Present, Engaged and Supported: A Guide to Planning Transitions to School

From Attendance Works

“The transition back to school for the 2020-21 school year will be one like no other in recent history. Education may occur in classrooms, virtually or as a combination. School transitions in and out of classrooms may occur more than once.

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, every student and family, as well as education leaders, teachers and staff, experienced some level of stress, while others have experienced deep trauma from family illness, death and loss of income.

The pandemic laid bare and exacerbated existing economic and social inequities, resulting in unequal access to rich learning opportunities. This is particularly true for students of color (i.e. Black Americans, Latinx, Native Americans) and students with disabilities, living in low-income rural communities, and involved in public systems. Uneven access to the internet, digital tools and supports available when school buildings are open meant many students weren’t able to continue their academic learning during the spring.

Yet like never before, we have an opportunity for districts and schools to build back better. Use this planning process to redefine what engagement looks like, what school leadership means, and how innovative, fun and student-centered learning can be enjoyable and empowering for both staff and students whether learning in person or remotely.

To assist educators and administrators in responding to the unique challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, Attendance Works developed Present, Engaged and Supported: A Guide to Planning Transitions to School. This guide calls for a systemic approach to supporting transitions to school that is data-informed and restorative. The guide is focused on providing deeper support for students who missed out on accessing school lessons, and on welcoming families, who are always essential partners in a child’s education. ” Read full article with resource links