Seattle-area families of color are talking about improving remote education. Here are some of their ideas.

Regina Elmi is the executive director of the Somali Parent Education Board. Ann Ishimaru is associate professor of education at the University of Washington. The authors wrote this piece along with 10 other African American, Somali, Latina and Vietnamese parent leaders from the Renton, Federal Way, Kent, Highline and Seattle school districts.

Thousands of families and caregivers in King County are anxious as schools operate online. In recent months, we’ve experienced the devastation of COVID-19 and a summer of reckoning with anti-Black racism sparked by the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and the shooting of Jacob Blake.

We also see racial inequities deepening in our schools. As difficult and heartbreaking as this time has been, many families in BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) communities have been mobilizing and finding creative ways to support and educate their children.

We challenge educational systems to consider: What might

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Remote learning during COVID-19 has many parents learning their own limits | Momaha

As school kicked off, though, Hammett-Caster was “terrified” of her ability to teach her daughter while keeping up with Zoom calls and other work duties.

“I’m worried about being responsible for my kids’ learning,” she said.

She might enroll her daughter in a facilitated learning and day-care center, where staff would oversee her daughter’s schoolwork. But that, too, has drawbacks.

“I worry about trusting her education with people who are not teachers,” Hammett-Caster said of the day-care center staff. “It’s analysis paralysis. There’s no 100% good option. I cried for a day because I just thought, ‘This is not good for her, or for me.'”

But she and her husband are great partners, who parent equally, walk every night, and occasionally connect with friends online to ease stress and worry.

Migee Han co-parents her 6-year-old son, Dylan with her former partner, and works full-time as the chief development and communications

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Schools use help desk to address remote learning issues

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Lafayette Parish School System employees are fielding calls from students about how to log in to virtual learning, change their passwords and other technical issue that come up as they cope with remote instruction during COVID-19.

At least 30 teachers, librarians and technology staff serve as technical facilitators at the central office and schools across the district to answer the questions, with each school donating at least six hours a week, said Chief Administrative Officer Jennifer Gardner.

This allows for four employees at one time to be on hand to answer families’ “requests for help” submitted online or by calling the Link & Learn technology help desk.

During the first week of school, a four-day week due to Labor Day, the help desk fielded nearly 1,000 requests, and 95% have been solved, said Ryan Domengeaux, CEO of the William C. Schumacher Family Foundation.

The foundation has

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After six months of remote learning, tech for students still a work in progress, limited by funding | Education

The shift to remote learning over a weekend in March meant Manchester had to make sure every student had a computer to use for schoolwork.

Six months later, it’s still a work in progress, said Stephen Cross, the school district’s chief information officer.

At the beginning of 2020, Manchester was a “two-to-one” district — two students to one computer, he said. Cross had replaced thousands of outdated laptops before the pandemic and has purchased thousands more, but some students are still waiting.

“We have 3,100 Chromebooks on order, and we have no idea when we’re going to get those,” he said. 

Some schools had a surplus of Chromebooks, so Cross engineered a way to loan some of those schools’ devices to other schools.

“That’s how we’ve been getting devices into the hands of families, moving things around,” Cross said. “We had to scrounge. It was ‘do whatever we can,’ to

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