- Help Navigating Schooling: Ed Navigator and the Kinda Guide
- Public Schools
- Private Schools and Religious Schools
- After-School Programs
- Summer Camps and School Vacation Programs
With families trying to balance life, work, and school – all happening at home – we know this is an especially stressful time for most working parents. As part of Harvard’s response to this the disruptions to schooling brought on by the pandemic, we’re pleased to share new interim resources that we hope will reduce at least some of the burden on Harvard staff and faculty. Both available from EdNavigator, a nonprofit organization that specializes in supporting families’ educational success, these two resources aim to support parents in keeping children on the path to a great education.
The “Kinda Guide” — This is an online guidebook designed to help working parents navigate family life and remote learning in the era of COVID-19. The Kinda Guide features:
- Expert advice on making the most of remote learning and practical parenting “hacks”
- Interactive on- and offline activities to keep kids exploring
- At-home family adventures like virtual trips, Friday movie-night ideas, and more
Answers to specific, personal questions provided by EdNavigator’s team of award-winning teachers, counselors, and other education pros
Benefits-eligible Harvard employees can sign up for The Kinda Guide free of charge. Visit KindaGuide.org to create your account. Use your Harvard email address and enter the code when prompted. Codes can be found on this flyer. Questions? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Personal Education Advisors — EdNavigator connects busy families with personal education advisors (“Navigators”). Navigators include award-winning teachers, veteran school leaders, and other education professionals who know schools across the greater Boston area. They support families of all backgrounds with students in all types of schools, and can provide practical advice and support whether your child is excelling or struggling.
EdNavigator can assist with a broad range of educational issues, including:
- Supporting remote and hybrid learning
- Understanding your child’s learning needs and progress in school, including students with IEPs
- Ensuring your child is ready for college or a fulfilling career
- Finding high-quality educational programming and resources outside of school
- Troubleshooting education challenges
You can call or chat with your Navigator via EdNavigator’s free app or meet in-person on the Harvard University campus (when it’s safe). This short video explains how it all works.
How to Get Started
EdNavigator is available at no cost to all benefits-eligible Harvard University staff and faculty as an interim measure in response to the pandemic. Here is how to get started:
- Download the free EdNavigator app (search “EdNavigator” in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store)
- Tap “Get Started” and enter the code when prompted. The codes are on these flyers: in English and Spanish.
- Set up your account and meet yourr Navigator.
All cities and towns in Massachusetts must provide public education starting with kindergarten, and the age for admittance to kindergarten varies by community. You can find that information along with links to the websites for several of the public schools systems that are closest to Harvard's campuses by downloading this information sheet.
Some communities participate in the Massachusetts School Choice Program, which allows you to choose a school outside of your immediate school district.
For more information, contact your town’s public school system or the Massachusetts Department of Education at 800-297-0002 or doe.mass.edu.
Independent private schools determine their own mission and curriculum. Learn more at the Association of Independent Schools in New England.
Parochial and other religious schools provide some religious instruction in addition to a secular curriculum. You can access a list of the state’s private schools by religious affiliation at Private School Review.
If you need child care after the school day ends, an after-school program may be a good solution. Available through schools, local community centers (such as the YMCA), child care centers, and licensed family child care homes, these programs often feature arts, crafts, games, and sports, as well as time to do homework.
The following resources can help with your search:
- Harvard’s Employee Assistance Program offers a dependent-care resource and referral service and can provide you with a customized list of after-school options.
- The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care provides lists of licensed after-school programs.