Spotlight: A Roundup of WestEd's 2020 Resources Designed to Support Educators During the Coronavirus Pandemic
This year WestEd researchers and experts offered a variety of resources designed to support educators in their efforts to ensure success for every learner. As educators pivoted to online learning due to school site closures, we listened and sought to fill in gaps in guidance about how to make the new normal work – and how to ensure an equitable education for all learners.
Check out this selection of resources created in response to changes prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These publications and webinars cover diverse topics of interest to educators at all levels. If you find these helpful, be sure to bookmark and share this page with your colleagues, and stay tuned for more resources in the new year.
Distance & At-Home Learning
The pandemic exacerbated existing issues of inequity, as well as issues such as communication between education agencies, districts, and schools. These resources offer educators guidance to ensure equitable instruction and document bright spots.
- Engaging Parents and Students from Diverse Populations in the Context of Distance Learning. This archived webinar shares lessons from research and practice to help educators engage with students and their families to support continued learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Meeting the Learning Needs of Historically Underserved Students During and After California School Closures. Written primarily for district and school leaders, this paper calls on educators to keep a sharp focus on meeting the needs of historically underserved students, both during this initial period of distance learning and as leaders plan for an uncertain future in the school year 2020/21.
- Voices From the Field: County Office of Education Leaders Discuss COVID-19’s Impact on California Education. To better understand the reopening planning process and other issues related to education during the pandemic, WestEd conducted interviews with COE leaders about how school closures impacted their work with districts and schools.
Supporting English Learners During School Closures Considerations for Designing Distance Learning Experiences. This brief aims to help educators make the critical shift from in-person learning to distance learning. It does so by identifying and explaining the value of four key practices that are known to be effective in meeting the instructional needs of English learner students.
Healthy, Safety, & Well-Being
Students’ sense of safety and well-being is a prerequisite to learning. Top of mind for many education leaders was and continues to be supporting the social and emotional needs of school communities through school site closures as well as civil unrest.
- Strategies for Districts to Support Self-Care for Educators During the COVID-19 Pandemic. This archived webinar is the first in a three-part series on supporting the social and emotional needs of educators and students during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Strategies for Educators to Support the Social and Emotional Needs of Students Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Demand for Racial Justice: Plans for Reopening Schools. Join REL West, the Region 15 Comprehensive Center, and the National Center to Improve Social & Emotional Learning and School Safety for a free webinar and panel discussion on how school district and site leaders can support the social and emotional needs of students as they return to school.
- Self-Care Strategies for Educators During the Coronavirus Crisis: Supporting Personal Social and Emotional Well-Being Addressed to educators who face the stresses of the pandemic and the resulting school closures and online service provision, this brief offers practical information and guidance on self-care.
- Community-Care Strategies for Schools During the Coronavirus Crisis. This brief offers practical guidance for educators and school leaders designed to help them care for their school communities and maintain a sense of connectedness and well-being while coping with the stresses of social isolation, school closures, and changes to how services are provided.
- To Create Safe and Healthy Schools During a Pandemic, Prioritize Educator Well-Being. Schools have the opportunity to promote the collective wellness of their school community by supporting educators and students with a wide range of strategies associated with social and emotional learning.
- Mapping a Path Forward: Cross-Sector Approaches to Strengthen Community & Individual Resilience. The Center to Improve Social and Emotional Learning and School Safety’s Jenny Betz spoke with Pia Escudero, the Executive Director of the Student Health and Human Services Division in the Los Angeles Unified School District, about how she was approaching the school year with a focus on resilience and collective care.
- How Schools Ensure Social Connections During Physical Isolation. This archived webinar explores the practical realities and research foundations of how distance learning offers both opportunities, and imperatives, to re-establish relationships during school closure.
- Seizing the Moment: Race Equity Mindsets, Social and Emotional Well-Being, and Outcomes for Students. This archived webinar and panel discussion, sponsored by REL West, the Region 15 Comprehensive Center, and the Center to Improve Social and Emotional Learning and School Safety, explores the interrelationships among race equity mindsets, social and emotional well-being, and outcomes for Black, Hispanic and Latinx, and other students of color.
