Essential actions to achieve a comprehensive understanding of students’ academic and social-emotional well-being when they return and to effectively transition back to instruction in the classroom

Do First

  • Build a Return to Instruction working group, potentially led by the Director of Curriculum, Chief Academic Officer or the equivalent, and composed of diverse and representative stakeholders on the district and school-level, such as school leaders and teachers.
  • Set an ambitious goal to ensure that every student is on track for success academically and socially and emotionally by the end of the 2022 school year. This could include developing a process for schools to create and implement individualized plans for each student based on their needs.
  • Develop a plan for assessing students’ learning progress and loss when students return that includes multiple forms of assessment (e.g., diagnostics, formative assessments, student work, conferences, advisories, parent feedback).
  • Inventory all intervention programs and services that are available to students when they return to school, through the district, and on the school-level, and identify any gaps.
  • Identify the most vulnerable students (students with disabilities, English-language learners, students who are homeless or live in temporary housing, migrant students, and students who live in poverty or whose families face other challenges, and students directly affected by SARS-CoV-2 due to a death or job loss in their family) to recognize and prioritize their needs.
  • Connect with your State Education Agency (SEA) about changes to testing, grading, report cards, and promotion policies, and outline decision points.
  • Ensure that schools and teachers are engaging in intentional curriculum planning and documentation, inclusive of curriculum maps, pacing plans and calendars, and lesson plans, to ensure continuity of instruction during a second wave in school year 2020 -2021, should it materialize.
  • Secure resources and plan restorative supports and professional learning offerings for teachers around SARS-CoV-2 and trauma, equity and implicit bias, Social Emotional Learning , inclusion and appropriate use of digital and online learning tools and systems, and Culturally Responsive Education.

Do Before School Opens

  • Solidify and communicate an overall plan for assessment for when students return to school that includes timelines for giving assessments, analyzing data, and making adjustments to curriculum and academic goals based on the data.
  • Share a comprehensive account of academic interventions  and social-emotional and mental health support services available through the district.
  • Assess the capacity of structures outside of the regular school day, such as summer learning options, extended day, and after school programming, to potentially be leveraged to support students in need of learning recovery.
  • Communicate decisions and guidance around grading, report cards, and promotion policies with school leaders, teachers, and parents.
  • Align expectations around onboarding school communities, including students, teachers, school leaders, and parents, that prioritize the whole child, and emphasize a tone of safety, togetherness, and empathy.

Do When Schools are Open and Operating

  • Review assessment data gathered by schools to identify overall trends and specific gaps in student learning to design targeted supports and match appropriate interventions (potentially maintain the Return to Instruction working group to do this work).
  • Conduct checkpoints with school leaders around curriculum pacing and ongoing monitoring of student progress, specifically honing in on the progress of the most vulnerable students or student populations.
  • Develop targeted intervention plans to stopgap learning loss for the most vulnerable students.
  • Assess the efficacy of all academic and social-emotional  interventions against the goal of ensuring that every student is on track by the end of the 2022 school year, and report out the results on a quarterly basis.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of any remote learning experiences by surveying school leaders, teachers, and parents to gather their feedback and input, to make improvements in case of any additional disruptions to school time.