District and school leaders are confronting difficult, high-stakes decisions as they plan for how and if they will reopen school buildings this fall as the global pandemic rages on. Safety for students and staff members is the chief priority. But with no vaccine or effective treatment yet against COVID-19, no one can be fully shielded from the risk. There are no playbooks for how to do this.
Many of the options and requirements for reopening schools will upend some of the most effective aspects of teaching and learning. Following public health protocols will cost a lot of money, even as school budgets are pummeled by the economic collapse. Managing the anxieties of teachers, students, and parents will require patience, compassion, and careful communication.
To help district and school leaders navigate these monumental decisions, our journalists and expert guests will discuss with you, the Education Week reader, some of the biggest challenges ahead and offer ideas and solutions that you can use and adapt for your districts and schools.
The 'COVID-19 Slide': Measuring and Addressing Learning Losses
Supporting Students’ Social-Emotional and Mental Health Needs
How Can Remote Learning Improve This Fall?
What Teachers’ Jobs Will Look Like
Creating an Equitable Return to School
Accelerate Learning for Struggling Readers During Unprecedented Times
Join Terrie Noland, Learning Ally VP Educator Initiatives, CALP in Literacy and other K-12 leaders in an open discussion about how to support educators in meeting the needs of struggling readers this fall. She will be discussing strategies to quickly assess students' reading ability and to provide support so struggling readers can catch up and keep pace with their peers. Strategies around indicators, interventions, and accommodations will be discussed.
Addressing Gaps in Learning
With the challenges that reopening schools brings, addressing gaps in learning needs dynamic discussion and customized solutions. In this booth, learn best practices that:
- Examine the importance of the alignment of curricula to rigorous standards within and across grade levels
- Explore how educators can use formative assessment processes to identify students' understanding and gaps in foundational knowledge as they begin a new year
- Discuss differentiated instruction, with a particular focus on acceleration rather than remediation
Connecting School and Home: How to Find Your Focus for Back to School
Returning to school will be a journey for us all. But despite unprecedented circumstances, educators will continue to assess, monitor progress, teach and differentiate instruction while leading students toward skill growth.
This interactive discussion will help equip educational leaders interested in strengthening the school-to-home connection. Join Istation professional development experts and former educators Kathryn Simmons and Tina Cole to learn how to make sound instructional decisions whether the learning takes place in person or remotely, discover best practices to get school-wide buy-in, and implement learning systems with ease. Plus, connect with peers in the booth to hear what’s working in other K-8 classrooms as well as share tips to improve parent communication and more.
Developing a Brick-to-Click Learning Environment
Building a well-functioning brick-to-click learning environment—one that enables you to switch between in-person (brick) and virtual (click) instruction—requires innovation, planning, and adaptability. What training will teachers need? Will your curriculum enable you to switch between brick and click? What social and emotional supports are critical for your students and teachers? How can teachers motivate students in this new learning environment? Discover the steps you can take to reopen your school doors and prepare your school or district community with the support they need to continue learning in any setting.
Focused on how to best support your students? We can help!
Addressing your students’ needs holistically—academically from measuring and screening learning challenges to assessing and monitoring behavior and social-emotional capabilities—while ensuring equity throughout your classroom seems like a big task, but having the right resources and support in place will lighten your load immeasurably.
Our team of experts is here to help with:
- Screening guidelines for the return to school
- Using SEL to build resilience
- Benchmarking, assessing, and monitoring progress for behavior and literacy challenges
- Putting an MTSS system together (and what tools to use)
How Diagnostic Tools, Interventions & Critical Thinking Guide Back-to-School Instructional Planning
Overcoming learning loss and preparing students for success are critical. Join Mentoring Minds to discuss how diagnostic tools, interventions, and the 9 Traits of Critical Thinking™ can help address learning gaps and promote deeper thinking this year and beyond.
Driving Engagement While Teaching Remotely
Regardless of how we go back to school, driving engagement to make up for learning gaps will be critical. Let’s chat about best practices education consultants are seeing schools implement as they start the new year. In our booth, learn how to:
- Evaluate your new remote/hybrid learning environments
- Introduce rigor into lesson development and engagement
- Leverage SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition) to help teachers adopt and embrace technology in new learning scenarios
- Deliver the right level of assessment to the right students
- Use polling to drive engagement
- Introduce apps, add-ons, and extensions to improve workflows
- Set teachers up for success in the NEW ‘school’
Sustainability and Management of a True 1:1 Technology Program for Students
In today’s unprecedented environment, the education system is being asked to create virtual classrooms in situations where there may not be the technology or support systems in place. Whether you are deploying Chromebooks or tablets, managing a sustainable 1:1 technology program is complex. Once the devices go home, the "surprises" begin. What happens when a device breaks? What if a student needs help after hours? How can you make the program sustainable year-over-year? What considerations do you have in place for online safety of students using school-issued devices?
Education Week can provide 1 hour of Professional Development credit for online summits if the educator attends live. A Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you shortly after the summit has ended. On demand viewing of a summit cannot be used for credit. As with all professional development hours delivered, Education Week recommends each educator verify ahead of the online summit that the content will qualify for professional development in your school, district, county, or state with your supervisor, human resources professional, and/or principal or superintendent’s office.