The pandemic has increased the already widespread need for trauma-informed support for students. The U.S. Department of Education has released a report detailing approaches. Click below to access the PDF report.
In the Fallout of the Pandemic, Community Schools Show a Way Forward for Education – from Learning Policy Institute
This post is part of LPI’s Learning in the Time of COVID-19 blog series, which explores evidence-based and equity-focused strategies and investments to address the current crisis and build long-term systems capacity.
School buildings are closed for nearly all of the country’s 50.8 million public school students, and those being hit the hardest are the nation’s most marginalized students—more than 52% in 2016–17. For these students, school closures can mean the loss not only of precious learning time but also of essential services such as meals and medical and mental health services that mitigate the stresses of poverty.
But there are schools that continue to support student learning and well-being—among them, community schools. The country’s community schools are designed to serve the whole child (addressing learning and well-being) and are based on the understanding that children are better positioned to learn when they are healthy, well fed, and safe. The United States has thousands of community schools serving millions of students already. Among these schools, 2,300 are part of the nonprofit network Communities in Schools. The nonprofit Coalition for Community Schools network supports some 5,000 community schools across the country.
Although there are other schools around the country that use some of the strategies of community schools and have also successfully responded to student and family needs, community schools are unique in that they have formalized and powered up these supports around four “pillars”—medical and mental services, extended learning time, family and community engagement, and collaborative leadership among staff. They hire dedicated staff such as community schools coordinators to organize services for students and families through partnerships with nonprofit and government organizations, including health clinics, food banks, tutoring, and after-school programs. As we begin to rebuild and rethink schooling, this is a highly effective, research-based approach that policymakers can look to.As we begin to rebuild and rethink schooling, [community schools are] a highly effective, research-based approach that policymakers can look to.
Because community schools prioritize relationships with family members—often offering social services and classes for parents and guardians—they were already deeply rooted in their students’ lives and had relationships and infrastructures in place when COVID-19 hit that enabled them to mobilize support services and connect with their students and families meaningfully and quickly. (continued)
Restarting and Reinventing School: Learning in the Time of COVID and Beyond – Report from the Learning Policy Institute – Linda Darling-Hammond et al
Executive Summary of this 126 page PDF Report
Across the United States, state education agencies and school districts face daunting challenges and
difficult decisions for restarting schools as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. As state and district
leaders prepare for what schooling will look like in 2020 and beyond, there is an opportunity to
identify evidence-based policies and practices that will enable them to seize this moment to rethink
school in ways that can transform learning opportunities for students and teachers alike.
Our current system took shape almost exactly a century ago, when school designs and funding were
established to implement mass education on an assembly-line model organized to prepare students
for their “places in life”—judgments that were enacted within contexts of deep-seated racial, ethnic,
economic, and cultural prejudices. In a historical moment when we have more knowledge about
human development and learning, when society and the economy demand a more challenging set
of skills, and when—at least in our rhetoric—there is a greater social commitment to equitable
education, it is time to use the huge disruptions caused by this pandemic to reinvent our systems
of education. The question is: How we can harness these understandings as we necessarily redesign
school? How can we transform what has not been working for children and for our society into a
more equitable and empowering future?
This report provides an overarching framework that focuses on how policymakers as well as
educators can support equitable, effective teaching and learning regardless of the medium
through which that takes place. This framework provides research, state and local examples, and
policy recommendations in 10 key areas that speak both to transforming learning and to closing
opportunity and achievement gaps. It illustrates how policymakers and educators can:
- Close the digital divide
- Strengthen distance and blended learning
- Assess what students need
- Ensure supports for social and emotional learning
- Redesign schools for stronger relationships
- Emphasize authentic, culturally responsive learning
- Provide expanded learning time
- Establish community schools and wraparound supports
- Prepare educators for reinventing school
- Leverage more adequate and equitable school funding
Each of these 10 policy priorities will help schools reinvent themselves around principles of equity,
authentic learning, and stronger relationships, and they require shifts from policymakers and
Parents and Teachers Want to See Big Changes Come Out of the Pandemic, Survey Says
As many students return to in-person instruction after staying at home for much of the 2020-21 academic year, parents and teachers alike are hoping school itself will look different, with more opportunity for smaller classes and personalized attention for students.
What’s more, the majority of both parents and teachers are eager for kids to go back to in-person schooling full-time this fall, according to a survey released this week by a civil rights education and a learning nonprofit organization.
Both groups also understand it’s not going to be easy. Ninety percent of teachers and 61 percent of parents surveyed last month are expecting big challenges as children head back to in-person classrooms. Academic development was a top concern, with 73 percent of respondents listing it as number one in a survey conducted last month by Understood, a non-profit that works on behalf of children with learning and thinking differences, and UnidosUS, an organization that works on behalf of Latinos.
Follow this link to see a video on digital SEL approaches and to find an article and links by grade level to supporting resources.
With students returning for full-time, in-person learning this fall, there will be challenges, including supporting students’ mental health.
— Read on www.eschoolnews.com/2021/08/06/3-strategies-to-address-students-mental-and-behavioral-health-challenges-this-fall/
Example of teacher pandemic innovation—How HyperDocs Can Make Schoolwork More Student Friendly | from Edutopia
HyperDocs are a way to give high school students easy access to everything they need for the week in one place.
— Read on www.edutopia.org/article/how-hyperdocs-can-make-schoolwork-more-student-friendly
Pamela Cantor, M.D., Linda Darling-Hammond, Merita Irby, and Karen Pittman Education has long been central to the promise of the United States of America. But our current education system has never been designed to promote the equitable opportunities or outcomes that our children and families deserve, and that our democracy, society and economy need. Our system was designed for a different world — to support mass education preparing students for their presumed “places in life.” That world believ
— Read on www.soldalliance.org/
Cllck below to learn about games, activities, creative ways to support and engage learners in developing resiliency and relational skills. Featured here are Classcraft, Weird Enough Productions, Class Catalyst, and FUNecole.
In a probability-based survey of parents of children aged 5–12 years, 45.7% reported that their children received virtual instruction only, 30.9% in-person only, and 23.4% combined virtual and in-person instruction. Findings suggest that virtual instruction might present more risks than does in-person instruction related to child and parental mental and emotional health and some health-supporting behaviors.
Full report:Association of Children’s Mode of School Instruction with Child and Parent Experiences and Well-Being During the COVID-19 Pandemic — COVID Experiences Survey, United States, October 8–November 13, 2020