Hard to believe we’ve nearly made it to August! We hope everyone is getting in some vacation time and enjoying the weather before school starts. As you gear up for the final stretch of summer, here’s our biweekly round-up of events and resources to support all the good work underway in your states.
· Ensuring Equitable Learning Environments for All Students On Thursday, July 29th and Friday, July 30thfrom 9:30 am to 3:00 pm CT IDRA EAC-South (EAC Region II) will virtually host its annual convening. During this event, school teams will get research-based practices, frameworks, and recommendations to provide a common language to address equity, student achievement, social-emotional learning, and trauma-responsive education. To register for this conference, click here.
· Optimizing Educational Equity: Where Best and Evidence-Based Instructional Practices Intersect with Indigenous Pedagogy . On Tuesday, August 3rd at 10:00 am MT/12:00 pm ET, the Western Educational Equity Assistance Center (EAC Region IV) will conduct a webinar exploring how cultural bridges foster greater equity and optimize self-determination within Indigenous learners. Such topics as equity in relationships, relevance, holistic methodologies, circular reflection, embracing strengths-based education, and experiential learning will be covered. Please click here for registration information.
· Supporting Student Mental Health with Medicaid Funds. In ECS’s next installment of their Partnering for Success series, this webinar on August 4 from 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET, will explore how states can continue to support student health—including mental health—through recent changes in federal guidance for Medicaid programs. Register 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.
· All Data on Deck! Using Data to Improve Education Through the Pandemic. On Monday, August 16ththrough 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.
· (Archived) Lessons from the Field: Strategies for Safely Returning to School: The Latest Federal Guidance. This webinar by the U.S. Department of Education (ED), the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Office of Safe and Supportive Schools, and the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environment (NCSSLE) featured updates from the CDC and ED on preparing to return to school for the 2021-22 school year. Following the federal agency updates, practitioner questions were addressed by the CDC and ED staff to allow field personnel to better understand and ultimately operationalize guidance. To access the webinar materials click here.
· (Archived) The Summer Learning and Enrichment Collaborative held a working session focused on ways to engage assets in local communities to support summer learning and enrichment, including community schools as a model for supporting equitable and comprehensive learning opportunities, providing innovative examples of how the community school strategy has been used to support students and families and organize comprehensive summer and out-of-school programming.
· (Archived) Lessons from the Field Webinar Series: Indoor Air Quality and Ventilation in America’s K-12Schools: Guidance and Strategies for Improved Results This webinar by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Education featured updates on maintaining safe indoor air quality in schools. Following the federal agency updates, a panel of practitioners discussed strategies they have utilized to improve indoor air quality and ventilation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To access the webinar materials click here.
· American Rescue Plan (ARP) ESSER State Plans. The U.S. Department of Education (Department) announced the approval of 12 more 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.
Latest R1CC News
· New Blog: Assessing Educator Preparedness in Massachusetts to Effectively Teach Early Literacy Instruction. To support its Literacy Strategic Plan, DESE requested that the Region 1 Comprehensive Center (R1CC) conduct a statewide needs assessment on educator preparation in K–3 literacy instruction. The needs assessment consisted of a review of early childhood and elementary certification course syllabi (EPP Core Course Review) to understand which programs are preparing and providing preservice teachers with opportunities to learn about and practice evidence-based reading and writing instruction.
New Comprehensive Center and REL Resources
· Key Levers for Successful School-Family Relationships. This blog by the Region 9 Comprehensive Center highlights four “levers” that school and district leaders can employ to promote effective family engagement. These levers were determined as Region 9 Comprehensive obtained recommendations from Illinois stakeholders on how to improve the educational experience for students and their families and then mapped the recommendations with current research on equitable family engagement practices.
· Let’s Invite Parents and Families into “The Room Where It Happens.” This blog by the Region 9 Comprehensive Center highlights creative ways that education leaders can ensure that schools are meeting student needs by bringing families into the spaces where decisions are made in schools.
· How Can Educators Engage Families in At-Home Learning and Provide Support to Them During These Challenging Times? This blog by REL West highlights a memo compiling resources for educators to spark ideas about how to maintain school-family partnerships in the absence of opportunities to interact in person.
Additional Federal TA Network Resources
· New Podcast: Schools On the Move Podcast. This podcast from the National Center for Systemic Improvement highlights innovative and promising school practices across the country that enhance outcomes for students with disabilities and create teaching and learning opportunities for educators.
· New Report: Predicting Teacher Candidate Performance on the Praxis at University of Guam/ This report by the Regional Educational Laboratory Pacific examined which student demographic and academic preparation characteristics predict passing the Praxis Core test and each of its subtests. The study examined two groups of students who attempted at least one subtest within three years of enrolling at the University of Guam: students who graduated from a Guåhan public high school, and all students regardless of the high school from which they graduated. To learn the key findings and read the report in its entirety, click here.
· New Brief: Selecting Career Changers with Real Potential for Teaching and Designing a Program to Meet Their Needs. This brief by the Collaboration for Effective Education Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center provides guidelines for leveraging the candidate pool of career changers to enter the teaching workforce to address critical shortage areas.
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 close on September 13, 2021.
· Proposed Priorities and Definitions-Secretary's Supplemental Priorities and Definitions for Discretionary Grants Programs. Consider providing comments on these new proposed priorities from the U.S. Secretary of Education. Public Comments close Friday, July 30, 2021.