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Preparing for a school year like no other during COVID-19

Gearing up to get back to the books is much different this year. Newswatch 16 teamed up with a mom/teacher/educator who shared tips to help with at-home learning.

Back-to-school shopping is taking on a whole new look and feel during the pandemic.

More and more students will be learning remotely in the fall. 

To help parents and students navigate this "new norm," Newswatch 16's Ryan Leckey teamed up with a local teacher, mom, and blogger Jenna Urban in Dunmore. 

Jenna oversees the newly launched cyber school affiliated with Dunmore School District.

Among her virtual learning tips for parents? Don't feel the pressure to mimic the exact school day. For example, if you're working from home as a parent, you may want to get your work done first and have your kids get their work done later in the day. Another tip is to contact your school to see if they are offering a device for students to use, so they don't have to share computers with parents who are working from home. Also, consider letting your older children help their siblings in the education process, whether it's reading a book or helping with spelling homework.  

With students spending more time in front of the screen, Jenna also shared information regarding a helpful high tech tool called "The Bark App."  

This app helps manage your child's screen time and keeps an eye on their devices. 

Jenna says the app is "an absolute must for busy parents who are interested in knowing when and if their children come across something that could possibly cause a problem online. Bark app allows you to monitor over 30 platforms from text messages to social media channels. When Bark detects an issue, you get an automatic alert via email and even includes expert recommendations to make it easy for parents to talk to kids about digital dangers and other sensitive online issues." 

Bark app costs $50-100 annually, depending on the level of functionality desired. For younger children, it's a monthly charge of $5 and can go up to $14, depending on your desired tools. 

Jenna shared more on the Bark app and a discount code along with several S.T.E.A.M. project ideas at her website. Head here to connect.