As we settle into August and look ahead to the new school year, I hope you can find some time for a bit more rest and relaxation. To support all the great work that is happening in your states, we’ve curated our biweekly round-up of events and resources below.
- Summer Learning and Enrichment Collaborative Virtual Session 6. Join the Summer Learning and Enrichment Collaborative on Thursday, August 12th from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm EDT. The opening plenary will feature a conversation between Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and a panel of inspiring students to discuss how they have been impacted by summer programs, and to offer their advice to education leaders on how to reimagine, redesign, and rebuild engaging learning and enrichment opportunities throughout the year. In addition, representatives from the CDC will provide guidance and resources for returning to school and participants will engage in tabletop discussions. View the agenda and register for the webinar here.
- From Voices to Action: Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Families’ Responses to Pandemic and School Reopening. On Thursday, August 12th at 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm ET the Center for Education Equity (EAC Region I) will host a webinar that highlights the results of a survey on the perspectives and challenges of AAPI families as many communities reopen with in-person schooling. To register for this webinar, click here.
- All Data on Deck! Using Data to Improve Education Through the Pandemic. On Monday, August 16th through Friday, August 20th from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm ET each day, the U.S. Department of Education’s 2021 National Center for Education Statistics’ (NCES) will hold its STATS-DC Data Conference. To learn more about this conference and register for the event click here.
- Improving Civic Readiness Through Research, Policy, and Practice. On Tuesday, August 17th from 12:00 to 1:00 pm MT the Regional Educational Laboratories Central will host a webinar in which they will provide an overview of research on trends in civic readiness, education, and participation and introduce our new tool, Measuring Civic Readiness: A Review of Survey Scales. To register for this webinar, click here.
- EquiLearn Virtual Roundtable: Equity Connect! Centering Equity in School Boards & District Leadership . On Thursday, August 19th from 1:00pmto 2:00 pm ET, the Midwest and Plains (MAP) Equity Assistance Center (EAC Region III) will host a virtual roundtable with Ferndale Public Schools (FPS), to share approaches they took, in partnership with the MAP Center, to build the capacity of their district leadership and school board and to develop an equity-focused strategic plan. To register for this virtual roundtable, click here.
- (Archived) Lessons from the Field: Returning to School: Strategies for Supporting Staff. The National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments (NCSSLE) hosted the webinar, Returning to School: Strategies for Supporting Staff. In this session, the CDC, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Education shared information on supporting staff health and wellness as educators return to school this fall. Following the federal agency updates, field-based practitioners shared strategies they have found to be effective in supporting staff wellness. To view the webinar and access the materials, click here.
- The U.S. Department of Education (Department) announced the approval of 17 American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) plans and distributed remaining ARP ESSER funds to them. All plans are posted in the ARP ESSER State Plan table as they are received. Approved State materials are posted following review and approval by the Department.
New Comprehensive Center and REL Resources
Responding to COVID-19 Challenges
- Education Stories From the Field Phase 2: Maintaining Education Quality Across Pandemic Schooling Models. In April 2021, the National Center posted the first installment of “Education Stories from the Field: Leading During a Global Pandemic,” a series of in-depth interviews with state education leaders in Missouri, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming that documented the experience of managing the COVID-19 pandemic response at a state level. In a new installment recently published, the National Center checks back in with these state chiefs to learn about their decision-making processes, the lessons they learned, and the challenges they encountered as they led their states through the first six months of a school year unlike any other.
- Beating The Pandemic: The U.S. Virgin Islands’ Collaborative Design Team. This blog by the Region 3 Comprehensive Center highlights how the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Education (VIDE) is working with the Region 3 Comprehensive Center (R3CC) to implement the Collaborative Design Team (CDT). The CDT is a multi-faceted project that includes regular meetings, workgroups to update standards, and the development of a microsite to house all things related to curriculum and instruction.
- The NIC: Region 5 is Working Together to Address Problems of Practice in a New Era of Schooling. This blog by the Region 5 Comprehensive Center describes the Region 5 Networked Improvement Community (NIC). The NIC has become the vehicle for collectively identifying, testing, and eventually scaling effective solutions for the delivery of high-quality instruction remotely during COVID-19 school closures.
Additional Federal TA Network Resources
- New Digest: Community Stakeholder Support: Disrupting Anti-Blackness and Homophobia in Schools. This Equity Digest by the Midwest and Plains Equity Assistance Center (EAC Region III) is a call to action for school and community stakeholders to collaborate with educators to increase language, policies, and practices that center the lived experiences of students who hold the intersectional identities of being both Black and a member of the LGBTQ community. This Equity Digest defines intersectionality, explains how anti-Blackness and homophobia show up in schools, and provides concrete next steps for creating caring and affirming schooling environments for students who identify as Black and queer.
- New Guide: Data Guide for Enhancing Your PBIS Framework to Address Student Mental Health. This brief by the Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) provides a state example of recommendations to practitioners on how to use data to identify mental health needs, select appropriate interventions, and monitor progress.
- New Tool: Resources and Tools for K-12 Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) Revisions. This tool by the Readiness and Emergency Management Services (REMS) Technical Assistance Center is designed to help evaluate an existing school emergency operations plan against the guidelines set forth in the Federal Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans (School Guide). EOP EVALUATE for K-12 Schools is structured to help determine the extent to which existing plans align with the recommendations made by the U.S. Departments of Education, Homeland Security with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Justice with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Health and Human Services—specifically, the planning principles, six-step planning process for plan development, and the structure of your plan, as set forth in the Federal guidance.
- New Toolkit: Cost-Feasibility Analysis Toolkit for Supplemental Online Programs: User Guide. This Cost-Feasibility Analysis (CFA) Toolkit by the Regional Educational Laboratory Appalachia guides users through a four-stage process that yields cost information that can support decision making about implementing a supplemental online program. The toolkit includes guidance, helpful resources, and an Excel-based cost-estimation tool that support users as they work through the four stages: analysis (stage 1), collecting data (stage 2), estimating program costs (stage 3), and determining the feasibility of implementing the supplemental online program (stage 4). To access the tools, click here.
- New Report: Student Social-Emotional Competencies and Outcomes. This report by the Regional Educational Laboratory Pacific examined grade 11 and 12 student responses to a social-emotional competency survey and administrative data on high school and college academic and behavioral outcomes. Five social-emotional competency domains were examined: self-management, growth mindset, self-efficacy, sense of belonging, and social awareness. The findings suggest that growth mindset and self-efficacy are related to student outcomes. Monitoring social-emotional competency scores could shed light on their social-emotional needs and help educators identify ways to support students. To learn more about the key findings and read the report in its entirety, click here.
- New Report: The Effect of School Report Card Design on Usability, Understanding, and Satisfaction. This report by the Regional Educational Laboratory Mid-Atlantic is based on a study in which they partnered with the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education to test five different online report card designs with users. The study looked at how easy it is to use and understand the report cards, how easy it is to find information in them, and whether users would recommend designs to others. The study provides a model for how policymakers and practitioners in other states can test school report card design. To read the report in its entirety click here.
Make Your Voice Heard
- Notice for Public Comment on EANS Data Collection Form and GEER Data Collection Form. The Office of State and Grantee Relations (SGR) would like to inform you of an opportunity to provide public comment regarding the Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools (EANS) program Recipient Data Collection Form and the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund Recipient Data Collection Form. To access and review all the documents related to the EANS and GEER information collection listed in this notice, please click here and here. The public comment period for both the EANS and the GEER program data collection forms closes on September 13, 2021.