Whether you’re a parent with kids in Pre-K through 12th grade, a teacher preparing to welcome pupils, or a college student headed back to one of our local universities — we know “back to school” is looking very different this year.
And with less than three weeks remaining until school starts, we know you’ve probably got a lot on your to-do list. As always, our goal here at RALtoday is to help you prepare for and engage with whatever’s happening in our city, so today we’re sharing our comprehensive back to school guide + resources to help you hit the ground running this fall.
Some high-level, need-to-know stuff:
- Wake County schools on a traditional schedule will begin the fall semester Monday, August 17. The first two weeks of instruction will be completely remote, with plans to transition to a hybrid rotation of online and at-home learning by September 8.
- You can view modified calendars for year-round schools and early colleges by clicking here.
- NC State, Shaw University, and UNC will begin their 2020-21 academic year during the week of August 10. Fall break is cancelled this semester in order to complete all coursework before Thanksgiving.
- You can view updates to the academic calendars for other area colleges by clicking the following links: Campbell University, Duke, Durham Tech, Meredith College, NCCU, St. Augustine University, Wake Tech, William Peace University.
Did you know?
- Roughly 50% of Wake County students have been enrolled in the Virtual Academy — which will instruct students on a fully remote basis for the fall and spring terms.
- The county has reopened registration for this option through tomorrow, July 29.
- You can learn more + attend the virtual open house by clicking here.
School supplies list:
- Back to school spending is expected to increase significantly this year due to technology requirements for at-home learning. If you need assistance financing school supplies for your kids this year — or if you’re interested in making a donation — visit this list of local resources for families in need.
- The most important thing students will need access to this year is an at-home computer and reliable internet connection. State education officials have allocated millions of dollars to help provide mobile internet and hotspot access + devices for students to work on and attend virtual classes.
- The locally-owned Teach Me store — located at 3520 Spring Forest Road in Raleigh — stocks 18,000+ items for students and teachers, and is currently offering options to browse online, in-store, or pick up curbside. Shop everything from at-home learning stations and desk setups to subject-based learning supplements.
Pro-tips for at-home learning:
- Have kids get dressed like they usually would for school. This helps to establish routine and expectations for productivity during the day.
- Structure is just as important as ever. It is recommended that students have a dedicated work space away from televisions and other distractions.
- Create a schedule that works for the whole family — and stick to that schedule for consistency. For parents: establish your own schedule and communicate with other family members so they understand how to respect your time.
- Take breaks. A good rule of thumb is 10 minutes for every 60 minutes of work completed. Additionally, use the National PTA’s guidelines for homework — 10 minutes per grade level, e.g. a 3rd grader might be assigned ~30 minutes of supplemental work outside of regular school instruction.
- Help maintain children’s social connections by connecting them virtually with classmates for study groups, fun activities, or simply to chat during lunchtime. Find out more here.
- What is micro-schooling? (WRAL)
- How are NC parents responding to instruction changes? (The Charlotte Observer)
- Educators weigh in on COVID-19 lesson plans (Carolina Public Press)
- Tip and guidelines if you’re planning to homeschool (Triangle on the Cheap)
- Conversation: Equity in education (EdNC)
- Good to know: UNC will waive SAT and ACT score requirements in 2021 (The News & Observer)
- Point of view: Wake County teacher on returning to school (RALtoday)