With limited resources, how do districts address immediate needs while also staying focused on their long-term goals?

The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare existing inequities experienced by our nation’s students. While there are many uncertainties facing districts across the United States, of one thing we are certain: Classrooms do not look and feel the same. 

During this virtual case study, NTC and Corning Union Elementary District will share a roadmap they use to answer this question. Join us as we unpack how districts can outline a set of deliberate actions, aligned to the needs of their students, to improve educational outcomes.

Click here to view the recording (Note: Passcode is 9@y1!C@a)

We encourage you to tune into the full recording where you’ll hear Superintendent Richard Fitzpatrick and Principal Joe Lodigiani describe their roadmap that keeps students at the center of their solutions. The team walks through a Corning case study, exploring the strategies, successes, and challenges thus far in the 2020-2021 school year, while exploring this fundamental question: How do districts address immediate needs while also staying focused on their long-term goals? From action-oriented advice to hearts and minds, the discussion raised some reflections and insights: 

It Starts with Students  

  • In this moment, we have to keep ourselves accountable, believing in our students’ ability to achieve, and putting in very effort to get them there
  • Start by asking: What do students need us to do with educators to best meet their social-emotional and academic needs?
  • In making a commitment to each child, and doing what it takes to address the root cause of gaps,  kindness has been a guiding light
Social Emotional Support for Everyone!
  • Priorities foster success; amid COVID, Corning has made learning priority #2, and safety priority #1
  • As admins, give staff permission and the space to feel comfortable not having all of the answers right now
  • Some examples of social-emotional support that Corning has put in place: 
    • Daily messaging to students and staff, including polls - how are you feeling?
    • Daily SEL circles that get students comfortables voicing their feelings
    • Admins modeling circle meetings for teachers to practice
    • A warm breakfast for all students
  • As Corning students are growing more comfortable sharing their feelings, teachers are seeing them reflect more about academic work too, which is confirmation that, when we take care of the student’s well being, they are more able and willing to engage academically
Use Data as a Building Block
  • Use data to determine what students have mastered, and yet-to-master
  • The data needed is likely already collected; take an inventory of the different types of data you may already have
  • Triangulate measures that matter for your unique student groups to address the root causes of gaps and obstacles to academic independence

  • Success has come from 1) the ability to dig into data and find high leverage markers, and 2) the ability to pivot based on student and teacher needs
Technology Gaps to Fill 
  • To address gaps in internet access quickly: Offer hotspots , then, consider a longer term plan to ensure 100% connectivity going forward
  • Success of learning through technology platforms depends on teachers’ ability to use these platforms
  • Provide consistent communications and clear priorities
 around tech, and provide the tangible supports aligned to those priorities
  • To tackle tech challenges consider 1) simplifying tech platform offerings 2) identifying teachers’ tech needs 3) providing supports/trainings to teachers 4) monitoring progress

Follow Up Resources