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Preventing a Lost School Year

I imagine I’m not alone, trying to cut through all the noise and focus on the most critical issues that need to be addressed this summer. So, I wanted to share with you a really helpful resource from Stand for Children.

We thought about core truths in education and teaching, and created a short guide for school district leaders and principals. We are getting great feedback so I thought it might be worth sharing it with you as well. I hope you will find it useful.
 
We know it will be incredibly challenging to keep students engaged and motivated in the next school year, and it will  be essential to enlist families as partners. Drawing from research and input from award-winning educators and diverse parent leaders, Stand for Children developed Preventing A Lost School Year: The Crucial Importance of Motivating Students & Engaging Families.

Download the Guide

The Preventing a Lost School Year guide was featured in District Administration. Stand for Children CEO Jonah Edelman and Thea Andrade (Chief Academic Officer, Phoenix Union High School District) were interviewed on the recommendations presented in the guide and how this guidance has been successfully implemented. 
 
When Thea first reviewed the guide, this was her reaction:

“Thank you for sharing these amazing resources!!  They couldn’t be more timely. Both our Teaching and Learning and Student/Family Services Division will use these recommendations and the grading guidance is useful to the work of our Marks and Grading Committee, which is embarking on operationalizing evidence-based grading practices through our teacher PLCs.”  
To be clear, this isn’t yet another long re-opening blueprint with high level, abstract guidance.  
 
The guide is two pages of implementable strategies for motivating and supporting students and partnering with families (including an Advisors for All recommendation drawn from PUHSD’s Every Student Every Day initiative!) with links to useful implementation guides. Recommendations include:
  • A Fair Grading Practices Model that enables districts to maximize students’ motivation and engagement while minimizing the potential negative impact of remote learning on students confronting significant learning and life challenges.
  • Advisors for All Middle and High School Students to keep students on track and foster students’ social and emotional development - thank you to PUHSD for this one!
  • Twice monthly grade level team meetings at which educators and staff have strengths-based discussions about how to promptly intervene with off-track students and how to address concerning trends.  
  • Virtual home visits at the beginning of the school year with every student and their parent(s)/guardian(s).  

Given the potential impact these practical recommendations and resources can have, I hope you and key colleagues will take a few minutes to review the recommendations, and share them with your educator friends. Think about what it takes for schools to implement these recommendations, and actively support them.

We greatly welcome and appreciate your feedback regarding the potential to implement the recommendations, and am happy to schedule time to answer any questions or provide additional information.
  
Sincerely,

Rebecca, Stacey, Mary, Jay, Liliana, Katherine, Georgina, Atenas, and Carlos
The Stand for Children Arizona Team 

Stand for Children is a non-profit education advocacy organization focused on ensuring all students receive a high quality, relevant education, especially those whose boundless potential is overlooked and under-tapped because of their skin color, zip code, first language, or disability.

In order to fulfill our mission, Stand for Children, Inc., our 501(c)4 organization, performs all advocacy and lobbying activities while the Stand for Children Leadership Center, our 501(c)3 organization, manages our parent and family education and engagement programs as well as Stand’s public awareness campaigns.
 
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