Bringing Equity and Accessibility to Distance Learning

The San Mateo-Foster City School District, and most other districts in San Mateo County and throughout California, have launched Distance Learning Plans in the wake of the COVID-19 health crisis.

The rollout of Distance Learning for some districts was quick, and parents appreciate the concern for continuing learning; however, there has been some concern amongst parents and teachers that given present inequities for poor and disabled students, we may need to take additional steps to make sure that all students have access to this educational opportunity.

Equity and access gaps may include: limited access to technology, no available adult to help guide lessons, or lack of materials and supplies to complete the lessons provided.

Your thoughts on how to help bridge these potential gaps are welcome! I would love to coordinate with anyone who is willing share & discuss ideas, and begin to put them into action.

1. Donations of chromebooks, tablets, etc & chargers for students who need online access for materials/connecting to those who need them (Teachers & Principals might know who needs devices);

2. Donation of school materials & supplies (pencils, pens, paper, crayons, etc) for students who do not have these to do their assignments/delivering items;

3. Parent question board or zoom calls for lesson strategies & planning with the class materials, perhaps we could coordinate with teachers, AND this might also a good way to find out what supports teachers need –

    • tech support for teachers and/or students?
    • community volunteers to assist with lessons, to interview for topics (like a teacher Podcast scenario), to help present materials in a unique way, to be a tutoring resource for students?
    • tech donations for students?
    • Teacher training for tech tools/videos/etc?

4. Parent question board or zoom calls re what to ask for re IEP & 504 supports & accommodations under this model;

5. Other suggestions?

Please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns, or ideas to help make Distance Learning accessible  to all students.

We are ALL in this TOGETHER, and the the sky is the limit for ideas to support our educators and for making at-home education accessible to all students.

All my best,

Chelsea Bonini, chelsea.bonini@gmail.com, 415.531.0508

NPR: With Schools Closed, Kids with Disabilities are More Vulnerable Than Ever

Do you need a device or school supplies? Or would you like to donate a device or supplies to a student?