4 ideas for enriching and re-engaging learners through recovery

By: | April 13, 2021

Superintendents and their teams are working to tailor instruction to each students’ needs as their districts begin to bounce back from COVID’s disruptions.

Some leaders will blend assessment with curriculum to better personalize instruction in summer and fall 2021. They can leverage stimulus funds to design personalized learning plans, from preschool to high school.

“There’s a model of what is considered the instructional core, and now a lot of people recognize the fact that it includes the family, and using tech to seamlessly communicate with families,” says Jenni Torres, the chief academic officer of early education provider, Waterford.org. “If you give a family a small tip, a quick easy thing to do, they’ll do it.”

Here are some more tips from education solutions providers:

1. Assessing learning loss. The stimulus packages provide funds to tackle lost learning, and many administrators will assess students to determine if they’ve fallen behind. Superintendents can consider tools such as Renaissance’s STAR assessments, suggests Darice Keating, the company’s senior vice president of government affairs.

The American Rescue Plan specifically provides funding for summer school, and superintendents are already blending assessment into summer programs to guide curriculum, Keating says.

2. Access to books. Many superintendents want to ensure students and their families are reading together after-school and, particularly, this summer. Districts are giving families access to tools such as myON, which provides reading materials in English and Spanish.

3. Early learning. State education departments are teaming up with online companies such as Waterford.org to help district leaders who want to supplement early education programs with additional math and ELA support.

In South Carolina, for example, students are receiving devices, connectivity and Wateford’s curriculum, Torres says.

Other districts can use the program, which takes about 15 to 20 minutes each day, to supplement early education over the summer, Torres says.


More from DA: 3 priorities for stimulus spending to recover from COVID


The company also provides professional development alongside its curriculum, as well as student data so educators can monitor progress, she adds.

4. Engaging families. Educators can also use programs such as Waterford to engage families in their children’s learning. Waterford’s Mentor program gives families access to the same data teachers receive.

The Mentor program also provides tips about the student’s learning routine and provides ideas for learning activities that can be done offline, Torres days.