Plan-Do-Study-Act…to Reopen Schools Effectively

  1. Disruptions to Student Success Teams — These teams, so critical to the identification of student need, have been badly impacted by both the transition to virtual learning and the transition back to in-person learning. Cohorting and schedule changes have created scenarios where Student Success Teams (SST) find it difficult or impossible to maintain a regular rhythm of meeting. Without functional SSTs, students are not being identified for interventions and assessments in a timely manner.
  2. Navigating a radically altered teaching environment — Our teachers are the backbone of the education system. For many, reopening means providing in-person and virtual teaching simultaneously. This presents all kinds of new and unexpected challenges: how to engage students in class and online at the same time, how to engage students in group learning processes while adhering to safety protocols, and how to ensure equitable participation across these learning environments. Instruction has taken on a whole new meaning.
  3. The coordination and staffing of substitute teaching — Reopening means many of the challenges which existed pre-pandemic, including the need for substitute teachers when staff are ill or out of the classroom, have been exacerbated. The preservation of safety is key and for many districts, that means figuring out new processes for staffing and supporting substitute (or guest) teachers as students come back to campus.
  1. Testing an SST “huddle” twice a week for 15 min (for a couple of weeks) rather than an extended meeting once a month, which is no longer possible due to schedule changes.
  2. Trying a student advocate role among online learners to serve as a reminder to the in-class teacher to check-in on or call on virtual learners for a couple of days to see if that helps improve virtual participation.
  3. Testing a new booking procedure for guest teachers, from communication of need to assignment to classrooms, for a week, to learn if needs are met and guest teachers are satisfied.

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