Juliette Schoenberger, (11), a 6th grader at Montclair Middle School does school work while she and her family self isolate during the shelter-in-place order on March 20,2020 in Oakland, Calif.
Photo: Kate Munsch, Special to The Chronicle
Today, the SF Chronicle reports that California students will not return to classrooms this school year due to the coronavirus. Superintendent of Instruction Tony Thurmond says “Due to the current safety concerns and needs for ongoing social distancing it currently appears that our students will not be able to return to school campuses before the end of the school year,” Thurmond said. “This is in no way to suggest that school is over for the year, but rather we should put all efforts into strengthening our delivery of education through distance learning.”
You can read the full article here.
We just heard from the College Board about test cancellations and rescheduling, and we'd like to share their update with you, as well as a link to resources from the ACT including a free practice test and information for parents and students.
College Board Update
We hope this finds you and yours well. Let me begin by saying how deeply everyone at the College Board appreciates the vital role school counselors, teachers, AP coordinators, principals, and superintendents have played in the past few weeks providing guidance and comfort to students and their families, even as you deal with the stresses on you and your own families. We wish you the best during this immensely challenging time.
In the face of the significant disruptions caused by the coronavirus, the College Board has been seeking and listening to your input on how we might best support you and your students now and in the coming months.
You have been clear: The College Board needs to act to reassure students, counselors, high schools, and higher education that we're committed to providing support, flexibility, and solutions during this crisis.
Because students overwhelmingly told us they want to take their AP Exams, we're providing online learning and AP Exams available at home for all students this spring. We're so grateful to the community of extraordinary teachers who stepped up to teach live classes on YouTube, as well as all the AP educators helping students continue with their study.
We're working to ensure students have the supports they need, including approved accommodations, that low-income students have access to devices and connectivity to participate remotely from home, and that students receive the AP credit they've earned through these exams. Finally, the security of the AP Exams is a top priority. The exam questions are designed and administered in ways that prevent cheating, and we use a range of digital security tools and techniques, including plagiarism detection software, to protect the integrity of the exams.
We know that students are anxious about how the coronavirus crisis will affect the college application process, including taking the SAT. We're committed to being flexible and innovative to give all students opportunities to test as soon as the situation allows. We'll share more details as soon as possible, but today we can tell you the following:
•Currently, the next SAT is scheduled for the first weekend of June. We'll make a decision about whether we can safely hold that administration as soon as it is feasible, given the evolving public health situation.
•We'll add U.S. and international test administrations in response to canceled administrations. We'll be flexible in making the SAT available in school and out of school as soon as the public health situation allows. We're looking at a range of creative solutions to address increased demand and are in direct conversations with states and districts about School Day administrations. Throughout, we'll continue to place a special focus on students with fee waivers and those with accommodations.
•Students can stay sharp and get personalized practice support online for free with Khan Academy.
•If, unfortunately, schools cannot reopen this fall, we're pursuing innovative means to ensure all students can still take the SAT this fall. We'll provide updates about those plans if they become necessary.
Counselors are working especially hard to help students navigate the changing environment, and we're deeply grateful for their commitment to students. To support their work, we're introducing a spring counselor webinar series highlighting updates and resources for the SAT and AP to help counselors navigate and guide students through the college admissions pathway. We'll also help with the increasing need for tools and resources for college affordability.
We're working closely with our members in higher education to minimize the disruption of SAT administration cancellations this spring and to encourage flexibility in the college admissions process whenever possible. We're heartened by those institutions that have already made clear, calming statements that emphasize flexibility in admissions at this time—encouraging students to submit as much information as they can, and reassuring applicants that they will not be disadvantaged should they have to submit Pass/Fail grades for the spring, have incomplete extracurricular profiles, or miss a testing deadline.
Thank you again for all you have done to help your students during this unprecedented time. We look forward to working with you in the months ahead.
CEO, The College Board
Parenting in a Pandemic
How to Navigate the New Normal
In this webinar, Jai Flicker, founder of LifeWorks, and child psychologist Dr. Jeremy Jensen provide insights and strategies on how parents can best support themselves and their children during this challenging and unprecedented time.
Last weekend, the College Board made the difficult but wise decision to cancel the SAT. They have now also cancelled the May exam, while the makers of the ACT have cancelled their April test date.
In light of these developments, what should teens be doing?
I am encouraging all my student to use this unexpected delay in testing to their advantage by setting their target scores higher and striving for loftier personal goals.
This shift in thinking has several benefits.
Psychologically, it is easier to stay motivated for a challenging, even audacious, goal than it is for a mundane, predictable one. The idea of getting a great score is simply more exciting that getting an okay one. Making this shift does not require working with a test prep professional, nor does it mean setting up an oppressive test prep regimen. Rather, it means adjusting one's mindset in a positive way and doing, say, 10 to 15 problems a night so as to keep making forward progress.
The important thing, for a number of reasons, is for students to stay on track with their test prep. The routine of doing their prep, alone, will be helpful psychologically. Attending to our responsibilities is one way we can all maintain a sense of continuity in our lives during this time of dramatic change. And on a practical level, of course, continuing with regular prep will help increase scores.
Learning and improving one's abilities are fundamental endeavors that both support human well-being. Our minds, like our bodies, need healthy, ongoing challenges to remain in shape. Regardless of when the SAT and ACT occur, applying oneself now to the puzzles and problems offered by these tests will increase mental fitness. To do well on the SAT or ACT requires clear thinking, focused attention, high levels of comprehension, and more. These skills and capacities will serve teens well in life and are worth cultivating for their own sake.
So, my message to teens is this: Set your sites high. Make good use of this unexpected "bonus" time. See if you can surpass your own expectations for yourself. And, then, when you do, see if you can do it again...
At this time, we believe the best way to keep both kids and families safe, while still providing students with the best personal and academic support available, is to move all of our tutoring sessions online. To do this, we will be utilizing the Zoom video conferencing platform, effective immediately.
Below is a recording of a webinar from Saturday, March 14, describing what led me to this decision, how this will impact our regular schedule, and what logistical issues students will need to be addressed as we transition over.
Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or need support in any way. My direct email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jai Flicker, CEO - LifeWorks Learning Center