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Keeping Students Engaged & Safe: School Re-Opening Tips from Afterschool Alliance

Aug 28, 2020 at 07:00 am by katecaccavaio

With the approaching school year still facing COVID-related uncertainties, it is more important than ever for teachers and educators to provide stability and consistency for students. As districts complete their plans for the new school year, students and their families will require additional levels of support to stay healthy and engaged with their school work and school communities.(you might rephrase, but be concrete about what the tips are about.) To be successful in the fall, plans should be developed with the collaboration and input from community-based organizations, afterschool programs, and district leadership.

The Afterschool Alliance has developed tools designed to inspire the collaboration between these groups and create a learning environment for students

  1. School-Community Partnerships.Through active and meaningful collaboration, learning solutions will be developed to create learning environments that engage both students and their families.
  2. Commitment to Active & Engaged Learning. “Afterschool programs can supplement core academics and tap in to a young person’s interests, provide choice and voice over what is offered, and maintain engagement through positive relationships with adults and peers. For example, afterschool programs have been convening youth to talk to state leaders about their needs in recovering from COVID, providing virtual college tours, and helping students design service projects.”
  3. Family Engagement. "Engaging with families to determine how community partners can help supplement any new school day scenario will be essential to help young people, working families, and our economy recover. A wide body of research points to active parent involvement in their child’s education as a key factor in student success . . .  A redesigned learning day that provides safe environments for children to learn, offers parental choice, and facilitates communication will be crucial to parents, schools, and most of all students."
  4. Intentional Programming. “Schools and community partners should work together to be explicit about the complementary roles that they can play in supporting learning. These roles should be based on each setting’s unique strengths and the developmental and academic needs of students.”
  5. Health & Wellbeing. “As schools reopen, finding ways to help young people recover from the social isolation and trauma related to COVID will be essential to helping them resume learning and healthy development.”

Click here to download guidelines from Afterschool Alliance and learn more about making plans to safely and effectively re-open in the fall by leveraging community assets.

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