Ready News: September 18, 2020

The National Summer Learning Project Follow-Up Conversation: A Thought Leader Session

Free Webinar
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
1:00-1:45 PM EDT

Can large, urban school districts successfully run high-quality summer learning programs? If so, how? What impact can these programs have on students? How are these programs working in a time of covid and social distancing?

The Wallace Foundation, the RAND Corporation, and five urban school districts explored the first three questions as part of the National Summer Learning Project, a six-year effort to provide voluntary, district-led summer programs that offer a mix of academic instruction and enrichment and test whether they help boost students’ success in school.
In December, Karen Pittman sat down with Catherine Augustine from the RAND Corporation and Melanie Claxton with Pittsburgh Public Schools, one of the five communities involved in the project, to explore their engagement with the study and the results and lessons learned.

Since then, we’ve experienced a summer like no other, and Karen will once again speak with Catherine and Melanie to explore how districts have adapted to this new form of virtual educational engagement, and what lessons may be applied to virtual or hybrid school environments for the 2020-21 school year.

This conversation is the first webinar in the new Build Forward Together series, part of a new endeavor of the Readiness Projects that will focus on how to bring coherence to local efforts to rebuild and re-imagine a community’s learning ecosystem.

Register now.



When Everything is Different: Act Different

Blog from the Readiness Projects Partners

The new school year has always been a time of renewal, a season of getting back into routines, a transition time for new opportunity. 2020 gives us the most unique moment in time to reset, reassess and re-envision our work, our partnerships, and our potential as a society.

As millions of young people nationwide are demonstrating every day – learning happens in all kinds of settings including schools, homes, community hubs, libraries, and more. And those learners are supported by a wide circle of adults: teachers, youth development professionals, parents, and neighbors.

Virtual academic classes are just part of learning. Our children and youth are involved in virtual and COVID-safe experiences in arts and sports, with new family responsibilities like cooking, and as community volunteers learning critical social and emotional lessons, strengthening life skills like resilience and perseverance, and gaining health and wellness expertise unimagined before.

It’s obvious now: learning is not just about academics. Learning happens everywhere. It’s about relationships. It’s about experiences. To ensure that youth thrive we need a different approach.

Read more.



Coming Back to Climate

How do you use school climate data to drive change?

In partnership with school districts and research partners, The Aspen Education & Society program offers a new toolkit for principals to improve school climate, titled Coming Back to Climate: How Principals Can Use School Climate Data To Lead Improvement. This toolkit provides practical guidance for school leaders to use climate data to draw in stakeholders to the work of continuous improvement and building equitable outcomes for students.

High performing students learn and thrive in environments that integrate care, responsiveness, and challenge. The added stressors of physical distancing due to COVID-19 and striving against institutionalized racism make it imperative to increase for support students and families. Climate data are a window into their experiences, and savvy leaders use the data to cultivate care and belonging for students as conditions for academic achievement.

Review the toolkit.



Rethinking the Role of the Juvenile Justice System

Educators are rightly concerned when kids miss too many days of school-a concern only exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many communities have turned to the juvenile justice system to motivate changes to school behavior. But is this the right approach? Rethinking the Role of the Juvenile Justice System: Improving Youth’s School Attendance and Educational Outcomes, a new report from The Council of State Governments Justice Center, pairs new data analysis from South Carolina with nationally accepted research to answer this pressing question.

View the report.