Continuity of Learning - Planning for the 2021-22 School Year
There is no doubt that multiple pandemics have disrupted students’ experiences during the 2019-21 school years, leading to what some are calling learning loss. We recognize that students may have lost access to physical interaction between students and students with school personnel; access to an array of classes that promote engaged learning; and access to social-emotional and mental health supports. At the same time, we recognize that families, community partners, teachers, school leaders, and school support staff have continued to provide students with opportunities to learn while also caring for students’ physical, social, and emotional needs. We know and value that learning occurs naturally in a variety of places and spaces. We also know and value the following:
- Teachers have re-imagined instructional strategies across multiple learning environments.
- Family and community members are critical partners in student learning.
- Students have become more self-directed learners.
- More students than ever before have access to devices and the internet.
In planning for the 2021-22 school year, programming should create opportunities to foster joy and engagement. High-quality, standards-aligned curriculum can be contextualized within place-based and/or project-based learning, which will provide rigor and relevance in students’ learning. All students need to have access to and be engaged with grade-level curriculum, and for those who need an extra boost, additional supports and 1:1 teaching should be designed to fill learning gaps within the scope of grade-level learning. The following questions should guide what to prioritize for 2021-22 school year:
- How are you creating welcoming and affirming learning environments for all students?
- How are you creating authentic, student-centered learning experiences for all students?
- How are you ensuring all students have access to and are engaged with rigorous and relevant standards-based instruction with aligned systems of assessment, grading, and reporting?
The Learning Policy Institute (Apr 5, 2021) has identified the following strategies to accelerate learning during summer and regular school year learning:
- Experience warm relationships and social-emotional supports achieved by redesigning schools so that they are relationship-centered, with built-in time for creating community, trust, and belonging among students and with families;
- Engage in outdoor play and exercise, expressive arts, and collaborative activities that support brain development and learning;
- Encounter authentic, culturally responsive learning tasks and inquiry projects connected to their experiences that allow them to understand and positively impact their environment;
- Assess what students need both socially and emotionally as well as academically, address trauma with healing and support, and identify the next steps they are ready to take in their learning rather than labeling them.
Closing Out the School Year to Accelerate Student Learning
Let's keep students at the center with these three action steps as we reflect and plan forward:
1. Get clear on accurately reporting out on student learning.
2. Plan for summer learning. (Check out the summer learning website for a comprehensive resource.)
3. Prepare for the 2021-22 school year.
Summer learning is a great time to foster joy and engagement! And the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has a few resources to support learning that is occurring within schools, community centers, and homes!
Check out the Summer Learning Resource, our Family Guides, and our Learning Every Day, Everywhere Infographic for Families to plan for a great summer of learning!
Teaching and Learning during COVID-19
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) is focused on supporting schools and their families as they navigate learning during COVID-19 and beyond. Here are a few centralized resources to support you with providing a responsive and equitable education for all learners.
The mission of the Teaching and Learning Team partners with educators, schools, families, community members, internal and external governmental agencies, and professional organizations to provide leadership, professional learning, and resources to promote equity and advance innovative learning for all students to graduate community, college, and career ready.
What does the Teaching and Learning Team do?
Teaching and Learning Instructional Areas
- Advanced Placement
- American Indian Studies
- Arts & Creativity
- Bilingual/English Language Learners
- Community Education
- Digital Leadership
- Digital Learning
- Early Childhood/Kindergarten
- Environmental Education
- Fostering Innovation in Wisconsin Schools
- Gifted & Talented
- Global Education
- International Baccalaureate
- Internet Safety/Digital Citizenship/Keeping Kids Safe Online
- Office of Early Learning
- Online and Blended Learning
- Rural Education Achievement Program
- Social Studies
- WI Digital Learning Collaborative
- WI Education Standards
- Wisconsin Digital Learning Plan
- World Language