This week, the focus is on remediating student learning setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in light of states’ planning for use of American Rescue Plan funding for schools. In addition, the CDC updated guidance on safely operating summer camps for youth.
Making Up Ground on Student Learning
A new report from the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association highlights strategies for accelerating student learning in response to pandemic-induced setbacks. To assemble the report, the organizations reviewed state plans and emphasize that there are four key steps in which states are engaged:
- Getting organized and understanding what needs to happen.
- Using summer 2021 to accelerate learning.
- Supporting more students to be successful learners through targeted supports.
- Tackling other challenges in looking to the future, including bringing together various stakeholders in pursuit of a common plan and assessing what works and what does not.
The U.S. Department of Education also released the application and a template for state plans to use American Rescue Plan relief dollars targeted at elementary and secondary schools. A recent Brookings Institution blog post highlights wraparound services as a way to leverage that federal funding to support students. Tutoring has also been a part of the pandemic remediation conversation, given a strong evidence base on its effectiveness.
CDC Guidance on Operating Summer Camps
The CDC recently updated guidance for safely operating youth and summer camps. Importantly, the CDC encourages those operating programs on school grounds to use the previously released guidance on safe, in-person school operations. The camp guidance takes into account the different settings, including specific guidelines for overnight camps. Across the board, the recommendations emphasize “consistent and layered use of multiple prevention strategies” to provide safe, in-person activities, curbing COVID-19 spread and protecting participating children, their families, and program staff.