History is at an inflection point. The coronavirus pandemic is spreading like rapid-fire, across the world and throughout countries, disrupting every avenue of life. It really is no wonder the World Health Organization has labeled the pandemic as "the defining global health crisis of our time.”
As governments work hard to stop the spread of this contagion, schools and education have been severely impacted. From myriad shutdowns to tele-school, education over the next few months promises to be anything but normal.
Here at Genie Academy (formerly Math Genie), we are committed to ensuring that our students' education is not compromised, and that learning opportunities remain abundant. Remember, inside every child there is an inner genius -- and no amount of Coronavirus or Social Distancing can ever quell that genius.
Hence, in order to ensure our students remain committed to learning and holding on to their inner geniuses, we are rolling out our own online classes to supplement tele-school learning. We believe these classes can be crucial to elementary learners, as well as our special education students, who may be struggling with the new social precautions in place.
Below, we've provided a quick briefing on the educational impacts of Coronavirus, as well as an overview of our online platform / how it is designed to specifically keep your child's inner genius alive during these trying times.
Coronavirus's EDUCATIONAL IMPACTS
Unfortunately, the highly contagious and deadly nature of Coronavirus has resulted in unprecedented rates of shutdown, including schools. As of Monday, March 16, “at least 56 countries have shut down schools nationwide with a further 17 implementing localised closures.” These shutdowns could entail devastating impacts on children’s’ education around the world. UNESCO Assistant Director General for Education, Stefania Giannini has called for education stakeholders “to come together not only to address the immediate educational consequences of this unprecedented crisis, but to build up the longer-term resilience of education systems.”
Just like everything else, the state of your child's education is in flux. The educational consequences of Coronavirus are unknown to everyone. With indefinite shutdowns and no relief from the virus’s contagious proclivities in sight, it is possible that children could be without proper education for months. Today, President Trump himself has estimated social distancing recommendations / government-mandated shutdowns could last until “July, August, something like that."
WHAT ABOUT TELE-SCHOOL?
Thankfully, many schools are planning for tele-schooling alternatives – but the efficacy and impact of tele-school on individual students in lieu of in-person instruction is unknown. Especially as teachers and parents start to factor in the heightened impact upon younger students and special education services. Mark Toback, superintendent of Wayne, New Jersey, has even acknowledged that while he is confident in the district's ability to continue online instruction, elementary schools are a definite weak point, admitting that "we need a lot more planning for smaller children."
Here at Genie Academy, many of our teachers work at schools within the tri-state area and can see the impact firsthand. From reduced instructional hours (and thereby less student access to teachers), busy-work packets being used in place of class time, and google-meets featuring high student ratios (1:20+), it is clear that children's educations are being immediately impacted, with no deadline for in sight.
THE GENIE ACADEMY ADDITION
While Genie Academy applauds the swift responsivity of New Jersey schools to this global pandemic, we are also acutely aware that the sudden shut-downs & lack of class time has immediately impacted teachers' efficacy / the quality of education our students are able to receive.
Hence, we're rolling out our own online pilot for Abacus, Common Core, Reading Genie and Coding Genie. These classes offer
- 1 : 4 Ratio
To ensure all children have satisfactory access to teachers, we are capping our online classes at just 4 students per teacher. This way students can voice all questions / receive appropriate support from teachers throughout class-time.
- Interactive Abacus
To facilitate learning through abacus demonstrations, we have created an online Abacus tool to show the different buddies techniques and example problems -- in case your child has any questions or concerns.
- Interactive Writing Prompts
To ease the burden of social distancing, our interactive 2-hour Reading Genie pedagogy will be enhanced with increased student interaction -- through creative prompts, increased presentation time and feedback structures.
- Online Tests / Grading
Over the coming week, we will roll out an online version of our exams, which will allow for instantaneous grading and quick progress through the curriculum.
**Genie Academy staff are also creating an online grading tool for homework / classwork
This will take few weeks to roll out -- but holds promise to keep students' busy and accountable during the next few months
Best of all, all classes will be taught by the Genie Academy Teachers you've come to know and love over the past few years.
Parents, we know these next few months may be extremely frustrating, and worrying, as you see your child's school time / educational access greatly impacted. We hope to slightly ease your burdens by offering you these online classes and tools to keep your child learning, and remaining steady upon the path to success.
Your friends at Genie Academy1