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Briefs


Brief
Group of adults and children smiling and seated in a circle.
Brief
| A historic $3 billion investment in the California Community Schools Partnership Program provides an opportunity to transform schools into community hubs that deliver whole child education. Examining key elements of the new law, LPI and Opportunity Institute researchers lay out evidence-based principles of high-quality community schools implementation that are aligned with the science of learning and development and discuss the need for technical assistance.
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Young adults wearing masks and seated in a classroom.
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| Schools across California have reopened for in-person learning, undertaking the challenging but crucial work of ensuring student safety. Examining multiple districts across the state, LPI researchers provide important models and key lessons for safe school reopening. As their work demonstrates, schools implementing multilayered mitigation strategies can stay open safely, minimize further disruptions to learning, and ensure that students can focus on their education and reconnecting to their school community.
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Student murals on the Mendez campus
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| Felicitas & Gonzalo Mendez High School, a community school located in East Los Angeles, provides its students with rigorous and engaging academics in a nurturing and inclusive environment. Driven by a shared commitment to educational justice and building strong, community-grounded partnerships, the school prioritizes student engagement and leadership, both on and off the campus.
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Middle school students entering a classroom wearing masks.
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| Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, districts nationwide have faced the difficult task of reopening schools safely and keeping them open, while also accelerating student learning and attending to the trauma and loss experienced by students and families. By adopting a nimble and forward-looking recovery strategy encompassing social and emotional, as well as physical, safety, Tulsa Public Schools had a safe and successful spring and summer 2021, and plans to continue these efforts into the fall.
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Woman with a clipboard observing a young girl in a school setting
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| Early childhood assessments can provide important information to guide instruction and inform policy. Given the widespread and growing use of statewide kindergarten entry assessments, it is important to understand how to choose and use assessments wisely. This brief summarizes research and provides recommendations for state policymakers about how to select, develop, and implement high-quality assessments that can both improve policy systems and support equitable learning.
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African American student wearing a mask and writing on a whiteboard.
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| San Diego County provided a wide range of supports to districts throughout the pandemic—from a website consolidating COVID-19 and distance learning information to a reopening framework with resources on facility sanitizing, campus capacity, meal programs, busing, arrival and symptom screening procedures, and scheduling. Working with public health partners, these efforts resulted in 98% of districts in the county reopening for in-person learning as of May 2021.
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North Carolina city skyline
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| The conditions in and around high-poverty schools and communities result in far too many students not being educated adequately to participate in the global economy or become active, informed citizens. An analysis in North Carolina offers four sets of evidence-based recommendations to provide students with the resources and opportunities they need and put high-poverty schools on a path of equitable improvement.
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Preschool student and teacher playing with toy
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| Reopening efforts should consider child care and preschool programs alongside k–12. To clarify what is known about COVID-19 transmission in early education programs, LPI researchers synthesized studies from around the world that explore transmission rates and mitigation strategies in these programs. They found that, when appropriate health and safety precautions are in place, there is no increased risk of contracting COVID-19.
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Student wearing mask while working at desk
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| In March 2020, New York City was a pandemic hotspot. Yet NYC was also the first large U.S. city to reopen its schools. Researchers explore the various mitigation strategies the NYC Department of Education implemented to bring students back and offer useful resources that can support policymakers and educators navigating their own school reopening plans.
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Students in group talking with each other
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| Multiple, ongoing crises—from the pandemic to systemic racism—are contributing to a collective and individual trauma that impacts the mental health, wellness, and education of students across the nation. These challenges also present an opportunity to redesign schools into restorative spaces where young people are known and nurtured. Research shows several practices school leaders can adopt to increase equity and help students thrive.