Interest in offering summer instruction and enrichment programming for greater numbers of students is building amid pressure for school systems to address students’ learning loss and social-emotional health, said National Summer Learning Association CEO Aaron Dworkin. And although there are logistical and funding hurdles to running summer programs during a pandemic, districts are getting creative by testing out unique strategies, forming new partnerships and applying lessons learned during the school year to make virtual and hybrid learning equitable and fun, Dworkin said.
High-poverty school districts would gain the most from President Joe Biden’s proposal to send nearly $130 billion to America’s K-12 schools, according to legislation released this month. The plan, which could shape school budgets for years to come, represents a massive federal effort to address the academic consequences of two disrupted school years and to help schools reopen their buildings.
For years, afterschool programs have kept kids safe, inspired them to learn, and helped working families. America After 3PM—the largest survey on afterschool, spanning 16 years—found that unmet demand has skyrocketed. For every child in an afterschool program, 3 are waiting to get in. Demand remains strong during the pandemic, as parents see programs providing critical supports.
How a Diverse School District Is Using a Strategy Usually Reserved for ‘Gifted’ Students to Help Everyone Overcome COVID Learning Loss
In Highline Public Schools, leaders consulted that research when trying to mitigate the havoc that the pandemic could wreak on students’ learning, and landed on acceleration. In many cases, districts turn to acceleration to leapfrog gifted students ahead. Highline, a diverse district where 71% of students are living in poverty, is trying to speed up students across the board. And they’re finding it can work for everyone. Acceleration entails focusing on key building blocks, or standards. Looking closely at what students know and don’t through a variety of check-ins, which allows teachers to change how students are grouped. Every unit starts with a pretest, so teachers don’t waste time. And they use “asynchronous” or independent time to catch students up.
As of November 2020, this guide has been updated with specific goals and strategies that can help schools begin accelerating students back to grade level in any instructional format—in-person, virtual, or hybrid. We’ve placed special emphasis on the two most important things schools should prioritize right now: grade-appropriate assignments and strong instruction. Providing students with the challenging, engaging school experiences that can accelerate them back to grade level is possible even during this unprecedented school year—and even imperfect attempts to do it will create far better experiences for many students than they received before the crisis.
Ever since the pandemic closed the nation’s schools in March 2020, there has been no official national source for understanding where schools have reopened, how many hours of live instruction students are getting online and just how unequal the access to learning has been over the past 11 months. On Friday, the National Center for Education Statistics, at the U.S. Department of Education, announced a new survey to answer all these questions and more. The survey will be administered to approximately 7,000 nationally representative elementary and middle schools across the country. It follows an executive order from President Biden.