We are delighted to announce our new Pathways to Engagement: A Toolkit for Covid-19 Recovery Through Attendance!
Covid-19 has upended school, caused a dramatic increase in chronic absence and contributed to significant losses in instructional learning opportunities. As education leaders, teachers and school staff create and pilot plans for addressing these unsettling challenges, putting in place meaningful ways to engage students and their families will be absolutely necessary.
The new Pathways to Engagement toolkit is designed to help guide districts and schools as they develop and implement Covid recovery plans. Students and families feel meaningfully engaged when support efforts are tailored to recognize the specific strengths they bring and challenges they face. These approaches must incorporate strategic, transformative and long-term methods that move beyond individual student case management to widescale efforts that offer pathways to engagement to groups of students.
The toolkit offers a framework, tools and resources for engaging students —especially those with high levels of absences— whether their instruction is in-person, remote or hybrid.
Since it is often helpful to lay out the work in alignment with the rhythm of the school calendar, the toolkit recommends structuring your multi-tiered engagement plans according to three phases: spring, summer and fall. To be most effective, meaningful engagement requires fostering a sense of belonging in the school environment in the spring, building bridges to school over the summer, and creating a welcoming, supportive community at school in the fall.
Keep in mind that federal Covid-19 relief funds can be used to support these kinds of activities. For more information on how to use federal dollars for attendance and engagement activities, read this blog post.
While it’s ideal that engagement efforts begin this spring, it is never too late to begin!