This week, I participated in a series of Zoom calls with classroom teachers around the country. While we focused on the academic and social, emotional, and behavioral goals of our five-year federal School Climate Transformation Grants, we spent most of our time—not surprisingly—talking about ways to teach students for the rest of the school year.
Charles Plumb was a US Navy jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience!
Both observation and personal experience are powerful instructional tools, but the key is to be alert, have a teachable attitude, and open to the instruction. For me, some of the most powerful and memorable lessons have been born out of specific situations and personal relationships. Some of those situations and circumstances were characterized by success and celebration while others were delivered through the school of adversity in the university of hard knocks. The personal relationships that have had the greatest impact, both personally and professionally, are those that taught me to graciously treasure the moment or courageously weather the storm, depending on the circumstances that confronted me in this often-unpredictable journey called life.
To recover from all the learning losses and dislocations caused by Covid-19, we need to greatly expand the afterschool and summer programs that survived and restart and launch new quality summer opportunities in 2021 and 2022, and afterschool opportunities in the 2021-22 school year and beyond. To make this almost quantum leap forward in summer and afterschool expansion, key state and local leaders should analyze how to create incentives, strengthen family-school community partnerships, increase funding, and reduce barriers for these crucial opportunities. The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act that was signed into law on December 27, 2020, includes several funding opportunities that can significantly support afterschool and summer learning programs in 2021 and 2022.
By: Terry K. Peterson, Ph.D. and Felicia Simpson, Ed.S.
Research supports the growing potential of summer and afterschool opportunities and Partnerships to facilitate academic recovery from the COVID 19 pandemic. Learning losses, health issues, parents losing their jobs, lack of socialization, lack of childcare, and food insecurity are impacting every community, school,
and state during these unprecedented challenges. A growing body of research
and best practices show how quality afterschool and summer opportunities can
help address some of the negative impacts of Covid-19.
A visit to a top-performing high school near here by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has been an eye-opening experience which may well see several initiatives undertaken there being considered for schools back home.
By Terry Peterson, Editor, Afterschool and Summer Learning for Student Success and
Felicia Simpson, experienced Alabama education leader, including now with the
Alabama Afterschool and Community Education Network