What do students want in a school?

School Psychology NRW

For parents and guardians

Dear parents,

Distance learning over several weeks is a great challenge for everyone. The children are at home all day, no school, no leisure opportunities, no social contacts - on the other hand, however, they should work on the tasks that are provided by the school. For you as parents, such a situation is a particularly big challenge: How do you manage to give your children support and orientation in addition to your domestic and professional obligations, your own worries and insecurities? With regard to the schoolwork of your children, you felt - certainly far more than usual - in the obligation to ensure that your children complete the tasks assigned to them, possibly also to check the results or even to explain learning contents that were not understood. This responsibility for your children's learning goes well beyond the stress of everyday homework. Such a burden is not exactly conducive to the mood in the family either.

Despite various relaxations and an initial, cautious return to everyday school life, the challenges of recent times will remain with us for a while.

First of all, we would like to thank you very much for your understanding that the school was certainly not able to deal with this unusual and difficult situation in some places as you might have wished.

With this information we would like to support you with regard to school issues. We have therefore collected some key questions and tried to answer them. You can find many answers in the Ministry of Education's FAQ list

 

Look at issues of physical and mental health

What measures are taken to avoid infections?

Can I have my child temporarily exempted from compulsory schooling if the family members belong to the vulnerable groups?

Who can I turn to if my child develops strong fears and insecurities in connection with the Corona crisis? Where can I get support if I am currently overwhelmed by the diverse requirements?

How can distance learning reduce my child's social isolation?

Look at children's learning

Are students obliged to complete all tasks or is it voluntary?

Are these assignments graded?

How does the school deal with the different technical requirements of the students? What if my child doesn't have a PC or laptop, or even fast internet?

How does the school deal with the unequal learning conditions of the students? How are the gaps resulting from the school closure being dealt with?

Where can I find out more about distance learning options?


Looking at questions of physical and mental health:

What measures are taken to avoid infections?

When your children go back to school in the near future, you will understandably worry about their health and wonder how safe your children are from infections in the school environment, how the minimum distance in the classroom and during breaks can be guaranteed. The schools have taken all necessary protective measures in advance and drawn up a comprehensive hygiene plan for the school (-> "Protection against infection, hygiene and testing").

In the FAQ list of the Ministry of Education it says:

The joint notices of the municipal umbrella associations and the Ministry of Schools and Education, coordinated with the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs and the Accident Insurance Fund NRW, which are continuously updated in accordance with the Corona Care Ordinance (CoronaBetrVO), apply here.

The fight against the spread of the coronavirus is - as stated - the responsibility of the health authorities under the supervision of Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. The NRW Ministry of Health is in constant contact with the federal level and with other federal states and is guided by the Risk assessments and recommendations from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). In principle, school administrators also have the authority in individual cases to exclude pupils from lessons if they pose a health risk (Section 54 (4) SchulG). According to civil service and labor law regulations, this also applies to teachers. In addition, in exceptional cases, a school can be based on the house rules of the school management (Section 59 Paragraph 1 Number 6 in conjunction with Paragraph 8 SchulG) are closed to avert significant specific dangers.

 

If you have individual questions about the health situation in your family, please contact the school management.

  

 

Can I have my child temporarily exempted from compulsory schooling if the family members belong to the vulnerable groups?

If members of your family belong to the vulnerable groups, you are certainly particularly afraid that your child will bring an infection home with them. Find out from the responsible health authorities which special protective measures you can take. However, you are not allowed to keep your child away from class for long periods of time without a doctor's certificate.

In order to protect their relatives, the non-participation of pupils in face-to-face classes can only be considered in very limited exceptional cases and only temporarily. This presupposes that a medical certificate from the relative concerned is presented, from which the corona-relevant previous illness results.

 

 

Who can I turn to if my child develops strong fears and insecurities in connection with the Corona crisis? Where can I get support if I am currently overwhelmed by the diverse requirements?

In addition to worries about the physical health of your children, you may also be wondering how your child is coping with this unusual and certainly frightening situation. It is possible that there have been serious illnesses or even deaths in your social circle that are very stressful for your child. In this case, it is important that you let the school know.

First of all, there are contacts at your children's school who you can turn to with confidence: school and class leaders, counseling teachers, school social workers, etc.

Here we have put together some links to contact persons outside of school.

For younger children up to elementary school age, this illustrated book is helpful for discussion with your children. The book is free and free to distribute.

However, keep in mind that you are your child's closest caregiver. In unfamiliar situations, children orient themselves more strongly than usual to the behavior and feelings of their parents. They register very precisely how safe, insecure, calm or restless they are reacting to the current situation. It can happen that children copy and even intensify the signals they perceive from their parents. In challenging situations, children benefit greatly when they can perceive their parents as calm and level-headed.

