You are here

Removing Systemic Barriers

Students wearing masks and doing schoolwork outdoors

Removing Systemic Barriers at the Local Level

In planning for post-pandemic schooling, we need to examine our systems, which can then be our launch pad for summer programming and beyond. One way to do this is to use Corneilus Minor’s "Imagination Protocol" to identify and address systemic barriers.

Imagination Protocol

  1. Who has been most impacted by pandemic schooling? Examine your data to identify the students, e.g,. grades, attendance, participation. If we center post-pandemic schooling on these students, then we will plan for all students.
  2. What are they being left out of?
  3. How might we reimagine the thing to give students more access? Address the barriers, not the kids.
  4. How might we test our idea? Try something. Document your results. Propose changes.

Here is an example of reimagining and reinventing student engagement:

Who has been most impacted by pandemic schooling?
  • Students who had to wait for the school to get them devices and WiFi access.
  • Students who are multilingual learners.
  • Students with IEPs.
  • Students who did not want their home on webcam.
  • Students with multiple family members using devices or the WiFi.
  • Students with caretakers who are working outside the living environment.
What are they being left out of?
  • Shared learning
How might we reimagine the thing to give students more access?

Address the barriers, not the kids.

  • Reinvent how technology is used to engage students in remote learning.
    • Leverage recorded lessons for asynchronous learning and synchronous learning for collaboration and conferring with students.
    • Use the phone for 1:1 conferring with students.
    • Leverage outdoor spaces with internet access as alternative learning space.
  • Optimize individual choice and autonomy.
  • Provide timely asset-based feedback
  • Provide opportunities for students to self-assess and reflect on their learning
How might we test our idea?

Try something. Document your results. Propose changes.

Guiding Principles

We have outlined guiding principles in six areas for you to consider. 

Lead with Empathy — and without Assumption
  • Students, families, and educators are coping with the myriad social, emotional and physical challenges the pandemic has created and exacerbated, some of which may be more apparent than others.
  • Identifying and acknowledging these burdens is the first step to helping all members of the school community not just to survive but to thrive, moving forward.
Summer Learning Focus

Summer Learning Focus

  • Identify and remove the systemic barriers that prevent students from learning.
  • Recognize and value the learning that occurred during the prior school year.
  • Focus on student success in the coming school year. Rather than remediating learning from the prior year, set students up for success in the coming academic year through activities aligned
  • Integrate social and emotional and academic opportunities learning for all learners.
  • Focus on the mental health needs of students and building relationships and school community.
  • Provide opportunities for intervention and credit recovery.
Learning Environment and Delivery Model

Learning Environment and Delivery Model

  • Engage a cross-functional team in front-end planning. Families, community partners (including out-of-school time program providers), technology leaders, teachers, principals, and principal supervisors will be the front line providers and supporters of children, so ensuring their needs are built into the plan is essential.
  • Consider how and when your students best engage in learning.
  • Summer learning happens in person, virtually or hybrid, digitally or analog - synchronously or asynchronously.
  • Summer learning should happen in partnership with community-based organizations, including 21st Century Community Learning Center grant funded programs where applicable.
Target Students

Target Students

  • Prioritize students who would benefit from connections with peers and adults.
  • Prioritize students who would benefit from a boost in social-emotional learning, e.g., being part of a community of learners, becoming familiar with school routines.
  • Prioritize students who would benefit from a boost in engaged learning.
  • Prioritize students who would benefit from a boost in instruction to meet promotion benchmarks and high school credit. This will mean providing regular additional support for specific students, especially English learners, students with IEPs, and homeless and migrant students.
Family Engagement

Family Engagement

  • Recognize and leverage the pivotal role of family and community members in student learning. Seek guidance from families to assist their learners to engage in learning.
  • Prioritize early and frequent communication (phone, web conference, mailings) throughout summer learning.
Recruiting, Hiring, and Retaining Educators

Recruiting, Hiring, and Retaining Educators

  • Continue to recruit, hire, and retain effective teachers to support identified students. Preference teachers with content knowledge and a track record of success teaching identified students. Use CARES and ESSER funds to increase pay.
  • Provide planning time for educators to plan instruction, communicate with families, provide feedback to students, and individualize instruction as needed.
  • Provide common planning time for grade-alike teachers to plan grade-alike courses and to connect with SEL staff and intervention teachers.
  • Provide time and resources for staff wellness.
  • Provide training and time for virtual learning system training, as applicable.

 

For questions about this information, contact Tamara Mouw (608) 266-2364