C. Blohm & Associates, Inc.
Brand Marketing Manager
Cincinnati, OH — December 16, 2009 — Around the country, K-12 schools are taking additional precautions to prepare for student absences due to the H1N1 virus, and ensure continuity of learning. The preparations will also help educators plan for continuous learning during any adverse event, such as a natural disaster, that may prevent students from attending school for extended periods. netTrekker, a leader in the delivery of digital K-12 educational content and developer of the leading educational search tool, has created an H1N1 Absence Survival Kit to further assist K-12 schools in their continuity of learning preparation.
The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) recently published a set of guidelines to help facilitate continuity of learning in K-12 schools. The DOE intends to help districts prepare for extended student absences in the wake of the H1N1 virus. Among other recommendations, the DOE suggests a variety of options to provide students at home with class materials, advocates digital and technology-based resources to help close the gap, and reminds schools to keep all student contact information up to date.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the H1N1 flu season may last until May. Seasonal influenza is declining in the United States, but remains higher than normal for this time of year because of the emergence of the H1N1 flu virus, with people under the age of 65 the most heavily impacted. About 15 percent of the U.S. population has been infected with H1N1, leaving a large portion of the population still susceptible.
Many schools are leveraging digital-based resources such as netTrekker to facilitate at-home instruction. netTrekker provides students and educators with over 300,000 educator-reviewed and state standards-aligned digital resources. A universal design for learning and a variety of unique features designed to support personalized learning enable netTrekker to support every student's individual learning needs.
"We can cover a lot without having students in the classroom," explained Missy Sepulvado, technology specialist at Carmel River Elementary School in Carmel, Calif. "A great thing about netTrekker is the lesson plan templates that are provided. I am going to be teaching a module soon in our school about using 'My Portfolio' with lesson plans for students who will be out for a period of time."
The H1N1 Absence Survival Kit includes a set of resources from the DOE, virtual instruction lesson plan templates, informational webinars to help educators use netTrekker's My Portfolio to create assignments for absent students, and resources to help schools communicate with parents. The kit is available at http://www.nettrekker.com/pages/h1n1-absence-survival-kit. Directions to access the available resources for both subscribing and non-subscribing schools can be found on the page.
History teacher JoAnne McClelland added, "We have been told by our administrators if our school were to close because of an epidemic, that we are still responsible for educating all students during that closure. Most teachers panicked when they heard this. I didn't. I feel confident that I would be able to produce effective online lessons for my students with netTrekker. I can develop a lesson in a short time, and once the lessons are created, it is very easy to alter them and reassign them to different students."
netTrekker is dedicated to enhancing the learning environment by providing highly effective technologies that deliver rich educational content to students and teachers in a safe, relevant, easy-to-use format. The netTrekker product portfolio includes educational search tool, netTrekker Search and personalized student workspace solution, igotta. netTrekker also provides solutions focused on professional development, global services and print-to-digital transition of education agencies and publishers. Founded in 1999, netTrekker is widely recognized as the first standards-based educational search tool and is currently serves millions of students and is present in over 18,000 K-12 public and private schools across U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.