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ULGMYP panel discussion will empower families to excel in virtual learning

‘Teaching and Learning Virtually’ set for Aug. 27

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Five months ago when schools across the state were required to quickly shut their doors and families transitioned to an unfamiliar virtual learning environment — there was a panic, Kyree Brooks said. 

“When COVID first happened, a lot of people went under a rock,” said Brooks, who is the coordinator of Student Engagement at West High School. “The education world just changed completely.” 

As the Madison Metropolitan School District is set to resume classes virtually in less than two weeks on Tuesday, Sept. 8, Brooks and his team from the Urban League of Greater Madison Young Professionals hopes to tame that panic by holding a panel discussion, titled “Teaching and Learning Virtually.”

The virtual panel discussion will take place Thursday, Aug. 27, 5:30 p.m., through Zoom with meeting ID: 971 2374 6790. The discussion is open to the public and can address issues related to K-12 students. 

Brooks said he hopes the panel discussion can empower families and individuals to excel in virtually learning — especially in an environment where people of color have largely been left out of the thought process, he said. 

The five panelists have experiences as parents, district administrators, school board candidates, technology experts, teachers and mental health professionals. 

“They’ll be able to attest to a lot of the questions that are arising that parents may be afraid to ask or may not know the answers to right now because virtual learning feels so fresh,” Brooks said. “With the upcoming school year in the fall, there’s going to be a range of questions that are going to arise and seeing a panelist of Black professionals who are very driven and care about the community and do wonderful work in the community and in schools — it will be that much more impactful.” 

Panelist will include Rosa Thompson, a parent and educator in MMSD for 11 years and the founder of Black Girl Magic, an empowerment and self-love conference; TJ McCray, the director of Instructional Technology at MMSD; Walter Williams, a professional school counselor and a psychotherapist at Family Service Madison; Kristan Ventress, a seven-year veteran educator and co-advisor for the Black Student Union at Black Hawk Middle School; and Maia Pearson, a parent, board member of the UW-Madison’s PEOPLE program and business owner. Brooks, who in addition to being an educator is the advocacy co-chair of the Young Professionals, is expected to moderate the panel discussion. 

After the panel discussion, where speakers will discuss their experiences and provide resources, participants will have an opportunity to ask questions. 

For information on “Teaching and Learning Virtually” panel discussion contact Kyree Brooks at Ksbrooks@madison.k12.wi.us.