Headlines in major outlets have been pretty dire lately- the impacts of the pandemic on student learning continue to reverberate through schools across the country. We’ve heard from District leaders that they are looking for solutions to recover instructional time and accelerate student learning, and are laser focused on:
While these focus areas will meaningfully and positively impact K-12 education, they may fall short if families are not considered as a key stakeholder in maximizing the impact of HQIM and SEL programs. Research shows that when families are equipped with the right tools and information they are able to effectively support their child’s learning and well-being. Yet, as school curriculum and instruction changes parents and families have expressed frustration, feeling like they don’t have the right tools to support their child’s learning in ELA and Math.
We’ve asked co-founders of Family Engagement Lab, Vidya Sundaram and Elisabeth O’Bryon, to weigh in on the opportunity that exists in 2024 and beyond. They have shared predictions for how Districts will accelerate student achievement by leveraging the strengths of parents and families to increase their involvement and reinforce student learning.
How can Districts make the most of classroom instruction?
Vidya Sundaram shares, “Improving the quality of instructional materials is a smart, cost-effective strategy to improve learning outcomes. Districts looking to optimize their curriculum investment will also implement newly available curriculum-aligned offerings, from professional learning to assessments and family communications.”
What’s the role of families in effective SEL programs?
Elisabeth O’Bryon, highlights that “With student mental health needs outpacing many schools’ capacity to provide support, it will be even more critical to look to families as vital partners in supporting student success. Social and emotional supports show up in FASTalk in a number of ways: (1) messages are designed to support key relationship building between parents and children as well as parents and teachers, and (2) tips and activities provide families with the opportunity to practice and reinforce specific SEL skills at home.”
How do you envision school learning environments changing for multilingual learners?
Elisabeth O’Bryon is optimistic that, “as we continue to see an increase in the linguistic diversity of our school communities, as well as growing interest in multilingual learning environments, I am hopeful that a spotlight is shone on what a tremendous asset multilingualism is. Embracing multilingualism truly enriches school communities and, as such, schools need to be equipped to equitably and authentically engage multilingual families as partners in supporting student learning.”
How do you envision K-12 EdTech evolving next year?
Vidya Sundaram shares “While generative AI has been the hot topic of 2023, I expect next year we will see K-12 technology advancements that strengthen the capacity of teachers (such as automating repetitive tasks), and more multilingual culturally responsive learning resources for students and families.”
We’ll be digging into each of these topics in 2024 and sharing how parent and family involvement are an integral part of a student’s learning support team. Subscribe to our newsletter to hear the latest!