- Evidence-Based Support for LGBTQ Middle and High School Students. This archived webinar brought WestEd, Gender Spectrum, and GLSEN together to explore the research about the experiences of LGBTQ students in middle and high schools and discuss how educators can best support the needs of LGBTQ students.
Resource Planning & Allocation
Designed for administrators in charge of budgets and finances, these resources address issues related to managing fiscal resources through the pandemic with an emphasis on equitable allocation.
- Blending and Braiding Funds to Mitigate the Impact of COVID-19 on the Most Vulnerable Students. This archived webinar describes how you can apply the concepts of blending and braiding funds in K-12 education to support all students.
- Fair and Equitable Reductions to State Education Budgets: Evidence and Considerations for the 2020/21 Fiscal Year. This brief suggests three key strategies intended to help ensure that any cuts in education expenditures as a result of a likely recession are fair and equitable.
- Loosening The Reins: Evidence and Considerations for Lifting Restrictions on Resources for Schools. This brief offers critical moves state policymakers can make to find the right balance between state control versus more local control during an economic recession.
- Managing Resources Effectively in Response to COVID-19. Receive guidance for dividing fiscal resources amid school closures, managing funding cuts, and supporting short- and long-term needs.
- Managing Public Education Resources in California During and After the Coronavirus Crisis: Practical Tips and Considerations for School District and Charter School Leaders. This document offers practical information and guidance to help California’s school district and charter school leaders strategically manage resources in light of school closures and likely fiscal constraints caused by the current public health crisis.
- Managing Public Education Resources During the Coronavirus Crisis: Practical Tips and Considerations for School District Leaders. This brief offers practical information and guidance to help education leaders manage and allocate resources during and after the school closures and economic challenges caused by COVID-19.
- Resource Planning for Students with Disabilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Learn how to manage school and district funding to ensure the needs of students with disabilities are addressed.
- Strategic Resource Allocation for the 21st Century: How State Leaders Can Address the Silent Recession. This third “Silent Recession” paper describes state-level strategies for helping school districts deploy resources strategically to improve student outcomes.
Science & Mathematics
The WestEd projects Math in Common, NGSS Early Implementers, and NextGenScience released resources designed to improve standards-aligned math and science instruction.
- Building Leadership Capacity to Improve Math Teaching and Learning. This brief offers three recommendations for how educators in California and beyond should conceptualize new leadership development opportunities to support math improvement — during the COVID crisis and beyond.
- Science Learning During COVID-19 and Beyond. In this archived webinar, researchers from WestEd shared preliminary findings from their survey examining the effects of sudden school closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on K–8 science instruction.
- Keep Teaching Science! Successful Strategies to Adapt K–12 Science Experiences for Distance Learning. This report from the NextGenScience team highlights strategies and hands-on examples of effective and equitable adaptations for science teaching and learning at a distance.
- Keep Teaching Science: Successful Strategies to Adapt K–12 Science Experiences for Distance Learning (Webinar). Explore how science lessons and units can be adapted for distance learning while maintaining or enhancing the vision of the Next Generation Science Standards.
- Building Leadership Capacity to Improve Math Teaching and Learning: Lessons from the Math in Common Initiative. This brief offers three recommendations for how educators in California and beyond should conceptualize new leadership development opportunities to support math improvement — during the COVID crisis and beyond.
These two Crisis Response Briefs provide guidance and resources to help educators support students with disabilities through remote learning.
- Considerations for Teachers Providing Distance Learning to Students with Disabilities. This brief provides guidance and resources to help educators support students with disabilities through distance learning prompted by the COVID-19 crisis.
- Considerations for District and School Administrators Overseeing Distance Learning for Students with Disabilities. This brief provides guidance and resources to help district and school leaders ensure students with disabilities are well supported through distance learning prompted by the coronavirus crisis.
Visit our COVID-19 web page for timely, evidence-based resources and guidance to help you continue making a positive difference in the lives of children, youth, and adults through this challenging time.
Posted on December 18, 2020