Shared physical presence is a large part of how we’re used to connecting with each other. Strong connections and relationships are important for children who may have recently experienced loss, high stress, or trauma. As teachers connect with children in a virtual setting, it can be more challenging to think about how to create a safe space for learning, sharing experiences, and taking risks.
On Wednesday, September 23, the Office of Head Start (OHS) announced that it will be suspending CLASS reviews for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021. We sincerely hope this news relieves some of the stress our Head Start partners have felt as they grapple with new challenges related to pandemic conditions.
It is also our hope that programs will use this time to provide specific CLASS support to staff in order to strengthen interactions, regardless of the delivery model in which they are serving children.
Due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools and programs are limiting the number of people who can enter classrooms during the 2020–2021 school year. In many cases, only essential workers are allowed in classrooms, which may prevent in-person CLASS® observations from taking place. For this reason, some programs may choose to conduct CLASS observations through a video conferencing platform.
Back-to-school season looks very different this year, as districts adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic by adopting new policies and procedures. Many localities have turned to virtual or hybrid models of teaching, requiring teachers to learn new ways of engaging with children and, perhaps just as importantly, children’s families. Effective interactions, such as those described by the CLASS® tool, are at the core of teaching, and these same interactions can be a model for productive relationships with children’s families.
The spread of COVID-19 has led many schools to move to online or hybrid learning for the start of the 2020-2021 school year. The widespread adoption of virtual learning environments has led many teachers to ask how they can maintain effective interactions when they are not in the same physical space as their students. It’s true that shortened class sessions, audio lags, and children’s lack of familiarity with technology present challenges for the frequency, duration, and depth of teacher-child interactions.
The spread of COVID-19 has led many schools and programs to put social distancing practices in place for the start of the 2020–2021 school year. The adoption of masks, physical distancing, and other precautions has led teachers to ask how they can maintain effective interactions with the children in their classrooms.
Due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, a large number of schools and programs have decided to adopt either a totally online program of instruction or a hybrid model of instruction for the beginning of the 2020 school year. This has prompted questions about whether or not the CLASS measure may be used for observing in virtual classrooms and, if so, what observers need to know prior to conducting observations.
COVID-19 has ushered in profound changes in how most of us conduct our day-to-day lives—social distancing and wearing masks have become the norm in many cities and states across the country. This fall, individual localities will determine whether their schools and programs will provide in-person, online, or hybrid teaching. CLASS® observers want to know how COVID-19 guidelines will impact CLASS observations when teachers and students are socially distanced or taking other COVID-19 precautions. This document provides guidance for how to safely and effectively collect CLASS data in schools and programs with in-person teaching during the time of COVID-19.*