Focus on Building Connections
The Covid-19 pandemic has amplified the lack of connection that many students have with school and with their teachers. In reviewing our district-level data from before school closures, we have found declines in the numbers of students reporting a sense of connectedness with their school. We are expecting those numbers to decline even further during distance learning. Our teachers have reported feeling not prepared to address the social-emotional aspects of their students' learning experiences, as well, which is why we are preparing to create training modules for teachers on SEL.
In order to support our students' instructional needs, our teachers rapidly pivoted to an online learning platform. Now is the time for us to develop common language around how we build connections with students and find ways to remove barriers to engagement, since SEL is not a stand along and needs to be embedded in everything we do.