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When schools shut down in mid-March, there were so many questions we had to begin to address as our country and world dealt with the onset of challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, these challenges completely uplifted K-12 education in the spring and caused the shift to emergency Distance Learning. Even during the early weeks of Distance Learning, reopening schools and navigating the 2020-2021 school year and beyond began to circulate in education circles and professional communities across the world. Many of these questions included how to initially reopen schools in addition to how we can maintain continuous learning if our schools will have to close down once again. How were we going to be able to do this successfully?
Conversations about the very future of education prompted me to write this book. I wanted to write a book to help teachers and school leaders navigate the instructional and organizational challenges presented by COVID-19. I am a firm believer we can overcome many of the challenges we face such as social distancing, staggered scheduling, hyper hygienic practices, the wearing of face masks and shields, and the logistics of having to be prepared at both the organizational and instructional level to move back and forth between online Distance Learning and some form of a face to face blended/hybrid instructional model. Thus, within this book, I have developed instructional and organizational frameworks that allow teachers and school leaders in schools build an online instructional infrastructure to allow them to deliver instruction continuously and seamlessly regardless of whether they are in an online, blended/hybrid, or a traditional educational setting.
The purpose of this instructional framework is to allow teachers and schools leaders essentially “toggle” their instruction between educational settings depending on the local health conditions. For example, the first four weeks of school may be in a blended/hybrid learning model and then after a case is found within the school, the school may have to move online for one to two weeks while the school is cleaned and contact tracing occurs. Then, schools will reopen once again after the initial reopening and subsequent closure. Ultimately, this could happen countless times throughout the 2020-2021 school year, which makes the Toggled Term Instructional Model outlined in Chapter 12 a very durable model that can help solve this challenge.
Furthermore, as the book progresses, it provides an organizational framework in its conclusion to help schools plan for the 2020-2021 school year as well as refine their plans as they navigate the next 12 to 18 months of challenges they will have to face. By focusing on the major pillars of this organizational framework, schools will be able to ensure their plans remain fluid and flexible but also consistent and transparent to put teachers and students in the best positions to succeed. Essentially, in the same manner as the instructional toggle, schools that use this framework will be in the position to organizationally toggle back and forth between online, blended/hybrid learning, and traditional learning models seamlessly and continuously.
Beyond the two major frameworks outlined in this book to “Navigate the Toggled Term,” there are many conversations about developing an online instructional infrastructure using educational technology and selecting the appropriate tools to best support your students. In addition, other important topics such as differentiating instruction using edtech, Special Education online IEP meetings and case management, blended learning models, how to navigate the initial reopening of schools, and professional development are provided. Ultimately, all of these topics touched on in the book are all areas teachers and school leaders should have an idea on how to navigate so their classrooms and schools can create solutions to the many challenges presented by COVID-19.
Get prepared before the school year starts as well as have a guide to help you, your colleagues, and professional learning network “Navigate the Toggled Term” over the next 12 to 18 months to ensure your students are in the best position to learn continuously throughout the school year! Purchase your copy today so you can “Navigate the Toggled Term!”