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Principal-Sourced Remote Learning Resources

As school begins again, educators no doubt have seen their fair share of information for reopening, and are still looking for more useful tools and guidance. The Fund asked our PLC leaders, coaches and partners to tell us their most pressing needs and what resources have been most helpful. 

In the below FAQ, all of the questions were sourced from principals. As for the answers, over half of the resources came directly from principals; for the rest, we compiled them ourselves.

Questions and answers fall under one of four categories: 

  • Safety & Logistics, including resources about attendance, scheduling and technology 
  • Engagement & Culture, including resources about parent communication, community conversation planning, and SEL
  • Assessment, including resources about curriculum, equity, and student self-assessment
  • Supporting Teachers, including resources about staff self-care, staff communications, and teaching resources

This is a living document that we will update periodically as the year goes on. If you have found a useful resource that answers any of these questions posed by principals, please message engagement@thefundchicago.org.

 

Safety & Logistics 

  1. Tegy, a strategic scheduling organization, released a national resource on two time strategies that may provide concrete solutions to some common home-based learning challenges. First, a “Common Time” approach can be implemented at the start or end of the day, helping educators have joint planning time; second, a “Lunch-at-Once” approach standardizes lunch breaks for schools, aiding families with multiple children to have consistency in their schedules. 
  2. In this “Recovery to Reinvention” Plan by Transcend, there are general guidelines for envisioning virtual high school and sample schedules beginning on page 45.
  3.  This spreadsheet shows an example schedule for a medium sized elementary school.

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CPS has published Tech Resources for Remote Learning, which includes device, Google communication, and troubleshooting guidance; and Getting Connected to the Internet, which describes how families can get access to the Internet at home.

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This browser automatically takes attendance on Google Meets, allowing teachers to track students. 

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Engagement & Culture

They can reach out to everyone with surveys for a temperature check! 

ISU has released communications templates which include example remote learning teacher, student, and parent/caregiver surveys and a checklist that can be used to assess the effectiveness of all communications

TNTP has released sample survey questions that can be used to periodically collect information from families about where they are at in the remote learning process. 

EL Education has created a tool for Measuring Inputs and Outcomes of Reopening Equitably, including example teacher, student, and family survey questions.

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One popular trend for engaging with students has been creating Bitmoji classrooms, which can make austere powerpoints more fun and personal, and help engage students in reading, math, and social and emotional activities.

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If you’re unsure about how to conduct family communications, TNTP has released a Community Conversation Planning Guide, with checklists about who to reach out to, what to should be included in communications, and when and how to make it all happen.

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  1. The National Association of School Psychologists has published guidelines for families to consider as they help their children through the pandemic and online learning.
  2. Communities in Schools (CIS) in Chicago has also compiled a comprehensive list of resources for parents during COVID-19, including but not limited to resources on education and student engagement, childcare, remote work support, SEL/mental health, internet assistance, and online learning.
  3. This spreadsheet contains useful tutorials for parents, students, and teachers on how to use all of the Google Apps and other online education platforms.

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  1. CPS has released SEL expectations for schools. 
  2. CASEL has released a school-wide guide for SEL, outlined SEL core competencies and created a guide for evaluating effective SEL.
  3. Kimochi’s Way is an online platform and resource that has online SEL resources.
  4. Several Chicago principals are using the Panorama Student Survey to identify gaps, monitor SEL needs and develop supports for all students.

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Assessment

  1. Here are guiding questions to help teachers implement strategies around learning loss.
  2. This resource about professional learning and scaffolding helps teachers with grade level standards and differentiated supports.
  3. This article describes eight different strategies to improve participation in the virtual classroom.

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  1. This document can help support teachers in analyzing data sets in a virtual environment.
  2. Facing History and Ourselves has compiled guidelines, planning checklists, and handouts for remote bookclubs to help “foster a sense of community and connection among students.”

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This resource can be used for teachers to evaluate their own implicit bias and create more equitable engagement for students.

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  1. For virtual early literacy assessment and instruction, Lexia can be used for MTSS interventions. There is a reporting tool that gives assessment data for how students are progressing with early literacy skills.
  2. This is a comprehensive list of different online resources used for students and opinions about the effectiveness of them.

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Supporting Teachers

  1. Here is a list of self-care resources compiled by the Illinois Principals Association.
  2. This document outlines the importance of self-care for teachers and details some self-care strategies. 
  3. In “Planning for Wellbeing and Connectedness,” TNTP gives details about how to plan for staff well-being and connection.  

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  1. CASEL has a SEL Guide for building partnerships with school members, students and families. 
  2. The Equity Maps platform allows teachers to keep track of who is speaking and in what direction. 
  3. This resource compiles essential apps for the physical and digital classroom to promote collaboration and communication.
  4. Class Catalyst is an online program which allows students to journal, rate engagement levels and discuss feelings. It also provides mindfulness techniques to use to address any stressors or fears.
  5. This spreadsheet contains useful tutorials for parents, students, and teachers on how to use all of the Google Apps and other online education platforms.

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