One way or another, we are returning to school. We may be in classrooms, or at home, or both. But it will be our school, and it will be different from when we left. One thing will be the same, however, our principal will be looking out for everyone—students, families, teachers, staff. This toolkit is for the principal and the team the principal assembles to help everyone return to school, whatever that may look like. Suggested actions, recommended resources, quick tip sheets—the toolkit is a handy computer desktop companion for helping people with Change, Communication, Collaboration, and Care in the time of COVID.
As schools prepare to reopen, district and school leaders must understand the socioemotional needs of the school community in order to plan for a safe, supportive, and equitable learning environment. These four surveys are designed to get feedback from educators, students, caregivers, and school counselors about their experience with online learning/teaching during COVID-19 related school closures. The surveys ask about concerns over school reopening, communication from school/districts, mixed modes of learning (in-person and virtual), readiness to learn, readiness to support students, and the training and resources needed. The surveys each take ~ 10-15 minutes to complete, and contain closed- and open-ended questions that can generate summary scores as well as qualitative responses that can be used in the planning process.
In this issue of Equity Dispatch, Virtual Realities: Equity Considerations for Online & Distance Learning the Region III Midwest and Plains Equity Assistance Center discusses some of the equity implications of online and distance learning in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The issue frames for schools the importance of positioning minority students’ and families’ knowledge production and lived experiences as assets in the development and delivery of online/distance learning.
This resource, jointly created by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA),the Office of Head Start (OHS), and the OHS TA National Centers may be helpful when seeking guidance and resources to help leaders, services providers, teachers, support staff, children, and families during this re-opening and continuity of services.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the following two checklists for parents, guardians, and caregivers to plan and prepare for their children returning to school. The In-Person Learning Checklist has points to consider including checking your child’s temperature each morning and monitoring your child for signs of illness, keeping your child home if they’ve had close contact to a COVID-19 case, and making sure your child is up-to-date with all recommended vaccines. The Virtual or At-Home Learning Checklist addresses setting up for virtual or at-home learning, planning for virtual at-home learning, and mental health and social-emotional wellbeing considerations.