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Continuous Education Resources for Local Education Agencies

Pillar One: High Expectations | Pillar Two: Equity and Access | Pillar Three: Family Engagement

Below you will find a curated list of resources to support local education agencies (LEAs) in implementing the Guiding Principles for Continuous Education. These resources include OSSE guidance and support documents, specific upcoming point-in-time trainings, as well as a select number of carefully curated external resources. This list will be updated regularly as new resources become available, so please check back often.

Pillar One: High Expectations

LEAs should maintain high expectations for all students and establish a coherent academic foundation for their continuous education plan that upholds existing academic standards while ensuring continuous use of rigorous curricula and ongoing assessment of student progress.

Guiding Principles Supporting Resources

1.A Content Standards

Expectations for all students should remain high and consistent regardless of their learning environment.

District Guidance

DC Education Standards – DC’s approved content standards, including those for math, English language arts, and science, specifying what students are expected to be able to know and demonstrate by the end of each grade.

External Resources

Equitable Recovery Toolkit (UnBoundEd) – Resources designed to evaluate the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on unfinished learning and teaching in core subjects for K-12 schools and guide data-driven decision making for professional development and lesson planning for the fall.

Guidance for Accelerating Student Learning (Instruction Partners) – Guidance for what to do and what not to do when planning to address unfinished learning from the previous school year when implementing Tier I instruction.

Addressing Unfinished Learning After COVID-19 School Closures (Council of the Great City Schools) – An instructional framework for addressing unfinished learning and learning losses, as well as a review of essential skills and content in English language arts and mathematics to support access to grade-level content in key grade transitions for all students.

2020-21 School Year Priority Instructional Content in English Language Arts/Literacy and Math (Achieve the Core) – Grade-level guidance in this document is intended to helps educators find new efficiencies in the curriculum that are critical for the unique challenges that have resulted from school closures and anticipated disruptions in the year ahead by (a) highlighting the most important priorities in each grade; (b) identifying opportunities for combining lessons by topics; and (c) pinpointing strategies for omitting some or most material (if necessary), while minimizing negative impacts on the progress of students.

1.B Delivery of Instruction

The methods for delivering instruction across all learning environments, including both in-person and remote settings, should be user-friendly, coherent and consistent.

OSSE Supports

Elementary/Secondary Virtual Math Manipulatives (coming soon) – Resources for identifying digital tools to deliver math instruction to increase student engagement and scaffold math instruction remotely.
Facilitating Small Group Math Instruction with Microsoft Teams (coming soon) – Instructional strategies for engaging students and facilitating small group instruction using a videoconferencing tool.
Supporting Independent Math Practice with Explain Everything (coming soon) – Instructional strategies to support video-recorded math instruction (using models and making connections between symbols and concepts) and free tools to provide student feedback on remote, independent math practice.
Creating Instructional Math Videos with Screencastify (coming soon) – Strategies for integrating asynchronous math video lessons, synchronous touchpoints with students, and formative assessments.

Knowledge Sharing Opportunities for LEA Leaders

Reimagining Schools through Reopening: Instructional Planning Support Cohort (register by July 10, 2020) – Reopening and recovery instructional planning support led by Instruction Partners for a cohort of interested Chief Academic Officers or their equivalents leading academic programming at the LEA level, including five summer sessions open to all school leaders and an invite-only monthly professional learning community during the 2020-21 school year.

Listening, Learning and Leading Series: School Leaders Aspiring Together for a Strong Re-entry (every Tuesday in July, 2020) A series of convenings facilitated by OSSE to provide space for school leaders to share challenges, ideas, and potential solutions around specific re-entry challenges.

Upcoming OSSE Trainings

Designing Math Instruction with Virtual Manipulatives (July 9, 2020) – Strategies for how to use virtual manipulatives to formatively assess unfinished learning and guided inquiry to engage students in an online learning environment    

Supporting a Range of Math Learners: How to use Choice Boards and Menus (Aug. 26, 2020) – Tools for addressing unfinished learning within grade-level standards.

Digital Storytelling and SEL: Accessing Student Voice in the Age of Remote Learning (July 30, July 31a, and July 31b, 2020) – Two-part speaking and listening and vocabulary standards-based series focused on SEL in online learning, writing in a virtual setting, and diverse learning in a virtual setting.

STEM Talks for Early Learners (July 28, 2020) – Strategies for engagement through online platforms, outdoor exploration and inquiry, and intersectionality of content-specific practices in at-home learning.

External Resources

Planning for Re-Entry Toolkit (Instruction Partners) – A collection of resources to help leaders determine how to center planning around the most instructionally vulnerable students, how to devote extra attention to all students’ unfinished learning and emotional needs, and how to plan to advance student learning across multiple instructional scenarios.

