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NYC Plans to Expand Digital Approach to School Post Pandemic

Citing an achievement gap for some New York students amid school shutdowns, job loss and fatalities due to COVID-19, city officials have outlined a plan to build upon the technology already used in remote learning.

by Kyle Lawson, Staten Island Advocate / December 11, 2020

(TNS) — Citing an "achievement gap" for some New York City students amid school shutdowns, job loss and fatalities due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, city officials have outlined a plan to build upon the technology already used in remote learning.

Full-time, in-person learning would continue in 2021 and the years ahead — but with the addition of individualized learning at home to help some students catch up, and others maximize their potential, explained Mayor  Bill de Blasio  at his daily briefing Thursday.

"Digital allows you to expand and extend upon what happens during the school day," de Blasio said. "We think it opens up a world of possibilities."

Included in the beginning stages of what officials caution to be a years-long process in catching students up academically, while some work through personal trauma associated with the pandemic, are:

—Assessing the setbacks in learning;

—Increasing high-quality digital curriculum for every school;

—Expanding " Parent University";

—Confronting trauma and mental health crises faced by students;

—Launching a one-stop digital learning hub;

—Expanding on professional development.

In addition to teachers already able to tailor instruction toward students' specific needs with remote learning, the goal moving forward also is to "spark intellectual curiosity," said Schools Chancellor  Richard Carranza , who cited anecdotal evidence from parents whom he said have testified their children became more engaged with the use of devices and new learning strategies.

"The new normal we're talking about post-pandemic has really created some opportunities for us to individualize instruction," Carranza said.

With what officials said already is a fairly good idea of where certain students have been set back, the Department of Education now is working on a citywide plan to continue with strategies already working within individual schools, and in some cases implementing new ones.

(c)2020 Staten Island Advance, N.Y. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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