April 2021 Newsletter: Back to school in person

Here in Washington, spring is in full bloom, more and more people are getting vaccinated each day, and the pandemic continues to be a challenging backdrop in education and our lives. Yet we know that more changes in schedules are plans are coming. Unfinished learning and equity gaps have arisen as major concerns during the last year of distance learning. In response, we’ve been listening to our national partners and our partners in school districts and working hard to share vetted, curated tools and resources to address these challenges.

Our current work focuses on leveraging existing knowledge and connections. We’re shifting resources to connect school districts to tools and resources and providing quality resources for online and in-person instruction. We’re committed to promoting learning recovery and supporting social-emotional well-being for students of color and students experiencing poverty, which also benefits all students. Here’s a snapshot:

A Day in the Life (DILO) tool from Chiefs for Change (CFC) helps districts with scenario planning. CFC has also provided a landscaping of what major school districts are doing, and a workbook with recommended milestones and deliverables for reopening schools in person.

The Acceleration Imperative is an open-source, living document that gathered input from educators and scholars with deep expertise in elementary education to aid instructional leaders in addressing elementary students’ unfinished learning in the wake of Covid-19.

Improving outcomes for students in Washington, during pandemic or not, also means supporting schools with high-quality curriculum and instructional systems. This is why we support charter public schools, which are more flexible than public school systems in being able to meet the needs of students from all backgrounds. Washington’s charter public schools serve a higher percentage of students of color, students from families with low-income and English learners, which is a great stride towards a more equitable education system.

Thank you for your partnership.

Here’s what else we’re sharing in this month’s Newsletter:

Thank you for your partnership,

Your Gates Washington State team

Follow us on Twitter: @GatesWA.

Read next

March 2021 newsletter: Learn to return

We have reached the one-year mark of the pandemic and while much progress has been made, we still have more to do to ensure safety and health for all Washingtonians.

August 2021 newsletter Heading back to school

Washington state school district administrators, teachers and families are preparing for the return to classrooms this August and September with unique challenges ahead of them.