At-home learning

Despite Challenges, Educators Gave Us Plenty To Be Thankful For

By Paola Gilliam, November 25, 2020

This year has been unrelentingly difficult in many ways, yet educators have repeatedly risen to the occasion. Faced with events—a pandemic, political uncertainty, protests against racial injustice, and more—that have left many of us feeling overwhelmed, educators have been a beacon of hope in their communities through their continued support for their fellow educators, students, and families. We are thankful for educators who have shown compassion, innovation, and determination throughout an incredibly challenging year. Read more…

Will Learning Pods Be Only for the Rich?

Some parents are creating home-based, closed groups of a few families’ children to learn together under the rotating supervision of parents or a paid supervisor. Pods could keep students’ learning and social-emotional development on track while helping protect their and their teachers’ health. Read more…

Let’s create more human-centered solutions to schooling this fall

From The Colorado Sun, August 19, 2020, by Amy Anderson & Michele Morenz

The transition to remote learning cannot fall solely on teachers’ plates, nor should we hold on tight to a classroom-oriented model with one teacher for every 30-plus students. What if we thought creatively about our education workforce? How might we re-design instructional and student supports to align the expertise and talents of educators more purposefully around learners? Academic staff could focus on select families to provide individualized support for struggling students. Teaching assistants could maintain adult/learner relationships with weekly check-ins. Teachers could design new ways to instruct students across schools that are better suited for remote learning. Public Impact’s Opportunity Culture initiative offers some interesting models along these lines in response to COVID-19.

How Schools Can Redeploy Teachers in Creative Ways During COVID-19

From Education Week, August 5, 2020, by Catherine Gewertz

One teacher-leadership model is sparking increased interest as schools grapple with how best to support students. It’s called the Multi-Classroom Leadership model, and it was designed by the education advocacy group Public Impact to help excellent teachers reach more students. More than 200 schools in 10 states use it, according to Bryan Hassel, Public Impact’s co-president, and he’s been getting “a lot of calls” from districts asking for details since the model was highlighted as promising in a couple of recent papers on school reopening. Read more…

When Learning Went Home, Newly Named Multi-Classroom Leaders Jumped In

By Sharon Kebschull Barrett, June 12, 2020

In Gentry, Arkansas, Opportunity Culture is just getting started, but educators aren’t waiting around.

The district’s first nine multi-classroom leaders (MCLs) were told of their new titles in March and officially appointed at the April school board meeting, expecting to begin their roles this fall. But when the COVID-19 crisis demanded a 48-hour turnaround from in-school to at-home learning, the MCLs stepped up to lead immediately.

“They did everything,” Assistant Superintendent Christie Toland said. “They made videos to put together a video library, and they were so good, and we got such a response that was positive from parents and from students, that they are going to hang on to those, and we’re going to build on it moving into the future.” Read More…

In Lincoln, Arkansas, Multi-Classroom Leaders Guide the Way on At-Home Learning

By Sharon Kebschull Barrett, June 11, 2020

As educators end the school year and look ahead to an uncertain fall, districts report that their Opportunity Culture leaders helped smooth the transition to at-home learning and set up structures that will help next year.

In Arkansas, middle school multi-classroom leaders (MCLs) in Lincoln Consolidated Schools made the transition easier by creating structures other schools could use, and producing instructional videos that could be used now and in the future.

In the few days the district had to plan its transition to at-home learning, Lindsay Bounds, Lincoln Middle School’s math and science MCL, worked with her principal and fellow MCLs to create a digital plan outlining what every person in the school would do. The district’s high school quickly adapted the plan for its own use after the superintendent shared it. Read More…

Multi-Classroom Leaders Provide the “First Line of Defense” in Guilford County, N.C.

By Sharon Kebschull Barrett, May 27, 2020

Across the country, multi-classroom leaders (MCLs) continue to help smooth the transition to online learning not only for their teaching teams, but beyond—reaching their entire schools, even their entire districts.

When Guilford County Schools in Greensboro, North Carolina, went to all-at-home learning, district leaders worried about how to get all teachers the support they needed. “We have more new and lateral-entry teachers than we’ve ever had in Guilford County,” said Chief Academic Officer Whitney Oakley. “Teachers who needed support before need support teaching remotely, and even teachers who didn’t need support at school now need support teaching remotely.” Read more…

3 Model Options Give Schools Budget-Neutral Plans, Schedules, Roles for Partial School Closures

By Public Impact, May 15, 2020

Districts and schools are confronting the learning loss caused by missed school time so far. Opportunity Culture schools—90 percent of which are Title I—have a special responsibility and opportunity to reverse that learning loss with the same method they’ve used for years: highly connective, high-standards instruction that helps more students achieve high-growth learning. Multi-Classroom Leadership by teachers with a high-growth track record is the foundation.

What can that look like if some students and teachers need to stay home, or if schools open, then shut, in waves in the coming school year? Read more…

Top Tips for Teaching and Leading at Home from Opportunity Culture® Fellows

By Sharon Kebschull Barrett, May 1, 2020

As the COVID-19 crisis sent students and teachers home, we shared the stories of Opportunity Culture Fellows—educators chosen for their leadership and success helping students make high learning growth—as they were making the shift to at-home teaching. We listened during their interviews for their tips for others focused on helping students learn—and supporting their social-emotional health—no matter what challenges they or their students face, especially if at-home learning continues into the fall or recurs sporadically. Read More…