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Tennessee Administrators’ Reopening Schools Planning Guide for 2020-21

Tennessee Administrators’ Reopening Schools Planning Guide for 2020-21

It’s clear that “back-to-school” will take on a whole new meaning this academic year. Whether students choose to return to campus, log in from home, or a mixture of both, your return-to-learn plan should incorporate best practices that prioritize safety and success. To support you during this planning process, we’ve curated a list of our best resources and recommended solutions aligned to the goals of Tennessee’s Department of Education Overview Guide for Reopening Schools.

Utilize Reopening Guidance from the Tennessee DOE

Coronavirus Information Hub for Schools
Consider this page your one-stop-shop for guidance and resources from the state.

Reopening Guidance
The reopening overview guide is found here as well as details on school nutrition, transportation, finance, technology, and mental health.

Plan for Family Preferences and the Effects on Student Enrollment

If your plan includes students returning to campus for in-person classes, there will probably be a percentage of families that will decide to keep their learners at home. There also may be teachers who won’t feel comfortable returning. Consider surveying your district faculty, staff, and families to gauge their feelings and preferences. Their responses will likely call for you to design a program that leads with flexibility and agility.

Edmentum Courseware provides completely customizable digital curriculum that, with the guidance and support of your own teaching staff at the helm, will allow you to provide both in-person and virtual instruction, and pivot swiftly between them. Consider the many different ways that online curriculum can be used with our online curriculum guide.

Additionally, if virtual instructional services are needed, our EdOptions Academy allows for a fully accredited learning option that keeps students in your district and provides a Tennessee-certified virtual teacher. You may pay for only the course enrollments you need with post-pay billing options. Use our Virtual Learning workbook to evaluate if a virtual implementation is the best option for your school.

Evaluate Student Learning and Track Progress

Students will begin the 2020–21 school year with larger gaps in learning and a greater variety of learning needs than most educators have had to navigate in their teaching careers. Assessments that evaluate each student’s starting point and that can be used throughout the year to chart progress and evaluate additional student learning needs are essential.

Using an adaptive diagnostic assessment, Exact Path works to understand each student’s specific competencies and skill gaps regardless of grade level and then meets students where they are by automatically creating an individualized learning playlist for each student. Review our step-by-step guide to help develop your own personalized learning plan.

Study Island also offers brand new Tennessee benchmark assessments to help you assess standards proficiency for specific grade levels and subjects. Each fixed-form assessment is built from your state’s standards and guided by your state assessment blueprint.  

Evaluate Content Retention, Gaps, and Plans for Recovery

Tennessee guidance suggests that teachers create a scope and sequence that integrates learning from the prior year in a way that supports ample remediation and acceleration. In hybrid or completely virtual situations, also consider strategies for student engagement, checks for understanding, and academic feedback.

Use Study Island to make sure students are mastering your state’s standards and having fun while they do it. Study Island offers K-12 formative assessments and meaningful practice to build proficiency with embedded game modes and both collaborative as well as competitive practice session options. Use this formative assessment workbook to plan for effective, data-driven instruction.

Address Learning Loss, From Early Literacy to Secondary Achievement Gaps

As a result of COVID-19 school closures, compounded by the yearly “summer learning slide,” some students will return to school with up to six months of learning loss. Build resources into your plan to help students recover and close the achievement gap.

Use our Credit Recovery Program Planning Worksheet to discern how you can set up or enhance your current offerings for those in need. Courseware offers proven curriculum perfect for credit or unit recovery, so students stay on track for grade promotion and graduation.

It’s also a well-known fact that a strong foundation in literacy is key to future academic success in any subject. Reading Eggs offers learn-to-read support for your youngest students. Leverage our Reading & Literacy workbook for even more support in ensuring that students are on track to become successful and lifelong readers.

Prioritize Mental Health and Social-Emotional Learning

Helping your students cope with change and navigate through crisis will continue to be an important part of the school experience. Edmentum now offers a powerful partnership with BASE Education, developer of evidence-based social-emotional learning (SEL) courseware, to give students access to resources that will help them develop coping skills and general SEL awareness. Check out our social-emotional learning blog posts for more information.

Make a Plan that Preserves Continuity of Instruction

Having a distance learning plan firmly in place will be critical to easily transition from brick to click and back again. Check out our Guide to Extending Learning During School Closures.

Virtual learning comes in all shapes and sizes, but the one thing every variety has in common is the need for family engagement to amplify success. This parent guide unpacks eight challenges you may be facing and accompanies them with best practices to help you facilitate learning successfully.

Looking for online programs to help your school or district improve outcomes for all students? Check out Edmentum's suite of K–12, evidence-based assessments and digital curriculum, and see why 8,000 U.S. school districts proudly partner with us.

madison.michell's picture

Madison Michell has been a member of the Edmentum team since 2014 and currently serves as a Marketing Manager. As a former Kindergarten and 3rd grade teacher during her time as a Teach For America corps member, she believes education truly has the power to transform lives. She is passionate about connecting educators with online programs, best practices, and research that improve teaching and learning for today's students.