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| We’re hearing a lot of conflicting scenarios and projections related to the teacher workforce come fall. Indicators of teacher demand and supply—including the number of teaching and other positions funded, the number required to deliver instruction safely, turnover rates, and the supply of new teachers coming out of teacher preparation programs—can help us begin to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the educator workforce.
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| Oakland Unified's school-based health centers, part of the district's full-service community schools initiative, are a trusted source of information and services for students and families in the district. This institutional trust is essential to providing care in "typical" times, and became even more critical when schools closed due to the COVID-19 crisis, enabling staff to identify and support both ongoing and emerging student and family needs.
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| A community schools initiative, launched by the Los Angeles County Office of Education in September 2019, provides personnel, infrastructure, and funding support for 15 high schools throughout the county. The structures and relationships developed as a result of the initiative enabled schools’ rapid response to support students and families during the COVID-19 crisis.
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| Those of us who work in education must acknowledge that our school systems have been complicit in perpetuating systemic racism, including through the criminalization and marginalization of Black children. Our goal in this moment must be to dismantle these discriminatory policies and replace them with approaches that honor the dignity of the lives of Black children as they do of all children.
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| Adults—including teachers, principals, and family members—play important roles in supporting children’s social and emotional development. But to create the relationships and learning environments that promote students’ SEL, adults themselves need to feel empowered, supported, and valued. This is especially true in the post COVID-19 world, given the disruption to lives and routines caused by the pandemic.
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| The COVID-19 pandemic has forced childcare and preschool providers around the country to temporarily close their doors and financial burdens may force thousands of centers to shut down permanently. This could lead to the loss of as many as 450,000 child care slots, jeopardize efforts to reopen the economy, and undermine the development of our youngest learners.
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| School systems have implemented a variety of practices to support students and families during the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting disruption to traditional schooling. These include developmentally appropriate strategies for understanding and regulating emotions and practicing self-care, guiding families on how to create supportive home environments, and fostering an overarching commitment to creating connectedness across physical distance.
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| The Covid-19 pandemic puts a stark light on an emerging truth—education as we know it is over, and we must think of “school” in deeply different ways. Here is my top ten list of policies that could allow us to seize this moment to strengthen learning for our students—today and into the future.
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| Community schools create opportunities for engaged and rigorous learning rooted in the assets and needs of students, families, and the larger community. As COVID-19 forced schools to close and shift to distance learning, teachers at two Los Angeles community schools adapted and created community-based learning projects that address issues currently affecting students’ lives.
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| All students benefit from opportunities to reflect on their learning and work. Around the country, schools are adopting portfolios, showcases, and other forms of performance assessment to help students build essential metacognitive skills. Given the disruption caused by COVID-19, these strategies can also be an effective way to bring closure and add meaning to a tumultuous school year.