AJE is delighted to summarize recent updates from the United States Department of Education! We hope this information is helpful for parents and teachers.
This week, the Department and the Center to Improve Social and Emotional Learning and School Safety at WestEd hosted a virtual discussion on “Addressing the Impact of COVID-19 through Summer Learning and Enrichment.” The webinar elevated the evidence-based components of high-quality summer and enrichment programming, described how ARP funds can be used to support their design and implementation, and detailed how these opportunities may be available this summer and beyond by building capacity, including the role of philanthropy and community-based partners.
Also this week, the Department hosted the first in its “Lessons from the Field” webinar series, running bi-weekly through June and focusing on key topics across early childhood, K-12 education, and postsecondary education: safe and healthy environments; providing supports for students; and teacher, faculty, and staff well-being, professional development, and supports. This initial webinar, “Safely Reopening and Sustaining In-Person Instruction,” provided a brief overview of how to implement mitigation strategies and featured a panel of practitioners from several districts sharing lessons learned on preparing for and returning to in-person learning and information on how they overcame complications. (Note: A reminder that the agency is seeking information submitted to email@example.com for its Safer Schools and Campuses Best Practices Clearinghouse.)
Then, on April 1, the Secretary joined Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Elizabeth Warren for a roundtable discussion with student loan borrowers and advocates, who shared stories about the impact of student loan debt. The Secretary listened, asked many questions, and promised to take the information he learned back to the Department to inform decisions regarding student loans.