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Online Learning and Other Resources for the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic: Preparing to Return


Though Coronavirus continues to complicate education in the United States and across the world, actions are currently being taken to slowly reopen the economy in Connecticut. As the reopening process continues to progress, it will soon be expected that students and teachers return to schools.

Although we do not firmly know what that educational future might look like, the SERC Library has curated the materials and resources on this page to support educators and parents as we all consider important educational issues and continue to adapt to what the future of education might become.

Webinar: “Take Heart” With Your Return to Learn: Fostering a Safe and Responsive Learning Environment

When it comes to gearing up for the return to school, what keeps you up at night? Navigating the return to school, no matter the modality of instruction, begins by establishing a safe and responsive learning environment for teachers and students. In this edWebinar, Lynn Walters, Vice President of Professional Learning at HMH, will explore social and emotional competencies and collectively attend to the social-emotional well-being of teachers, students, and their families.

Webinar: Capture the Opportunity: Steps to Redesign School-Level Systems for Equity

As schools and districts plan for return to school in the fall, communities are anticipating changes and pivots to school operations and how learning is provided. Therefore, school-level leaders are in a great position to redesign school-level systems through equity for their marginalized groups of students.  Join this webinar to learn immediate tactical steps to take as a principal or school leadership design team and hear how leaders are inspired to do this work across the country.  This webinar is a great opportunity for participants to come as a team to learn and unlearn together.

UNICEF:Supporting your child’s mental health as they return to school during COVID-19

The Coronavirus outbreak has caused major disruptions to daily life and children are feeling these changes deeply. While the return to school will be not only welcome but exciting for many students, others will be feeling anxious or frightened. Read this article from UNICEF to gain tips to help your children navigate some of the complicated emotions they may be facing with going back to school.

Infographic: What Will It Cost To Open Schools?

This document estimates some of the expenses school districts may incur in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and as they plan to reopen for the 2020–2021 school year. These calculations assume the statistics of an average* school district with 3,659 students, 8 school buildings, 183 classrooms, 329 staff members, and 40 school buses (transporting at 25% capacity, or 915 students, to comply with recommended social distancing guidelines).

Provided by ASB International and AASA.

Webinar: Building Your Responsive Return Plans for 2020-2021 (Part 1B in the Return Planning Series)

As the school year ends, many districts are already preparing for the fall - this amid ongoing ambiguity about what states, and local health agencies may require. Join us as we listen to leaders from three districts as they share their process of return to school planning, their practical tips on how to begin, and what they wish they knew about return planning before getting started.

Provided by Education Elements

Webinar: Building Your Responsive Return Plans for 2020-2021

As the school year ends, many districts are already preparing for the fall - this amid ongoing ambiguity about what states, and local health agencies may require. Join us as we listen to leaders from three districts as they share their process of return to school planning, their practical tips on how to begin, and what they wish they knew about return planning before getting started.

ASCD In Service: Preparing Our School Districts for Fall 2020

This article, featured on ASCD In Service, reviews 90 essential questions that need to be answered by schools and districts before the start of the new school year.

Connecticut State Board of Education - Guidance Regarding Special Education Students

The Connecticut State Board of Education (CSDE) has provided a few addendums to support the Adapt, Advance, Achieve Connecticut's Plan to Learn and Grow Together document. Please read through the documents below to gain more insight on the Adapt, Advance, Achieve plan.

Early Childhood Education Research Alliance Members Share Strategies in Response to COVID-19 Crisis

Read through this blog post, provided by REL Northeast & Islands, to discover ways that states are supporting and helping schools to overcome the unique complications caused by the COVID-19 crisis.

Webinar: Rethinking Teams for Return To School (Part 3 of the Return Planning Series)

Join us for a conversation about the strategies that teams -- whether central office or teacher teams -- can use to bring joy, create belonging, provide resilience, and prepare us for responding to the rapidly shifting nature of schooling.

NGA Education's State Reopening Tracking

This chart indicates actions that states have taken to reopen educational settings, including child care settings, camps and summer school programming, K-12 schools, and postsecondary institutions. Please note this chart displays an evolving analysis of reopening in the education sector and is not exhaustive of statewide actions. This list addresses statewide guidance does not address K-12 district or individual postsecondary institution guidance. State reopening actions will continue to be tracked and updated within this chart.

Please scroll past the Resource buttons to find the chart.

EdSource: With Masks and Social Distancing, These Special Ed Students Have Already Returned To School

Education news source EdSource provides a look at how, for one middle school in California, some students with disabilities have returned to the classroom amidst the continuing Coronavirus pandemic.

Webinar: Communicating Through The Next Phase of Your Pandemic Response

With schools across the country in their second month of their pandemic response, districts are beginning to or in the process of implementing continued at-home learning plans and extended closures. With continued closures comes continued cycles of communicating new information to larger school and district communities.

This webinar will share key responsive practices to proactively communicate through the next phase of your COVID response. We will share our best practices for communication with a variety of stakeholders based on principles from the best-selling book, The New School Rules, and a practical cadence for sharing information. 

This webinar will include:

  • Consideration of responsive vs. traditional cycles of communication
  • A framework for communication to various stakeholder groups using responsive practices
  • Best practices for how much and how often you should be communicating through the next phase of school closures.

Infographic: Does your school reopening plan ensure educational equity?

School Reopenings: Key Considerations for Supporting English Learners

In this blog post from New America, authors consider 6 important features for educators that will support English Language Learners as school districts prepare to open their doors for Fall 2020.

Regional Educational Laboratory: COVID-19 Outbreak FAQs

To support your efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, REL Northeast & Islands has put together a set of FAQs to assist schools and districts with their most pressing needs. These FAQs share ideas from districts across the country, as well as resources from local and state education agencies.

Questions include:

  • How are districts addressing student promotion and retention?
  • How can schools reconfigure schedules and classrooms to accommodate social distancing?
  • What are some examples of guidance for school reopening?

Webinar: Supporting School Reentry with SEL

This webinar will provide the latest updates (as of June 15, 2020) on Second Step® and other social-emotional learning (SEL) resources available from the Committee for Children. These resources include materials educators can use with families and materials families can use directly. We encourage you to share your experiences and let us know what else we can do to support you as you support your students through this crisis.

Provided by Second Step. 

Key Considerations for Special Educators and the Infants, Children, and Youth They Serve as Schools Reopen

The Council for Exceptional Children has provided a list of elements and considerations for educators and educational stakeholders to consider as they continue to plan to reopen schools in CT come September. 

Online School During the Coronavirus: Advice for Summer and Fall

From the temptation of Netflix to the awkward lulls of video conferencing — attending school from your home comes with a lot of challenges. The Lily talked to two experts who are uniquely equipped to help answer some of your questions about this unusual time. Here are five tips to consider this summer as you plan for the possibility of another semester online in the fall.