ChalkTalk’s Response to COVID-19 and the New Distance Learning Reality

ChalkTalk’s Response to COVID-19 and the New Distance Learning Reality

As the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to swiftly evolve and reshape almost every aspect of our lives; schools, teachers, students, and parents are all facing enormous impacts. Here’s how I see things changing in the coming days, weeks, and months ahead, and how ChalkTalk is planning to respond:

  • Stage I – Ad-Hoc Enrichment: This is what’s happening now. Schools across the country have closed, with many taking advantage of extended spring breaks to figure out the next steps. Among those schools that have started operating virtually, most are working to provide ad-hoc enrichment resources to parents that will keep kids learning and engaged at home.
  • Stage II – Supplemental Virtual Learning: Schools and parents are realizing that the short-term closures initially announced are likely to be extended through the rest of the school year—as Kansas has already announced. I anticipate that most schools will reach this phase in the next 1-2 weeks. Teachers will begin to integrate scheduled-aligned supplemental instruction and not only assign remote self-paced enrichment.
  • Stage III – Core Virtual Learning: Looking at the available health data, I expect that school closures may (unfortunately) last through the end of the calendar year for certain regions. As these educators plan for the 2020/2021 academic year, we’ll see more schedule-aligned full curriculum instruction with video conferencing.

The three stages above are in line with other expert views on this, such as Kirby Salerno’s “two-phaser” prediction. But the logistics of moving from each stage to the other are vast. Schools that were never set up for distance learning will need to figure out how to do so in days. Many schools with socioeconomically disadvantaged students may struggle to make the transitions at all.

This is where ChalkTalk plans to come in. ChalkTalk is a supplemental ELA and Math curriculum with demonstrated gains on high school summative assessments, such as the SAT, ACT, and state tests. It can be accessed from any device: desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile. 

Because ChalkTalk facilitates distance learning, we received a surge in inquiries last week from educators around the nation. In response, we will be extending all products and services (including professional development and support) at no cost for the remainder of the spring semester and for the entirety of summer 2020. This is our social obligation and commitment to our community.

Lastly, as another response to this crisis, I’m proud to announce that we will be expanding our offerings from supplemental high school ELA & Math instruction to standards-aligned core curricula for grades 3-12 ELA & Math instruction. We have dedicated all our resources, and hired additional staff, to make that happen. This update will be launched in Summer 2020, and it will be made available to all our users without charge.

We are facing an unprecedented period of disruption across the globe. Our hearts and gratitude go out to the healthcare professionals, grocery store stockers, food delivery workers, and everyone on the frontlines of this crisis. As our education system attempts to quickly adapt to a new paradigm, we hope that ChalkTalk can be one resource that helps educators and students navigate this uncharted territory.

Sincerely yours in crisis and calm,
Mo Arbaji

ChalkTalk, Founder & CEO