Tenn. education commissioner announces additional school resources amid COVID-19 pandemic

Keeping Schools Safe

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – At Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s COVID-19 press briefing Monday, state education commissioner Penny Schwinn announced the launch of an online academic tool.

Wednesday, the Tennessee Department of Education launched Best for All Central: Tennessee’s Hub for Learning and Teaching, a new online tool designed to provide school leaders, educators, and families an extensive collection of optional resources to support teaching and learning, as well as features for locating specific resources quickly and easily.  

The resources in the online tool are said to be designed to accommodate various levels of Wi-Fi and technology accessibility in mind, and many of them can be utilized online, downloaded, or printed for later use, a release from the state department of education explained.

For teachers:  School leader and educator professional development resources are available on “Preparing Your Distance Learning Classroom,” “Ongoing Distance Teaching and Learning,” and “Remediation in a Distance Learning Environment,” covering topics that include building relationships, communication routines, organization best practices and how to help students who struggle. Additional professional development modules will be released in the coming weeks, officials said.

Commissioner Schwinn also announced a standards navigator for educators and families to access in-depth information about Tennessee’s academic standards as well as standards-based teaching and learning resources. The standards navigator enables users to explore student expectations for specific standards, see how those standards align across grade levels, view sample assessment items to determine mastery, and access corresponding lessons and resources. Math and English Language Arts standards are available now and similar resources for additional subject areas are in development. 

For families: A series of instructional videos with companion lessons on ELAmath, and science are now available and continue to be added, which are intended to provide districts with weekly content on core areas of instruction. 

Additionally, the site features user guides along with the ability to filter and search for instructional and professional development resources by grade level, subject, topic, audience, and more, officials said.  

In partnership with Trevecca Nazarene University, the department also created a new resource for families — Bridging the Distance: Family Remote Learning.  The online tool is a free resource designed to help families navigate remote learning and better understand the common tools and programs used by educators, Schwinn announced.

The Family Remote Learning includes resources like “Remote Learning 101” training for parents, supports for parents with students who have special needs, videos from parents and teachers around best practices for supporting students in this new environment, and more.

For grades prer-K through 2: The state department of education also released a free, optional supplement to support early literacy, TN Foundational Skills Curriculum Supplement, which follows evidenced-based research to build a solid foundation for literacy in pre-K through second grade.

Watch Commissioner Schwinn’s full report here:

Commissioner Schwinn also said that internet access will be provided by the state to 100,000 households across Tennessee:

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