4 ways states say they are helping schools and students recover

Long-term issues include using one-time funds strategically and targeting resources to students who need them most
By: | April 22, 2021
States are using stimulus funds to launch tutoring programs, enrichment camps, community service, apprenticeships, and more traditional summer schooling.States are using stimulus funds to launch tutoring programs, enrichment camps, community service, apprenticeships, and more traditional summer schooling.

Governors and other state officials are detailing a range of strategies they say will help schools and students bounce back from COVID’s disruptions.

At the heart of these initiatives is accelerating learning this summer and during the 2021-22 school year, according to a nationwide analysis of state education plans by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association.

“The resources … shine a spotlight on some of the innovative work being done across the country and support states and school districts in this important work this summer and next school year,” said Carissa Moffat Miller, CEO of the Council of Chief State School Officers.

Here are four key steps officials say states are taking:

1. Using tools to communicate creatively and proactively. Task forces and partnerships can engage key stakeholders in emerging district plans. The report also provides planning frameworks and tools to streamline this process and ensure critical issues are considered.

2. Developing a variety of summer activities. Summer programs should not only boost learning but allow students to reconnect. States are using stimulus funds to launch tutoring programs, enrichment camps, community service, apprenticeships, and more traditional summer schooling.

3. Providing targeted help for students’ academic needs and overall well-being. States are examining using stimulus funds to form partnerships that address specific academic needs, including extended learning time during and after school.

4. Planning ahead to address other difficult issues. Longer-term issues include:

  • Using one-time federal funds smartly and strategically
  • How best to target resources and programs for the students who need them most
  • Finding creative and effective ways to support educators as they meet ongoing challengers
  • Taking stock of lessons from the pandemic to re-evaluate long-standing K-12 structures and approaches.

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The two organizations also released 2021 Summer Learning & Enrichment: State Guidance for District and School Leaders. The report is meant to guide state and local education agencies guidance in designing enriching summer experiences that cover academics, social-emotional learning and physical wellbeing.

The document also offers ideas for supporting teachers who may have experienced burnout, stress and dissatisfaction during the 2020-21 school year.