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Three Keys to Building a Blueprint for Reopening

21 Apr 2021 by Allie Kallmann

Perhaps your school is already fully in person or using hybrid instruction. Or maybe you, like nearly half of the participants in our recent webinar Three Keys to Building a Blueprint for Reopening, are still completely virtual and looking ahead to when staff and students can be together again. 

Regardless, it’s time to make a plan.

Whatever phase of re-opening you are leading, it’s critical to draft a blueprint that centers what children need most to learn and thrive: supportive, high-quality interactions. We know that leaders need concrete resources to make those plans come to life. 

Based on conversations we’ve had with leaders and educators across the country, here are three keys to building your blueprint for reopening:

Key #1: Build warm classroom environments and support social-emotional development.

The research has shown that Emotional Support is important under any circumstances, and that’s true now more than ever. The return to in-person learning will be a joyful experience for most students, but many have spent a year dealing with varying degrees of trauma. Whether because of the loss of a loved one, the stress of an overburdened home, or the strain of prolonged uncertainty and social isolation, the events of 2020 and 2021 have taken a toll on children’s mental health. That’s why it’s crucial that educators have a plan to develop environments that are trauma-informed and place an emphasis on social-emotional development

Key #2: Build a high-quality workforce dedicated to positive interactions.

Students aren’t the only ones who need support. Your teaching staff have worked hard to provide children with a little bit of “normal” under nearly impossible circumstances. They need the resources to keep pushing forward. Online professional development can provide individualized support, develop your workforce, and bring positive interactions to the forefront as they head back into classrooms. Or, if your program is one of the many facing turnovers, get new staff members oriented around the interactions that matter most for young children - and build their needed credentials - with The CDA with CLASS®. 

Key #3: Build capacity to ensure equity of interactions in every classroom.

A large body of research shows that the opportunity gap between children of different racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds starts well before kindergarten. By many reports, this gap has only widened during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The research also shows that these inequities can be addressed when young children have educators who provide high-quality interactions. By including CLASS® in your reopening plan, you can focus on what matters most, measure teachers’ progress, and create targeted plans to improve. All children deserve these high-quality experiences - help your teachers provide them, day in and day out.

To learn more about Teachstone’s resources, watch the recording of our webinar Three Keys to Building a Blueprint for Reopening. We would love to talk with you more about how we can help your school or program build back strong.

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