Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is committed to supporting students and families in making sure that learning never stops. While the school buildings are inspected and prepared for teachers and students to return, BCPS is encouraging families and caregivers to have students engage in academic activities.
If you are currently without power or internet
We know that there are still thousands in our county without power, water, internet access, and many of the comforts that we generally take for granted on a daily basis. That being said, our utility companies have been working around the clock to restore those amenities for all of our citizens. As your homes come back online, we hope that this page will be a place you turn to to ensure that, in Broward County, “Learning Never Closes.” Know that we are hoping for a speedy return to normal for everyone affected.
In the meantime, we encourage the following:
- Read. Whether it is a new reader picture book, a historical biography, a young adult story, a classic novel, or a textbook the hours spent reading are always beneficial. Families are encouraged to read together and to read to each other.
- Talk. Have students tell the story of what has happened to them and their neighborhood since they were last in school. Giving students the respect of listening to how the story of their experience helps them process the disruption to their normal routine, provides them with the respect of being listened to by others, and prepares them to return to school able to articulate their experience to their peers and teachers.
- Write and draw. Students of all ages can create notebooks of diagrams, art, and personal writing. These activities can be used for technical and creative expression. These creations can then be shared with family, friends and at school when we return.
- Design and build a game on paper (make the game pieces out of recyclables such as bottle caps) and play your game.
- Create journal of ideas and wonderings: Wonder about and observe nature – write questions you think about and develop a plan for how you can investigate and gather evidence that can help answer your questions.
- Invent something: Think about solutions to problems you have noticed. Diagram an invention to solve the problem and build a prototype from recyclable material around the house.
- Storyboard. Sketch your ideas for coding, apps, or gameplay (see below) so that your framework is ready to go when you regain access to power and the internet.
If you have access to power and the internet
If a family is fortunate enough to have electric power and internet, then they can engage in the activities above and the following digital resources are also available:
- Each student in BCPS has a suite of academic tools available to them 24/7/365. Over the past year, a significant effort by BCPS staff has begun to enable the resources needed for blended and personalized learning throughout our district. Access to the adopted textbooks, the Canvas learning management system, and dozens of other resources are available through this one portal. Students can access their suite of resources via http://sso.browardschools.com
- Many learning resources for students are available at the BCPS webpage. This includes links to Scholastic Chess, Khan Academy, Virtual Counselor, and other BCPS and partner resources. These can be reached at http://browardschools.com
- BCPS still is supporting the “Technology Playground” that was created for students, families, and teachers to use during the summer of 2017. In addition to the SSO, this is where you can find access to several District-wide initiatives like Vocabulary.com, Newsela, and Learning.com. This resource is at http://innovativelearning.browardschools.com/technology-playground/
- Students in grades 6-12 are encouraged to spend time exploring and utilizing the resources available through their Family Connection Naviance account. This resource can be found at http://browardschools.com/naviance
- Students and families are reminded to utilize the Microsoft Student Advantage program which provides FOR FREE the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, etc.) both on-line and for up to five downloaded copies. These tools can be used for creativity and for productivity. More information can be found at http://browardschools.com/studentadvantage
- Tell a story, code a picture, or make a game using Code.org‘s Play Lab, Artist, Game Lab or App Lab (available through SSO for students or at http://code.org) or using Scratch https://scratch.mit.edu/ or ScratchJr (only on a tablet) https://www.scratchjr.org/ Need an idea? Use a favorite story and retell it through a game or animation.
- Students and families can access thousands of digital books plus daily news articles to read online right now through the myON platform. A specialized link has been created for Broward students and families to remain engaged in learning while not in school. Please visit http://about.myon.com/florida-reads-on for special login information.
If you need help talking to your children about the storm
If you need resources on how to talk to your children about the effects of the storm, here are a couple of great articles:
If you need something to do outside of your house
If you are looking to take your children out to cool off or combat “cabin fever,” many local libraries, museums, and attractions have reopened and are offering free or reduced pricing. Just remember to be safe as you drive; there are still many intersections where traffic lights are out or are not functioning as usual. The Sun Sentinel has an updated list of available activities:
Our thoughts are with the families that are sheltered in Broward County and with those who evacuated to remote locations. Your safety is paramount. Once you know that you are safe, and have the circumstances to have self-directed time, know that BCPS has the supports in place to ensure that “Learning Never Closes.” Please use these resources until we are able to resume learning in our innovative schools.