Iowa City program helps students navigate online learning

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — While Kevyn Doningueiz, 11, a sixth-grader at Mark Twain Elementary, focuses on his virtual learning, his younger siblings get help from volunteers who can teach them how to use the computer and access online classes — thanks to Neighborhood NESTS.

The Neighborhood NESTS — Nurturing Every Student Together Safely — is organized and operated by local not-for-profit groups for students in the Iowa City Community School District to access free Wi-Fi and get technical and academic support from volunteers, and for families to receive some child care services.

Doningueiz has been attending a Neighborhood NESTS operated by Open Heartland, a not-for-profit serving families in five mobile home communities in Johnson County whose residents are mainly Hispanic immigrants.

When Iowa City schools announced a virtual start to the school year, Open Heartland pivoted its mission to open a nest.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports the organization

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NAU program helping kids with special needs navigate online learning | State of Arizona Schools

FLAGSTAFF, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Sarah Dorman from Flagstaff has been on a mission to help her 11-year-old son with special needs and many other families facing online learning hurdles. The mother of two decided to reach out to Northern Arizona University with an idea to utilize college students who are hungry for experience.

“You can’t understate the value of our future educators; they have the heart for our kiddos,” said Dorman.

She helped kick-start a new program at the College of Education where seniors can get credit for going into families’ homes and helping students with disabilities with virtual learning.

“They are literally making a difference for some of our most deserving students in such a unique way. It has been wonderful,” said Michelle Novelli, an assistant clinical professor with the Department of Teaching and Learning at NAU.

Novelli said the students in the program trained for weeks before

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Battle Ground schools Parent Academy helps families navigate kids’ virtual learning

Cassondra Smith’s office looks more like a semi-pro film studio these days, complete with a glowing ring light and heavy-duty microphone.

The Vancouver woman is an educational technology coach for Battle Ground Public Schools, a job whose pandemic purpose is evident in her title. Usually, Smith is working to help teachers navigate their classroom websites and digital assignments. In this time of virtual learning from home, she’s busier than ever.

“With distance learning it is very challenging trying to get students to access their assignments, to connect with their teachers,” Smith said. “Things are just brand new right now.”

For frazzled families, there can be no greater barrier to virtual learning than connecting to classes. It’s why Battle Ground Public Schools launched its Parent Academy program this school year, giving parents class work of their own to help them navigate virtual learning.

Smith is among those teachers spending a few

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