Instructional Strategies for Virtual Learning (National Institute for Excellence in Teaching) – A tool that describes what key instructional indicators should look like and sound like when planning and delivering virtual learning.

Teleteaching Tips for Educators: Implementing with Success! (Comprehensive, Integrated, Three-tiered Model of Prevention) – A resource to support district and school leaders in using a tiered framework to support educators in shifting to continuous learning experiences.

1.C Feedback on Student Work

Students and families should have a clear understanding of student progress toward defined learning objectives.

OSSE Supports

Math Assessments with Edulastic (coming soon) – Strategies for how to formatively assess unfinished teaching/learning in a virtual format and options for differentiating digital assessments.

1.D Student Attendance

Attendance should, at minimum, be tracked daily for all students.

OSSE Guidance

Collecting Attendance for the 2020-21 School Year – Guidance for LEAs on how to define attendance during the 2020-21 school year, a year in which it is anticipated that compulsory education will take place both in-person and via distance learning.

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Pillar Two: Equity and Access

LEAs should address the social, emotional and mental health needs of all students and meet the unique needs of diverse learners with a particular focus on students with disabilities and English learners (ELs). LEAs should ensure access to needed technology to enable full participation in continuous education.

Principles Current/Developing Resources

2.A Whole Student Supports

Addressing the needs of the whole student is essential for effective learning and remains an important function of LEAs, now more than ever.

OSSE Guidance

Meal Service – Details and policies relating to the provision of meals to students by local education agencies (LEAs) or School Food Authorities (SFAs) in the event of temporary or prolonged school closures.

Mental Health Referral Pathways Guidance (coming soon) – Guidance to support LEAs in ensuring mental health systems and supports continue during in-person and distance learning settings and are communicated to staff, students, and parents. Mental health systems and supports include, but are not limited to, staff training, suicide prevention, crisis prevention and intervention, and direct service referral pathways.

Additional Guidance

Use of Telehealth (DC Health Regulation & Licensing Administration) – Guidance on use of telehealth services in the District of Columbia.

FERPA and Virtual Learning (US Department of Education) – As a part of security best practices, the US Department of Education has created guidance on protecting student privacy while using online educational services, including FAQs on FERPA and COVID-19.

OSSE Supports

Supporting Mental Health in Schools – Webpage includes a list of essential local programs and services available to schools that support student, staff, and family safety, mental wellness, and crisis stabilization.

Culture and Climate Tier I Matrix (coming soon) – Planning tool of Tier I resources.

Upcoming OSSE Trainings

Leveraging a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) to Navigate the Current Reality (July 21, 2020) – Participants will explore ways in which they can utilize MTSS to navigate the current reality and build a roadmap for returning to school using the core components of MTSS: teaming, screening, and data based decision making.

Supporting a Range of Math Learners: How to use Choice Boards and Menus (July 22, 2020) – Participants will link math concepts across and within grades in an effort to serve different levels of readiness in their math classroom in anticipation of a wider range of math learners as a result of extended school closures.

Restorative Justice, Mental Health and Social Emotional Learning (July 14, 2020) – Participants will practice and plan community building circles and other restorative practices in virtual settings and understand how these practices integrate with and support existing mental health and SEL frameworks, such as Multi-tiered Systems of Support.

Trauma-Informed Response to School Re-entry (July 7, July 16, Aug. 13, 2020) – Participants will engage in brain-based and trauma-informed principles and practices to inform the re-entry process for educators.  

External Resources

WISE COVID-19 Resources (MedStar Georgetown Center for Wellbeing in School Environments) – Resources pertaining to the mental health impact of COVID-19 for (a) everyone, (b) parents, (c) educators, and (d) mental health providers.

Creating a PBIS Teaching Matrix for Remote Instruction (Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports) – Tips for maintaining continuous learning by defining classroom expectations during remote learning.

Getting Back to School After Disruptions (Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports Office of Special Education Programs Technical Assistance Center) – Resources for making the school year safer, more positive, and more predictable following trauma resulting from various crises.

Questions and Answers Related to COVID-19: School Mental Health and Well-being (DC Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education) – Answers to questions that support the mental health and well-being of students and families.

2.B Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities retain all rights consistent with the law and should have their unique instructional and related-service needs met.

OSSE Guidance

Special Education Guidance and FAQs – Collection of guidance documents and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) concerning LEA responsibilities under Part B of IDEA related to the provision of FAPE in where LEAs are required to close their doors or limit access to buildings because of a local or national emergency, and transition to remote or hybrid learning models.

