.3 billion in funding to try to address the issue moving forward. Much of that money is going to devices, software, and internet access for distance learning. The challenge for education organizations here and across the country is knowing how to deploy available funding to have the biggest effect on teaching and learning.
As the general manager of education, instruction, and operations at nonprofit Neighborhood House Association, I oversaw an urgent and unexpected transition to distance learning last spring. In the case of our children still preparing for kindergarten, we were fortunate enough to have an experienced partner to help us navigate the challenges. After experiencing the process, I learned four key lessons that will benefit schools and districts looking to support distance learning this fall.
Finding like-minded partners
Neighborhood House Association is a 105-year-old nonprofit organization based in San Diego. We operate 26 different social service programs that support children from pregnancy through their senior year of high school. As part of that work, we administer Head Start programs for about 7,000 students at 120 locations around San Diego. We don’t do it alone, though. We have partnerships with school districts, community colleges, childcare providers, and any other organizations committed to the education and welfare of children.