Many are the social, emotional, and developmental expectations and impacts of remote learning on children at different ages. JCC Chicago, JCFS Chicago and Grandparents Unleashed hosted a panel about helping grandparents (and parents) understand what their grandchildren are experiencing, to help them enter their grandchild’s world, understand what it’s like for them now and explore what role they can have to help their grandchildren and adult children now.
- Some students do better with remote learning than in person. For example, students who have anxiety about going to school may thrive in the online environment. Other students may have the opposite reaction. Parents, teachers and students need to look at each students individual style to best support them. Some kids actually focus better by not having other children on either side of them.
- Teachers are building closer relationships with families, as they must interact with parents more to get students online. This may have additional benefits in working together to support student learning.
- Remote learning can be challenging for younger students who need more hands on for social development, or things like handwriting.
- Cameras On may not be the best policy. On the one hand, one student started making their bed every day, knowing their classmates could peek into their room. That same “inside look” however, can cause anxiety for others. One teacher asks for camera’s on for a quick hello at the beginning, but lets students decide after that.
This was the third in a series of complimentary panels that covered important issues related to school-from-home and how grandparents can assist their families with school-aged children.
Learn more and watch the replays from the other panels.
Meet the Panelists
Director of Instruction and Assessment, Knapp School and Yeshiva
Maureen Gilligan is the Director of Instruction and Assessment at the Knapp School and Yeshiva since September 2019. She brings experience as a veteran educator, instructional leader, and assessment coordinator in Chicago Public Schools, local private schools and area universities and community colleges. Dr. Gilligan received her PhD from Emory University in American Studies, possesses extensive training in educational leadership and secondary and middle school teaching credentials including training as a Learning Behavior Specialist. As the Director of Instruction she guides teachers toward strong research-based instructional practices, helps develop curriculum, and oversees educational assessment.
Director, Technology in Early Childhood Center
Alexis R. Lauricella is an Associate Professor at Erikson Institute and Director of the Technology in Early Childhood Center at Erikson Institute. Dr. Lauricella earned her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology and her Master’s in Public Policy from Georgetown University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University. Her research focuses on children’s learning from media technology and parents’ and teachers’ attitudes toward and use of media technology with young children.
Director, Apachi Evanston Day Camp
Andrea Merfeld has been teaching and coaching in elementary schools for the past 18 year. She taught at Baker Demonstration School, Chicago Jewish Day School, and currently works for East Maine School District 63, where she is a 4th grade teacher at Washington Elementary. Andrea holds a degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a Master’s degree in Elementary Education from National Louis University, as well as an Educational Leadership Certification from Concordia University, and an English as a Second Language Certification from National Louis University.
Andrea has been a part of the JCC Chicago family for the past 30 years. Summer 2021 will be her 9th summer as director of Apachi Evanston Day Camp. The happiness and well-being of children has been a priority for Andrea both in the workplace and in her home.
Clinical Director, Knapp School and Yeshiva
Allison Stevens has worked at the Knapp School and Yeshiva since 2002, serving in the functions of school social worker, intake coordinator, and clinical coordinator, prior to moving into the Director position. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Allison’s specializations include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and collaborative problem solving (CPS). She is a certified practitioner of CPS and leads the school’s internal CPS Committee, which is working to bring the concepts of the collaborative problem solving model more widely into the Knapp School & Yeshiva’s educational environment. Previously, Allison worked with youth ages 5-21 in a residential treatment setting, another therapeutic day school, and in a community mental health agency, all in the Chicago area. Allison earned her Master of Social Work degree from the Jane Addams School of Social Work at University of Illinois, Chicago, specializing in School Social Work.