City School District of Albany, N.Y., Superintendent Kaweeda Adams responded to a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in the district by offering voluntary, rapid nasal-swab tests to all staff and students. The school-based testing expands access and equity of efforts to curtail the spread of the coronavirus, Adams said.
Middle schools in Wichita, Kan., are gearing up to return to in-person learning two days a week on Jan. 25. The hybrid schedule combined with an uptick in substitute teacher licensing is hoped to help cover any staffing issues schools might encounter, notes guest staff services manager Stacie McKay.
Middle-school and early high-school students may be at the biggest risk for long-term effects of pandemic trauma, as research out of Denmark shows that young adolescents experiencing family dysfunction have at least a 43% greater chance of having problems in adulthood than those who don't. Educators can help students by helping them recognize how they have overcome challenges and made progress during this time, the Association for Middle Level Education recommends.
All teachers across all grade levels have an opportunity to integrate next week's presidential inauguration in lessons, says Stefanie Wager, president of the National Council for the Social Studies. Besides lessons about the US' historically peaceful transfer of power, Wager and others say the inauguration offers potential for math classes, such as studying the economics of the event and the role of taxpayer funding.
Teachers throughout the US share the ways they are helping break down last week's siege on the Capitol in Washington, D.C., with students across grades. Their lessons included segments on fact checking and media literacy, analyzing language and symbols, such as the Confederate flag, and exploring free speech, censorship and the First Amendment.
A majority of California State Board of Education members want to ask the federal government to once again allow waivers for standardized testing as it did in 2020 due to the pandemic. The board also discussed alternatives to a waiver request, as well as the need to assess students in order to address disparities and learning loss.
The Indiana State Board of Education this week continued its consideration of ways to revamp the state's school accountability system so it's more in line with new secondary-level graduation pathways requirements. Members discussed tracking student learning targets in a more individualized manner and the importance of connecting such measurements to academic outcomes, and they also discussed a two-tiered system that would relax accountability requirements for high-achieving schools.
The pandemic is creating a new normal for the K-12 model, and several trends will weigh heavily on schools for 2021. Vaccination schedules for teachers, federal policy shifts as the Biden administration takes charge, ongoing concerns about learning loss stemming from pandemic disruptions to schooling, social justice issues and teacher burnout are among the eight key areas to watch.
- Sancha K. Gray, Asbury Park School District, Superintendent of Schools
- Brandy Nelson, Ed.D., Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Executive Director, Learning and Teaching
- Dr. Kecia Ray, K20Connect
Several studies have come out highlighting projected learning loss through the end of the 2020-21 academic year. While worst-case scenarios seem to have been avoided, gaps in learning are prevalent, with students on average likely to lose five to nine months of learning by the end of this school year. With returning fully in-person still not an option for most districts, it is essential to identify and implement strategies that can curb learning loss now. Join school and district leaders to learn:
- Promising practices for addressing learning gaps now
- How to redesign instructional time to maximize engagement and differentiation and leverage new skills developed as a result of the pandemic
Leave with a framework and strategies you can use to bridge potential gaps in your context. REGISTER NOW!
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