Nearly 100 teachers from Jewish day schools in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Florida and Arizona are gathering online for a two-week summit to discuss the challenges associated with distance learning and virtual classrooms for atypical learners. The event is hosted by Hidden Sparks, a nonprofit training Jewish day school teachers of struggling students, in partnership with Bank Street School of Education.
Participants noted that the spring 2020 semester, held under lockdown, was particularly challenging for children who struggle in the classroom and require individual attention and learning plans.
“One of the most important lessons emerging from this pandemic is the critical importance of classrooms that are socially and emotionally attuned,” said Hidden Sparks Executive Director Debbie Niderberg, in a statement. “Though our teachers did a fantastic job pivoting in the spring, students have experienced loss, anxiety and disorientation and teachers will have to be equipped first and foremost with how to welcome students back in the fall – either onsite or remote, and how to support them.”