Educational tips, strategies and resources for parents during social distancing

Approximately 56.6 million students attended elementary and secondary school in the United States in 2019. With the ongoing global pandemic of COVID-19, school districts across the country have made the difficult decision to close schools and move to classes online due to public health and safety concerns. Parents and caregivers have been charged with taking a more active role in facilitating their children’s educational learning. Below are some educational tips, strategies, and resources for parents.

1. Make sure the student participates in all required online activities, including instructional time and any additional participation in online chats.

2. Talk to teachers about your child’s ongoing academic progress, including completion of assignments, projects, and test scores.

3. Parents are encouraged to supplement their children’s learning with additional academic enrichment activities, including educational websites, science projects at home, or fun learning games.

4. Parents should ensure that they create a learning environment at home to help their child focus, including having a quiet place away from distractions, routine homework and study times, and learning materials including a computer/ laptop, textbooks, etc.

5. For students receiving Exceptional Student Education (ESE) services, under an IEP, or a 504 plan, they should follow up with the school counselor or school psychologist to determine if there are any required pending updates or required meetings prior to final. of the school year.

6. If your child was undergoing a psychoeducational evaluation to determine special education services, follow up with school staff to get a status report and see if the school psychologist can test over the summer.

7. If your child was unable to start their evaluation before school closure, discuss with school staff whether it is possible for your child to complete a private psychoeducational evaluation if you are very concerned about the possible delay in starting school. next school year. Please note that a private psychoeducational evaluation may be at your expense and the school does not have to accept the results or recommendations. Also, if it is sent to school, it becomes part of your child’s educational record. Please consider all of the above before spending hundreds of dollars on a private appraisal.

8. If you want to do a private psychoeducational evaluation, consider a cheaper alternative of having the evaluation done at a nearby university that has a university clinic with graduate students who can complete the test under the supervision of a licensed clinical psychologist. or certified school psychologist.

9. Students completing their senior year who plan to attend college in the fall should contact their selected college to determine if classes will start on time as noted above.

10. Graduating students already admitted to the university for 2020-2021 should track the status of their financial aid, including any grants awarded, scholarships, or GI bill disbursements.


Abcmouse: Subscription-based digital education program for children ages 2-8.

BrainPOP – Animated Educational Sites for Kids

Discovery Education: Standards-Based Digital Curriculum Resources for K-12 Classrooms Around the World

Funbrain – online educational games for kids

Khan Academy: Offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard for self-paced learning

PhET Simulations – Provides free and fun interactive math and science simulations.

Scholastic: Offers children’s books, literacy resources, and educational solutions.

Scistarter: connects people with citizen science projects, scientists and resources

Starfall: educational reading, phonics, and math games and activities for kids from preschool to second grade The program provides on-demand academic support 24/7 online in more than 100 subjects for students from kindergarten through college. Now available at no cost to any adult or child in a civilian or active duty military family, National Guard, Reserve, or Department of Defense Wounded Warrior.


Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

FastWeb: Online College Scholarship Search Provider


“20 Tips for Applying for a College Scholarship,” Felecia D. Sheffield, PhD,

“Minimizing Summer Learning Loss: 5 Tips for Parents,” Felecia D. Sheffield and Shameeka T. Meredith,

Parent Center Hub, Information and Resource Center for Parents – “All About the IEP”

Parent Center Hub – “Developing Your Child’s IEP”

US Department of Education, “A Guide to the Individualized Education Program” “Parent’s Guide to Section 504 in Public Schools” “Is an IEP or a 504 plan better for your child? How to decide”

Copyright © 2020 Felicia D. Sheffield. PhD, HSP All rights reserved worldwide in all media.

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