Regardless of the school and extracurricular support options, there are also some ways in which you can act yourself at home in order to give your children support and security in the current situation. Here are some hints and tips on how to deal with fears.

 

 

How can distance learning reduce my child's social isolation?

Students miss their friends and community learning. Many also do not cope so well with studying at home on their own. The feedback from the teachers is not immediate, but delayed. These are great factors of uncertainty for many students.

 

Digitization in schools is making great strides. Many schools already have learning platforms on which pupils meet virtually to learn together. If your child's school does not yet offer this, you can contact your parent groups to make joint appointments for video conferences, in which your children work on the assigned tasks together. The best way to try this out is in pairs, i.e. with your best friend. Later you can open it for several people. Technically, this can be easily organized using common messenger services and smartphones. Furthermore, there are now numerous free offers for this on the Internet. In this way, the children also learn a new skill - working together over a distance.

 

Look at children's learning

Are students obliged to complete all tasks or is it voluntary?

Are these assignments graded?

The Ministry of Schools and Education supports the schools in a variety of ways in order to ensure school operations are adapted to the infection process in times of the Corona. On September 30, 2020, the Committee for Schools and Education gave its approval to the second ordinance for a temporary change to the training and examination regulations in accordance with Section 52 of the Schools Act (VO Distance Learning). It comes into effect retrospectively on August 1, 2020. School administrators, teachers, pupils and parents therefore have a legally binding framework for distance teaching for the 2020/21 school year. Regarding the question of performance reviews, it says there (§6):

  1. The pupils fulfill their duties from the school relationship in distance teaching to the same extent as in face-to-face teaching.
  2. The performance evaluation also extends to the knowledge, skills and abilities of the students imparted in distance lessons. The achievements made in distance learning are usually included in the assessment of other achievements in the classroom. Performance assessments in the assessment area “written work” can also build on the content of distance teaching.
  3. Class work and exams usually take place as part of classroom teaching. In addition, other forms of performance testing that are provided for in the lesson specifications and suitable for distance teaching are possible.

However, it is advisable for everyone involved (teachers and parents) to Keep a sense of proportion.

 

It can be assumed that the students dealt with the tasks very differently. As parents, you could not always help your children with all tasks. For example, your children may be missing In part, the technical requirements to be able to adequately process the online tasks. The school will ensure that these different learning requirements do not adversely affect your children's academic performance. Talk to your children's class leaders in confidence about individual problems that arose for you when the school was closed.

 

 

How does the school deal with the different technical requirements of the students? What if my child doesn't have a PC or laptop, or even fast internet?

You may be concerned that your child will suffer disadvantages if you do not have the technical skills at home to complete the online tasks. In the FAQ list of the Ministry of Education it says:

The digital equipment of the students must be taken into account when setting the task. The local schools know their student body very well. In the primary school area in particular, work packages in the form of books, exercise books and worksheets have been and are being packed, which have been given to the students at the school or are now being sent by post. Basically, the following applies: The schools make offers to the pupils to make good use of the free time. The suspension of lessons must not cause any disadvantage to any student.

If you still fear disadvantages for your child, please contact the school management, who will ensure that your child can complete the tasks.

 

 

How does the school deal with the unequal learning conditions of the students? How are the gaps resulting from the school closure being dealt with?

It is to be expected that the learning requirements within the learning group will be much more heterogeneous than before due to the Corona crisis. Certainly your children processed the given tasks very differently for a variety of reasons. You may fear that your child has not done the tasks well enough and that this could result in disadvantages. Or, on the contrary, you fear that your child, who has completed the tasks extensively and correctly, could not be challenged by a lengthy repetition phase. In both cases you can trust the professionalism of the teachers: The right to individual support stipulated in Section 1 of the NRW Schools Act requires that your children receive individual support according to their talent potential and that the heterogeneous learning requirements are thus taken into account. Look for a conversation with the specialist teachers and advise them and your child together on how any gaps that have arisen can be dealt with at school and, if necessary, outside of school.

  

 

Where can I find out more about distance learning options?

A wide range of information on distance learning can be found on the relevant website of the Ministry of Education, "Learning at Distance".

In addition, there are a number of other learning opportunities, e.g. through the public television channels as well as numerous different learning apps and explanatory videos on the Internet.

Please keep in mind, however, that the teachers will assign your child appropriate assignments to the curriculum. Therefore, discuss with your child whether and which other tasks they would like to work on.