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Coronavirus Is No Recess: Tips For Parents Worried About Their Students Falling Behind

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The current plan to keep public school students from returning to the classroom this academic year has not been comforting news to many parents.

Stacie Bono and Lynn Dillon are two who worry their kids will fall behind, CBS2's Hazel Sanchez reported Monday.

"They're doing what they're told," said Dillon. "They're writing words on the line, they're filling in worksheets, but I don't feel like they're learning."

"It's been a long time since I've done eighth-grade math," said Bono. "I don't know how to teach it."

MORE: Remote Learning Tools For Parents Teaching At Home

Distance learning can be more challenging for at-risk children, like those in the child welfare system who may not have the critical tools to learn remotely.

Bill Baccaglini is president of the child welfare agency The New York Foundling. He's especially concerned about high school students in foster care.

"If we don't invest now and we allow them out without a high school degree, and no college degree, these are young people who are more likely than other kids to wind up in an adult system which they may never get out of," he said.


Child advocates say it is critical to start thinking now about summer education and how to get children caught up by next fall.

Baccaglini suggests public school administrators offer teachers one year of service for tutoring at-risk children during summer break.

"We have found with focused one-on-one tutoring it only takes two to three months to catch up on a full academic year," he said.

MORE: High School Seniors Concerned Over Meeting Graduation Requirements, Scholarship Eligibility

Brooklyn academic skills coach Hafeez Lakhani said tutoring is ideal, but unless it's free, it's not affordable for all.

After remote learning ends, Lakhani suggests parents keep younger students' minds moving with free online programs like Scholastic or Khan Academy.

"Really the key is, figure out ways to keep your kids engaged for short bursts, 30 minutes to an hour," said Lakhani. "Find a way, I know it's super-hard, but find a way to check-in, reengage and sort of keep them on task."

Unfortunately, there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution to provide equity in remote learning.

Child advocates hope by recognizing this limitation, school administrators will focus on finding more ways of meeting every child's educational needs.

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