Special Education Guidebook (coming soon) – Comprehensive guidance on LEA responsibilities under Part B of IDEA relating to the provision of FAPE in instances where LEAs are required to close their doors or limit access to buildings because of a local or national emergency, and transition to remote or hybrid learning models.

OSSE Supports

LEA Toolkit: Serving Students with Disabilities in Remote and Blended Learning – Foundational guidance and concrete, actionable resources for LEAs as they establish and implement policies and procedures for remote and/or blended learning contexts that are consistent with Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requirements.

Upcoming OSSE Trainings

Part One: Balancing LEA Discretion and Flexibility (July 29, 2020) – Will provide school leaders, special education points of contact, and special education teachers with concrete resources on balancing LEA discretion and flexibility in distance learning and hybrid contexts.

Part Two: Ensuring Transparency and Collaboration (Aug. 5, 2020) – Will provide school leaders with ways they can document meaningful parent engagement, flexibility in service delivery scheduling and provide examples for parent communication that is customer-service oriented

Part Three: Data-driven Supports (July 8 & Aug. 12, 2020) – Will provide school leaders with sample systems for collecting and reviewing data to develop student and family specific supports; as well as and ways to use data to consider the educational benefit received by the student.

External Resources
Key Considerations for Special Educators and the Infants, Children, and Youth They Serve as Schools Reopen (Council for Exceptional Children) – Recommendations to ensure students with a disability receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) and services required by IDEA.

2.C English Learners

English learners (ELs) retain all rights consistent with the law and should have their unique instructional and language needs met.

OSSE Guidance

Serving English Learners During Distance Learning FAQ – Guidance on LEA responsibilities under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), other Federal laws related to ELs, District Municipal Regulations 5-E3101, the DC Language Access Act, and state EL policies and procedures.

OSSE Supports

Strategies to Support English Learners During Learning at Home Presentation – Slide deck highlighting on four strategies to support ELs during distance learning.

Strategies to Boost and Support English Learners Participation During Learning at Home – Strategies to support EL students during distance learning and beyond.

Upcoming OSSE Trainings

Part 1: Value English Learners’ Cultural and Linguistic Backgrounds (July 21, 2020) – Train-the-trainer model to strengthen culturally-responsive approaches to supporting EL students’ wellbeing in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and enhance the school’s responsiveness to these students in the coming year.

Part 2: Partner with English Learners’ Families (July 28, 2020) – Actionable tools and resources for obtaining input from families on spring 2020 distance learning and the upcoming 2020-21 school year; and development of a family engagement plan to ensure ongoing communication with EL students and families.

Part 3: Provide Language Development and Academic Instruction Programs to English Learners (Aug. 5, 2020) – The purpose of this session is to analyze the key features of EL program models to plan for program implementation for in-person, online and hybrid delivery scenarios.

Part 4: Use Multiple Data Sources to Support English Learner Students and Programs (Aug. 13, 2020) – Strategies for assessing and supporting English language proficiency and academic level related to grade-level standards and developing language goals and an instructional plan to address language goals.  

Serving English Learners During Distance Learning Webinar (coming soon) – This webinar will supplement the EL During Distance Learning FAQ.

2.D Access to Technology

All students should have appropriate, secure and adequate access to the technology needed to participate fully in continuous education.

OSSE Guidance

Virtual Platform Safety Guidance – LEA and school considerations to ensure the safety and security of all students, families and educators.

External Resources

Disrupting the Digital Divide: Best Practices for DC Distance Learning (Accenture) – Best practices for (a) distribution of devices, (b) considerations for safety, (c) repairs of devices, and (d) effective tracking of devices.

DC Connectivity Resources (Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education) – Commercial connectivity resources available to LEAs and District students to help students stay connected through the 2020-21 school year.

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Pillar Three: Family Engagement

LEAs should treat families as critical partners in continuous education, providing them with ample opportunities to inform decision-making and establishing clear and accessible lines of two-way communication.

Principles Current/Developing Resources

3.A Family Partnerships

Families should be engaged as a critical partners.

External Resources

REAL Family Engagement Guide (Flamboyan Foundation) – Best practices and ideas for getting REAL Family Engagement off the ground during distance learning and navigating what is sure to be an unusual school year.

Strategies to Engage Unreached Families (Flamboyan Foundation) – Strategies to engage families that have not been reached through previous outreach efforts to ensure that every family has access to the resources needed to support their child’s learning and supports to sustain their household’s wellness – physically, emotionally, mentally, and economically – during these difficult times.

3.B Family Communication

Communications to families should be comprehensive, proactive, accessible, and two-way.

External Resources

Ongoing Communications Reflection Tool (Flamboyan Foundation) – A tool designed to encourage staff practice of building a trusting relationships and meaningful partnerships with families through ongoing communication.

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