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4 tips to help parents manage distance learning amid pandemic

KCRA Sacramento logo KCRA Sacramento 7/16/2020
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School districts across Northern California are transitioning to distance learning plans for the fall as COVID-19 cases surge across the state.

Now, parents are left trying to figure out how to help their children succeed in at-home, virtual classrooms.

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Families are encouraged to reach out to their students' school districts to to find support and different ways officials can help.

KCRA 3's Emily Maher spoke with Lisa Lavasseur, a program specialist in the Elk Grove Unified School District Office of Family & Community Engagement, to see what help the district is offering to parents.

Q: How can parents prepare their kids to return to distance learning this fall?

Lavasseur: It’s important to be positive. Make sure you have a positive spin on this new chapter. "We’re not going to be going back to in-person school, we’re going to be distance learning at home."

It’s important to remind kids that their teachers are still there and they still love them and they care about them.

I think it’s also important that your child feels comfortable with technology. Have a place where they can focus and not be distracted. Set that up ahead of time, so that kids can practice doing that.

Q: What behavioral signs should parents be looking for to make sure their child is transitioning well to distance learning?

Lavasseur: As a mother of two school-age children that have lived through this first part of distance learning and are now going to be experiencing it, again, I can say that it’s important to check in with your children on a daily basis.

Ask questions that don’t get a response of "Nothing," or yes-or-no responses that require more than a one-word answer.

I think it’s a great time to ask your child how they’re doing when you’re driving, so they don’t have to look at you and they can’t get out of the car. It’s an easy way to do the conversation and do a check-in.

Q: What resources is the Elk Grove Unified School District providing to help families?

Lavasseur: We also are creating this year, some support groups for families to be able to communicate with each other, virtually, so they can listen and learn from each other …

We’re working on supporting families with the technology platform that we’ll be using in the fall when we start distance learning. We’re creating webinars and videos so families feel comfortable navigating technology.

We’re creating videos on how families can support academics at home, tips on what they can do to help their child be a success.

| MORE | These NorCal school districts have COVID-19 reopening plans

Q: What resources are available to families where English is not the language spoken at home?

Lavasseur: We have several employees that speak multiple languages.

We never want that to be a barrier for families, so we encourage families to reach out to their teachers and principals and then they can contact us and we can make sure their needs are met and that they understand what is happening.

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