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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

Moving Forward: Mathematics Learning in the Era of COVID-19 (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) – Guidance with regards to planning for mathematics instruction in school year 2020-21, focused on (1) structural considerations, (2) teaching practices, and (3) advocacy.

High-Quality Instructional Materials (Council of Chief State School Officers) – Recommendations for high-quality materials to be used for remote learning due to COVID-19 school closures.

Essential Standards Chart (Solution Tree) – Guiding questions for schools to utilize when selecting essential standards, including identifying prerequisite skills needed, when standards will be taught, and assessments used to measure student mastery.

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.

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 Virtual Math Manipulatives – Resources for identifying digital tools to deliver math instruction to increase student engagement and scaffold math instruction remotely.

Secondary Virtual Math Manipulatives – 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 – Instructional strategies for engaging students and facilitating small group instruction using a videoconferencing tool.

Supporting Independent Math Practice with Explain Everything – 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 – Strategies for integrating asynchronous math video lessons, synchronous touchpoints with students, and formative assessments.

Upcoming OSSE Trainings

Addressing Unfinished Teaching and Learning
Session One: Understanding in Order to Diagnose & Take Action This Fall (Aug. 18 & Sept. 9) – A three-part professional learning series for school teams to support unfinished teaching and learning as a result of COVID-19. School teams will have the opportunity to collaboratively engage in a foundational session to support their understanding of where students are in relation to grade-level content mastery. This session is a prerequisite for Sessions Two and Three.

Session Two: Quick Checks for Understanding in Academic Content Areas (Aug. 24 [ELA], Aug. 25 [Math], & Aug. 26 [Science]) – A three-part professional learning series for school teams to support unfinished teaching and learning as a result of COVID-19. School teams will have the opportunity to divide and conquer content area supports in order to diagnose through the lens of content specific needs and take action based on classroom level content needs.

Session Three: Take Action! Strategies for Teaching Remotely in Academic Content Areas (Sept. 22 [ELA], Sept. 23 [Math], & Sept. 24 [Science]) – A three-part professional learning series for school teams to support unfinished teaching and learning as a result of COVID-19. School teams will have the opportunity to divide and conquer content area supports in order to diagnose through the lens of content specific needs and take action based on classroom level content needs.

Designing Math Instruction with Virtual Manipulatives (Aug. 20, 2020) – Teachers will design math tasks with free, web-based virtual manipulatives. Participants will craft experiences that encourage inquiry, sense-making and productive math conversations.

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.

Using Educational Technology Platforms to Build Background Knowledge and Increase Reading Comprehension (Sept. 29, 2020) – Highlights online platforms that employ active reading strategies to support an increase in reading comprehension of complex texts.

All Students CAN Write: Embedding Universal Design for Learning Principles to Support Writing Instruction in Remote Settings (Oct. 5, 2020) – Teachers and instructional coaches will learn strategies to support the implementation of the research-based instructional framework, Universal Design for Learning (UDL).

Providing Targeted Feedback on Student Writing Remotely (Oct. 8, 2020) – Teachers will learn to leverage technological resources for instruction and to provide timely feedback to students that is not as cumbersome as the traditional pen to paper technique.

STEM Talks for Early Learners (Aug. 28, 2020) – Participants will make connections between current research and resources for science and math implementation. Strategies and activities to engage young learners in science, technology and mathematics will be provided. Educators will also explore resources for increasing STEM discourse and engaging families in math exploration at home.

External Resources

Solving the Iceberg Program: Addressing Learning Loss in Middle School Math Through Tailored Acceleration (New Classrooms) – An instructional blueprint for addressing profound learning loss in a post-COVID era.

School Practices to Address Student Learning Loss (EdResearch for Recovery) – A resource to help schools prioritize for intensive academic intervention and the most effective strategies.

Formative Assessment in Distance Learning (Edutopia) – Recommendations of digital tools (and how to use them) to formatively assess student learning.

Learning Acceleration Guide: Planning for Acceleration in the 2020-21 School Year (TNTP) – Guidance to help school and district stakeholders responsible for planning organized around (a) how to create a plan to accelerate student learning, (b) how to accelerate student learning in the next two years, and (c) challenges to consider when planning to accelerate student learning.

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 – Strategies for how to formatively assess unfinished teaching/learning in a virtual format and options for differentiating digital assessments.

External Resources

How to do the Feedback Loop in Distance Learning (Teaching Channel) - Suggestions for how teachers (and student peers) can provide feedback in a distance learning environment.

1.D Student Attendance

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

OSSE Guidance

Defining 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.

External Resources

Attendance Playbook – Effective approaches to reducing chronic absenteeism in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, including how to encourage and track attendance under 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

School Culture and Climate Planning Matrix – Support LEAs and schools with phased planning and implementation of policies, practices and engagement activities that support positive school climate, safe and supportive environments, and social-emotional learning during in-person and distance learning settings.

From Data to Action: Addressing Youth Risk Behavior Through Health Education (coming soon) – This guide elevates data trends from the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) and provides planning and implementation resources to support schools with integrating critical health and safety concepts into in-person and remote learning plans.

