These and other important lessons from Oregon’s Gresham-Barlow School District were discussed during a recent edWebinar, hosted by AASA, The Superintendents Association and AASA’s Leadership Network, with the district’s Superintendent, Dr. Katrise Perera, and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, Lisa Riggs. Gresham-Barlow’s school leaders explained how they have been able to increase and sustain engagement in district activities, and how this has led to improved outcomes for the students.
Disruption is the operative word these days when talking about school. COVID-19 has changed education’s landscape…and stressed out students. They are negotiating lots of uncertainty while navigating a different way of learning, all of which affect their overall well-being. In a recent edWebinar, sponsored by the FastBridge Assessment System by Illuminate Education, Gregory Fabiano, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at Florida International University, shared instructional and learning strategies that strengthen students’ social-emotional learning (SEL) and behavioral skills so they can feel secure and cope during tumultuous times.
Now that the 2020-21 school year is underway, district leaders must continue to respond in new ways to fast-changing situations resulting not just from COVID-19, but also from equity issues, and in many locations from environmental problems as well.
Large school districts in different parts of the United States have now developed systematic ways to increase diverse students’ access to advanced courses, and the districts are also providing other important aspects of an equitable education that prepares the students for 21st century careers.
Faced with fast-changing instructional models, varying infection rates, decreasing revenue sources, and a variety of natural disasters, how can education finance officials meet the short-term needs of their districts as well as longer-term requirements? During a recent edLeader Panel sponsored by Gaggle, four experts shared their recent experiences and current perspectives on the issues and challenges that school districts have been coping with during the past six months. They also discussed interim solutions and plans for the future, all of which are continuing to evolve.
While gaps in technology access were highlighted during the pandemic, many school and district leaders are trying to make strides with an even older issue: educational equity for children of all races and economic backgrounds. In the edWebinar, “Leading for Equity: Pursuing an Equity Agenda,” hosted by AASA, The Superintendents Association and AASA’s Leadership Network, Dr. Frank Barnes, Chief Equity and Accountability Officer, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS), and Kimberly Vaught, Principal, Allenbrook Elementary School, discussed their approach to building equity.
While most educators and students are returning to the familiar classrooms left abruptly in March, teaching this upcoming year will be anything but business as usual. According to Aimee Dearmon, Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) and Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), in a recent edWebinar sponsored by STAR Autism Support, the disruption of routines, schedules, classroom layouts, and necessary social distancing protocols will be very difficult for our most vulnerable students with autism and other developmental disabilities.
Providing science and math content online can be relatively straightforward, but engaging students in true distance learning requires more than just transmittal of information. Secondary students in particular need to be able to see and ask questions during laboratory experiments, or receive feedback when developing their own solutions to math problems. During a recent edWebinar, two experienced teachers explained how they made the transition from teaching in a classroom to remote instruction during the spring, and how they are prepared to teach online or in hybrid settings during the new school year.
Achieving educational equity doesn’t just happen when schools change their expectations and goals in the classroom. Support and understanding from all stakeholders, including families, local businesses, elected officials, etc., is essential to ensuring everyone in the community is working towards the same goal. During the edWebinar, “Leading for Equity: From Research to Practice – Accelerating Outcomes for Scholars of Color, Part II,” hosted by AASA, The Superintendents Association and AASA’s Leadership Network, the presenters continued their exploration of strategies discussed in Part I and how leaders in the Selma City Public Schools are mobilizing their community in pursuit of educational equity.