The district sent an email to staff and parents yesterday; we now have a plan to move forward. To make learning opportunities equitable for our confirmed two-week furlough, there will be suggested activities posted on the district website and packets handed out to families picking up breakfast and lunch at designated meal sites. This makes me feel better; I work at a higher-SES campus with technology available in almost every home, but my Title I roots are fully aware of the many schools in which this is not a reality.
Teachers will also be given a scheduled time to go to their schools and gather materials to plan further out, should the need arise. This also makes me feel better. I am ready to go with activities for my upper grades. We have our end-of-year Google Form library survey to complete, traditionally done when I'm away at my annual conference (which was supposed to be this coming week). The next lessons on internet safety can be completed through games--Google's Interland for my fourth and fifth graders, and Common Sense Media's Digital Passport Game for my third graders. For my younger students, however, my lessons are interactive read-alouds...and I'm a paper-and-pencil planner for those, can't remember what I wrote down for the next three weeks. So I'm happy that we'll be able to get into the building at some point to retrieve what we need.
I'm not a worrier by nature, but I'm aware of what we are losing these next two weeks, what may be lost if the time out is extended further. Practical library activities like inventory, receiving book shipments, handling financial details are difficult, if not impossible, to do from home. Interactive read-alouds (if allowed by publishers) lose the interaction piece if they are simply screencasted; I will have to look into doing Zoom meetings or Google hangouts, again aware of students without access to that technology, children in my own neighborhood. Access to books for all is a growing concern with the closure of public libraries...and the threat of COVID-19 lurking on book covers and pages.
For now, I'm making lists of what to do during my brief time on campus, and what to bring home. I can catalog the piles of unprocessed books sitting in my office. I can figure out ways to work around face-to-face lessons with and without technology. I can finally get around to completing the professional reading I planned to do this year, and write about what I've learned. Time off is really time gained for learning and creative problem-solving. I have a plan, and that makes me feel better.