From guest blogger Alyssa Morones
The Alabama State Department of Education today unveiled its new plan to address barriers to learning and teaching, reported the Associated Press. The “Unified and Comprehensive System of Learning Supports for Alabama Students” design document focuses on prevention and early intervention, shifting the focus away from more reactive kinds of measures.
According to the department, 10 school districts will adopt the design this fall. More districts will phase it in over the next few years.
The report includes a list of environmental and personal barriers to student learning, including neighborhood violence, poverty, poor-quality schools, and medical or nutrition problems. These barriers all contribute to problems in school, such as truancy, learning rates, and discipline issues, among others.
The document explains that “improved instruction alone cannot address the wide range of barriers to teaching and learning that interfere with schools reaching their improvement goals.” For that reason, the department developed a system that addresses barriers to learning.
The system provides support to instruction, learning, and management. It develops multiple pathways to success and focuses on six areas in which to address barriers to learning. These include: classroom-based approaches to enable learning, support for transitions, home and family engagement, community engagement, crisis assistance and prevention, and student and family interventions.
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A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.