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News from the Superintendent

Posted: April 13, 2020

How Schools Will Overcome the Coronavirus Slide

Read Superintendent Reedy's comments in Education Week.

Education Week interviewed five superintendents on ideas and solutions they are considering for making up for lost time. Here is what Superintendent Reedy had to say.

Read the Education Week article.

Raquel Reedy, superintendent, Albuquerque Public Schools, Albuquerque, N.M.

Reedy said district leaders, despite the unprecedented disruption to the last weeks and months of this school year, should take a longer view of students’ educational careers. Most students will miss what may amount to one-quarter of in-school instruction this academic year. That’s out of the more than 13 years of schooling they get from kindergarten through the end of high school, she said.

Albuquerque is running a virtual learning program and purchased 18,000 Chromebooks to deliver to students who did have not devices at home. About 8,000 have been distributed so far. The district has a partnership with the local PBS station to provide four hours of programming for students daily, including a bilingual hour in Spanish and English. And it’s working with the city to expand the number of hot spots available to students who don’t have access to the internet.

She anticipates that teachers will need to start planning for the new school year earlier to develop programs to help students catch up. They’ll likely have to adjust where they normally pick up in the curriculum.

“We need to say, ‘OK, you’ve always been able to start X unit in your language arts class or in your chemistry class…You may need to spend some time reviewing with the students the different concepts and the foundational information they need to have before you can start unit X,” Reedy said. “Reviewing is never a bad thing. But again, bringing kids up to snuff as far as what’s required, what skills they need, what knowledge they need to have before you can enter a unit—which is good teaching practices anyway—we’ll want to reinforce that.”

The district has already extended online instruction through June, with additional extensions possible, for seniors to get the credits they need to graduate.

Still, Reedy and other superintendents think that with teachers and students forced to adapt to online learning almost overnight, the in-class experience will be very different when they return.

While schools have always talked about flipped classrooms and other ways to incorporate technology into the classroom, actual practice has largely remained the province of a few dedicated teachers. Now, with the coronavirus closures, everyone had to make the leap.

“I think the comfort level that teachers are going to have as a result of being pushed into this is going to reap some real benefits as far as instruction and the use of different modalities,” Reedy said. “It will [look different] because students and teachers have put themselves in a different [level] so to speak, and stretched themselves in ways that they have never truly been asked to do.”