In this time of uncertainty, it is more important than ever to ensure that all of our nation’s children are cared for and provided opportunities to learn and grow. This will call on school administrators and teachers to flex their creativity muscles, track down new solutions, and plan for regular reflection and revision. But isn’t this where educators (especially special and EL educators) shine? Further, we must engage our families as true partners; they are our biggest ally in supporting their own children. Together, we will ensure that students feel safe, connected, and engaged throughout this time.
Our vision of high quality, inclusive educational opportunities for all learners is only amplified in this season. The Diverse Learners Cooperative remains committed to our mission of connecting teachers to relevant professional growth opportunities, resources, and networks to propel best practice for diverse learners. Our partnerships with schools have allowed us to gain a unique perspective of the work and remain proactive in helping schools plan for diverse learners through remote instruction and intervention.
This DIVERSE LEARNERS COVID-19 RESOURCE HUB will serve as a home base for resources we’ve created in response to key needs and requests, as well as those curated from across the web. We aim to provide resources that both maximize your school’s support, while simplifying the process to get there. Resources are organized by both process and further, by need.
We will continue to update this website daily. If you have a need for a particular resource that supports students with disabilities or those learning English, please submit a request here. If you have found a great resource, please share here. Finally, please feel welcome to share this website with others who may benefit (teachers, leaders, and parents).
Guiding Protocol for Supporting Diverse Learners During School Closure
- Connect with families. Build the relationship. Understand what families want and need during this time of crisis, particularly as it relates to their wellbeing and their support of their child(ren). Communicate empathy and respect. Record important information to ensure your next plans incorporate this knowledge.
- Plan an aligned approach. Consider family and student needs. Get creative with service options, accommodations, and communication protocols that aim to help students feel safe and engaged during this time, as well as grow toward individual goals.
- Convene the team. Gather stakeholders, including the family and perhaps the student when appropriate. Share your ideas, collaborate on solutions, draft a plan, and obtain consent to move forward.
- Deliver high quality services. Use a variety of methods, materials, and team members to deliver high quality, consistent services. Get creative with delivery through online and analog methods. Be consistent. Communicate often. Collaborate with other team members, especially general education teachers.
- Equip families and caregivers. Realize that students with disabilities and English learners may face some unique challenges while remaining home and engaging in schoolwork. Provide accessible resources and regular communication with families and caregivers to support at home learning.
- Reflect and revise. Build in checkpoints to collect information and reflect on student growth. Communicate with the student’s support team and family. Revise programming to incorporate reflections and increase student wellbeing and academic progress. Advocate for needed resources, services, and school-wide systems often. As we move toward re-entry, consider what is needed for a successful student transition.