TechCrunch: New York legislature votes to halt facial recognition tech in schools for two years. “The state of New York voted this week to pause for two years any implementation of facial recognition technology in schools. The moratorium, approved by the New York Assembly and Senate Wednesday, comes after an upstate school district adopted the technology earlier this year, prompting a lawsuit in June from the New York Civil Liberties Union on behalf of parents. If New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signs the legislation into law, the moratorium would freeze the use of any facial recognition in school systems in the state until July 1, 2022.”
Johns Hopkins University: Johns Hopkins Launches Reopening Policy Tracker For K-12 Schools. “A multidisciplinary team of Johns Hopkins University researchers has launched a new website that provides a range of tools dedicated to assessing and guiding K-12 school reopening plans across the United States, including a School Reopening Policy Tracker that provides real-time analysis of the latest guidance documents from every state.”
AZ Central: As Trump pushes to reopen schools, Arizona school leaders face more uncertainty. “As President Donald Trump’s administration pushes for schools to reopen on time, a small community in eastern Arizona is reeling from the death of a teacher who contracted COVID-19 after she taught summer school virtually while in the same room as two other teachers. The school district’s superintendent, Jeff Gregorich, said three teachers went above and beyond in taking precautions against the spread of the virus while teaching in the same room, but all three contracted COVID-19.”
New York Times: N.Y.C. Schools, Nation’s Largest District, Will Not Fully Reopen in Fall. “About four months after 1.1 million New York City children were forced into online learning, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday that public schools would still not fully reopen in September, saying that classroom attendance would instead be limited to only one to three days a week in an effort to continue to curb the coronavirus outbreak.”
AP: Schools or bars? Opening classrooms may mean hard choices. “President Donald Trump insists that schools reopen this fall. Many parents, educators, doctors and economists want the same thing. But getting children back to school safely could mean keeping high-risk spots like bars and gyms closed. A growing chorus of public health experts is urging federal, state and local officials to reconsider how they are reopening the broader economy, and to prioritize K-12 schools — an effort that will likely require closing some other establishments to help curb the virus spread and give children the best shot at returning to classrooms.”
AP: DeVos rejects part-time reopening for schools amid pandemic. “Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday assailed plans by some local districts to offer in-person instruction only a few days a week and said schools must be ‘fully operational’ even amid the coronavirus pandemic. Anything less, she says, would fail students and taxpayers.”
WTXL: FL Education Commissioner requires all Florida school districts to reopen campuses in August. “Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran has issued an executive order requiring all of Florida’s public K-12 schools to reopen in August. As part of the executive order issued Monday, school districts and charter school governing boards must open brick and mortar schools at least five days per week for all students in August.”
Greensboro News & Record: From math to PE, teachers creating online video library for Guilford County Schools students. “Guilford County Schools is pulling together a new resource for parents and students, who are finishing the school year virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic. It is an online library of district-made videos explaining topics that students should or would be learning about in their grade levels. Teachers and others have been working for weeks to make the videos. This week, the district started uploading them to a special spot on its website for distance learning.”
School Library Journal: What Librarians Are Doing to Support Students and Teachers in the Shutdown | SLJ COVID-19 Survey. “School Library Journal’s School COVID-19 Response Survey queried K-12 librarians from April 2 to April 12 about their experience. More than 1,000 librarians responded, providing information about preparedness for remote learning; how librarians are supporting students and teachers, and more. Topics included services they have provided staff and students, school schedules and curriculum, plans for returned library books when schools reopen, and the pandemic’s possible impact on future purchasing.”
New York Times: How School Districts are Outsmarting a Microbe. “Confronting the unprecedented challenge of lengthy school closures because of coronavirus, the nation’s roughly 13,000 public school districts are scrambling to cope. Almost no district was truly ready to plunge into remote learning full time and with no end in sight. There is no one-size-fits-all remedy and no must-have suite of digital learning tools. Leaders have largely had to find their own way, spurring a hodgepodge of local innovations. As the struggle continues, a few overarching lessons learned — about equity, expectations and communication — are now helping schools navigate this crisis on the fly.”
US News & World Report: Many Schools Are Not Providing Any Instruction Amid Closures. “WITH SCHOOLS CLOSED FOR more than 55 million children across the country – and shuttered for the rest of the academic year in seven states – school district leaders are scrambling to establish some kind of distance learning routine.”
The 74: New Database: Dozens of School Districts Share Their Early Plans for Teaching, Learning and Supports During the Pandemic. Here’s What the Top 12 Systems Are Doing. “…the logistics of getting millions of kids — and also their parents — comfortable with online tools and curricula will be a considerable challenge. So what are districts doing in the face of this unprecedented challenge? A new and evolving public database compiled by the Center on Reinventing Public Education, a research center based at the University of Washington Bothell, is capturing specific district-by-district efforts in transitioning to distance efforts.”
From No Kid Hungry North Carolina: School Meals Updates During COVID-19 Closures. This is a breakdown of where to get school meals for kids in North Carolina, broken out by county.
It started off as a Google Sheet and then it moved to its own domain because it got really, really big: Amazing Educational Resources. It’s described on the front page as “Education Companies Offering Free Subscriptions due to School Closings (Updated) : Amazing Educational Resources.” There are also links to a Facebook support group.
Forbes: Exclusive: Zoom CEO Eric Yuan Is Giving K-12 Schools His Videoconferencing Tools For Free. “Students or teachers who fill out an online form using their school email addresses and are then verified by Zoom will have any accounts associated with that school’s domain also gain unlimited temporary meeting minutes, according to a site set up for the process overnight. The free Basic accounts are also available by request in Austria, Denmark, France, Ireland, Poland, Romania and South Korea, a spokesperson for Zoom said.”