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.

Upcoming OSSE Trainings

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

Post-Distance Learning: The Restorative Practices Back-to-School Starter Pack ( Aug. 14, 2020) – This interactive workshop is designed to walk participants through a restorative practices approach to the first 30 days of school when students and staff return from distance learning.

Restorative Justice Back to School Support 2020 (Aug. 17-21, 2020) – This two-week professional development opportunity will focus on building skills and developing plans that will be useful to in-person, hybrid, and distance learning settings.

Team Professional Learning Opportunity: Strengthening and Adjusting PBIS Tier 1 (Aug. 19-21, 2020) – This three-day session will guide school leadership teams through using the fundamental components of Tier 1 Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) with adjustments and considerations to build a roadmap that addresses the current reality.

External Resources

Return to School During COVID-19: Helping Children and Families Manage Stress and Build Resilience (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, Aug. 21) – Suggestions for how educators, parents, and families can structure their day, work towards more meaningful interactions, be conscious of and work towards better self-regulation, and more in order to positively impact a child’s experience and relationships with them.

Reunite, Renew, and Thrive: Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Roadmap for Reopening School (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning) – Guidance to help schools and leaders use SEL competencies to address the need on their return to in-person schooling.

Guidance on Adapting Check-in Check-out (CICO) for Distance Learning (Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports) – Considerations and suggestions for adapting CICO, and evidence-based Tier 2 school intervention, for situations where students are learning from home.

Building Equitable Learning Environments (BELE) in this Period of Crisis – COVID 19 and Systemic Racism – To Restore Our Collective Future (BELE Network) – A framework and resources to support educators in getting started with evidence-based approaches to advancing equitable learning environments during COVID-19.

Guidance and Support for Students Moving into Postsecondary (EdResearch for Recovery) – Strategies to consider for supporting student transitions from high school to college and career, given the financial and health uncertainties that students (particularly those who are marginalized and traditional underserved) are facing due to COVID-19.

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 Guidebook – 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.

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.

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. Within the toolkit, users will find the Sample Student Data Tool and User Guide, a recommended tool for centralizing and visualizing key student data and communications, as well as more than a dozen accompanying tools that can be customized to collect essential input from students, families, and educators who serve them.

Serving Students with Disabilities During Periods of Remote and Blended Learning Webinar – An overview of the three core principles for serving students with disabilities during times of remote or blended learning that are contained in the toolkit above. This webinar recording also highlights resources and sample forms that LEAs can adapt.

Part One: Balancing LEA Discretion and Flexibility Webinar – 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.  Presenters will share (a) examples of flexible and creative approaches for delivering a wide variety of services in the distance learning context, (b) ways to engage families in consideration of flexible options for service delivery, (c) examples of how LEAs can determine and address each family's level of access to technology and needs for support to effectively partner in remote service delivery, and (d) possible solutions to address gaps in access or readiness to partner for service delivery.

Part Two: Ensuring Transparency and Collaboration Webinar – 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 Webinar (coming soon) – 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

Academic Supports for Students with Disabilities (EdResearch for Recovery) – Strategies for schools to reduce learning gaps between students with disabilities and their peers.

Best Special Education Apps and Websites (Common Sense Education) – Tools recommended by educators and experts who work with kids with special needs or learning differences. These apps address foundational skills, boost social and emotional skills, and help kids follow a schedule. There are also sites that help teachers differentiate learning and access resources for developing language and math literacy.

Online Learning and IDEA Educational Environments (Ages 6–21): Determining Educational Environments for Students With Disabilities (IDEA Data Center) – A technical assistance tool to use when considering the time students with disabilities spend in online learning and how that time should be counted when reporting IDEA educational environments.

Going the Distance: Online Strategies for Helping Students with Disabilities (Regional Educational Laboratory) – Promising practices on online learning for students with disabilities in four domains: professional development and teacher support, family engagement, accessibility, and instructional strategies to support personalization.

Dealing with Covid-19: Resources for Special Educators, Therapists, and Families (Smore) – Curated resources for those working with individuals who have developmental disabilities. Resources include videos, digital social distancing and hygiene posters, core vocabulary lessons, and more.

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.

Provisional Pre-K through Grade 12 English Learner Identification Procedure During Distance Learning – Guidance on a provisional EL identification procedure developed by OSSE in order to provide greater flexibility on the timing of full EL identification.

State-Approved English Learner Identification Assessments – OSSE has added the Pre-IPT Oral Remote to its list of state-approved EL identification screener assessments for grades pre-K 3 and pre-K 4. This assessment can be administered remotely and can serve as the full identification assessment for grades pre-K 3 and pre-K 4.

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.

Provisional EL Identification Webinar Recording – This webinar will supplement the EL During Remote Learning FAQ.

Part 1: Value English Learners’ Cultural and Linguistic Backgrounds Webinar – 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 Webinar – 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 Webinar – 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 – 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.

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.

OSSE Resources

Family Tools: Effective School-Home Communication – This document was designed for families and addresses the importance of effective school-family communication.

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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