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HOW U.S.D.E RELEASES GUIDANCE TO STATES ON ASSESSING STUDENT LEARNING DURING THE PANDEMIC, WEBINARS! (790 hits)


For Immediate Release From U.S. Department of Education!

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is providing guidance to states emphasizing the importance of flexibility in administering assessments this year as a result of the pandemic and supporting the use of assessment data as a source of information for parents and educators to target resources and support, rather than for accountability purposes this year.

State assessments and accountability systems play an important role in advancing educational equity, identifying student needs, and targeting the resources to address them. At the same time, some schools and districts may not be able to safely administer statewide summative assessments this spring using their standard practices, while others may wish to prioritize learning time during the scant in-person schooling time this year in many communities. The pandemic requires that states have significant flexibility in implementing this work for the 2020-2021 school year and ED's guidance is a practical approach that balances these two priorities.

"The Department of Education is committed to supporting all states in assessing student learning during the pandemic to help target resources and support to the students with the greatest needs," said Ian Rosenblum, acting assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education. "We also recognize that at a time when everything in our education system is different, there need to be different ways that states can administer state tests like moving them to the fall so that precious in-person learning time this year can be spent on instruction. Balancing these priorities is the best approach."

ED's guidance makes clear that states should consider the ways they can do things differently this year. Flexibility available to states includes:

Extending the testing window and moving assessments to the summer or fall,
Giving the assessment remotely, where feasible,
Shortening the state assessment, to make testing more feasible to implement and prioritize in-person learning time.

The Department also recognizes that individual states may need additional assessment flexibility based on the specific circumstances across or within the state. ED is prepared to work with states to address their individual needs and conditions while ensuring the maximum available statewide data to inform the targeting of resources and support.

In addition to encouraging flexibility around assessments, ED is allowing states to request a waiver for the Every Student Succeeds Act's accountability and school identification requirements. This flexibility will explicitly include waiving the accountability provisions relating to having a 95 percent test participation rate.
The Department's letter to Chief State School Officers outlining its plans for the 2020-2021 school year can be found here.

"States are working hard to respond to the unique circumstances they are facing and maintain their immediate focus on supporting students' social, emotional, and academic development," said Jessica Cardichon, deputy assistant secretary of K-12, Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development. "In addition to this guidance, the Administration is working with Congress to secure the additional resources in the American Rescue Plan that are needed to support states and districts in safely reopening schools and responding to the long-term impact of COVID on students and educators."

The steps taken today by the Department of Education reflect a practical approach for addressing the immediate crisis at hand. The Department will continue to engage a broad range of stakeholders regarding how the Biden-Harris Administration can best implement its agenda to prepare all students to succeed in the tomorrow's economy, regardless of race, parents' income, zip code, or disability; and to provide educators with the support, respect and dignity they deserve. President Biden's proposed American Rescue Plan calls for $130 billion in funding to help schools safely reopen and meet the unique needs students and educators are facing during the pandemic, including supporting the academic, social, and emotional needs of students.

Learn more HERE!: https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-releases-guidance-states-assessing-student-learning-during-pandemic?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=


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WEBINARS:

Ventilation and Virus Mitigation in Schools: Creating a Game Plan to Reduce COVID-19 Risk and Make Lasting Improvements to IAQ

On Thursday, February 25, 2021, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET, learn how to create a game plan for mitigating risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in the near term and prioritizing the top 5 IAQ improvements to ensure healthy air in schools in the long term. Webinar participants will acquire the skills to assess their current air handling capabilities (e.g., effectiveness of filtration, ability to bring in fresh air, and energy efficiency) and create a plan to improve air quality using a free online risk assessment.

REGISTER HERE!: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/2671974196809673229?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=


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School EOP Planning 101: Creating High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans That Address All Threats, Hazards, Settings, and Times
On Friday, February 26, 2021, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET, the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Office of Safe and Supportive Schools (OSSS) and its Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Technical Assistance (TA) Center will host a webinar to highlight strategies that K-12 education agencies can use, in collaboration with their team of multidisciplinary community partners, to create high-quality school emergency operations plans (EOPs) that integrate planning around all threats and hazards and all settings and times. The webinar will:
Share recommendations from Federal partners specific to creating, revising, and enhancing school EOPs using a continual process;
Explore considerations around planning for all types of hazards and threats and with all education settings and times in mind; and
Provide details of the latest resources and tools available from the REMS TA Center to support schools, with their team of multidisciplinary community partners, with school EOP development.

This event will also feature a dedicated question-and-answer session, during which presenters will field questions from participants.

Presenters: Madeline Sullivan, Management and Program Analyst, U.S. Department of Education, OSSS; Janelle Hughes, Project Director, REMS TA Center; Alison Curtis, Director of Information and Product Development, REMS TA Center

Register on the REMS TA Center Website to participate in the Webinar HERE!: https://remstacenter.org/webinars/WebinarRegistration.aspx?WebinarID=4108&utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=


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Resources

SAMHSA is committed to providing regular training and technical assistance (TTA) on matters related to the mental and substance use disorder field during the current COVID-19 situation. View the updated available TTA resources HERE!: https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/training-and-technical-assistance-covid19.pdf?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=


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Funding Opportunity


Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education) State Education Agency Grants

SAMHSA is accepting applications for Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education) – State Education Agency (SEA) grants (AWARE-SEA). The purpose of this program is to build or expand the capacity of State Education Agencies, in partnership with State Mental Health Agencies (SMHAs) overseeing school-aged youth, and with three local education agencies (LEAs) to:

Increase awareness of mental health issues among school-aged youth

Provide training for school personnel and other adults who interact with school-aged youth to detect and respond to mental health issues

Connect school-aged youth who may have behavioral health issues, including serious emotional disturbance (SED) or serious mental illness (SMI), and their families, to needed services

SAMHSA plans to issue up to 34 awards of up to $1,800,000 per year for up to 5 years.
Application Due Date: Friday, March 19, 2021 (New Extended Due Date).

Website Announcement: https://www.samhsa.gov/grants/grant-announcements/sm-21-006?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=
Posted By: agnes levine
Tuesday, February 23rd 2021 at 9:53AM
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