Link Lines – Summer Edition 2020

Promoting Social Emotional Learning and Equity with Classroom Routines and Procedures:  Part 1

Click here to read this issue for educators

Read the Administrator’s Corner below

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Admin Corner - Sticky Note Option 1

Social and Emotional Learning Strategies for Administrators

By Cathy Buyrn, M.Ed.

In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, resulting school closures and heightened calls to address racial inequities in our society, school administrators must be nimble and creative.  In responding to these critical challenges, they have had to navigate remote learning, staff needs, communication with families, food distribution, technology distribution, connectivity, considerations for summer programs, considerations for opening of schools in the fall, and important questions about equity.

Trauma has touched everyone who makes up the school community, and the lived experience of school administrators during this time has been unique (Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Education [VDOE], 2020). In order to continue to be able to effectively navigate the challenges ahead, administrators must make it a priority to address their own self-care and social and emotional learning (SEL). Moving forward administrators will need to make time to decompress, reflect, and replenish their energy sources to sustain the unprecedented demands on their efforts.

  • Decompress
    • Take care of yourself and your family.
    • Spend time engaged in personal hobbies.
      • Reading for pleasure
      • Exercise
      • Arts & Crafts
      • Cooking
    • Find a support group of friends and/or colleagues.
  • Reflect
    • What has your experience been during the closure?
    • What do you think you did well and what do you hope to improve on?
    • What have you learned about yourself and your staff?
    • What have you learned about the school community?
    • How can you leverage what you have learned in planning for the future? (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning [CASEL], 2020)
  • Replenish Energy Sources
    • Schedule time on your calendar for things that you find energizing about your work.
      • Reading to students
      • Staff community building
      • Relationship building with families
      • Celebrating success

Administrators who effectively address their own self-care and SEL will be in a much stronger position to help teachers and other staff do the same for themselves. Teachers have experienced their own challenges during this crisis, and they need a structure of support to re-engage in the teaching and learning process. They will need opportunities to connect, be heard, and heal in order to provide the same for their students (CASEL, 2020; VDOE, 2020). Administrators can model self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, responsible decision-making, and relationship skills (CASEL, 2020) to lay the groundwork for teachers to create inclusive, empathetic, and equitable learning environments when students return to school.

Administrators can find a robust collection of tools for organizing, implementing, and improving SEL in their school communities and high-quality equity building resources at https://casel.org/. Additional resources and tools may be found in the VDOE Recover, Redesign, Restart: A Comprehensive Plan That Moves Virginia Learners and Educators Forward document (2020, pp. 44-48).

References

Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning. (2020). An initial guide to leveraging the power of social and emotional learning as you prepare to reopen and renew your school community. https://casel.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/CASEL_Leveraging-SEL-as-You-Prepare-to-Reopen-and-Renew.pdf

Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Education. (2020). Recover, redesign, restart 2020: A comprehensive plan that moves Virginia learners and educators forward. Virginia Department of Education. http://doe.virginia.gov/support/health_medical/covid-19/recover-redesign-restart-2020.pdf

 

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Link Lines – May 2020 Issue

 Link Lines – Profile of a Graduate

Incorporating the 5 C’s in the Planning and Delivery of
Quality Instruction for All Learners

May 2020 Issue

 

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Link Lines – February 2020 Issue

 Link Lines – Profile of a Graduate

Having the Courage to Think Big: Closing Gaps and Planning for the Future

February 2020 Issue

 

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Library Book Suggestions-February 2020

Link Lines – November 2019 Issue

 Link Lines – Profile of a Graduate

Using Social-Emotional Learning to Cultivate the 5Cs in the Classroom

November, 2019 Issue

 

 

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Link Lines-September 2019 Issue

Resource Spotlight: Restorative Practices

By Nick Kier, M.A.T., Daria Lorio-Barsten, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA, and Kara McCulloch, M.S.

In the January 2019 edition of Link Lines, we addressed the impact of trauma on students and briefly discussed some examples of trauma-informed practices.  We also promised future articles that would provide additional information and resources for implementing these practices. This is one of those articles. [Read more…]

Using Assessment Data to Intensify Instruction

What would happen if educators decided to take a deeper look at their assessment data to drive future instructional lesson plans?  Students are required to take multiple assessments – both formal and informal – throughout the school year to help teachers to gauge their students’ content knowledge and the effectiveness of classroom instruction.  These assessments yield a variety of data to be disaggregated, but many teachers look only at the overall pass rate instead of individual student data to determine how to remediate areas of concern. This is very unfortunate, as disaggregating data can inform lesson planning for intentional intensive instruction for struggling learners and students with disabilities (SWD). [Read more…]

Inclusion Benefits Everyone: Educators’ Perspectives

By Shelley Littleton, M.Ed., and Donni Perry, M.Ed.

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Have you ever wondered what inclusion looks like in other schools?  Many schools in Superintendent’s Regions 2 and 3 have been recognized by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) through the Inclusive Practice Partnership Project for including students with disabilities in general education classes.

When asked to use one word to describe their overall experiences with inclusion, the educators responded with: “student-centered,” “hopeful,” “amazing,” “progress,” “challenging,” and “wow!”. They also agreed that inclusion benefits teachers, parents, staff members, and students with and without disabilities.

Why do so many educators believe in inclusion and how do they know it works? Find out by reading their answers to three critical questions:

[Read more…]