As states, districts, and individual schools contemplate how best to allocate stimulus dollars over the next three years, they face a unique opportunity, according to the report.
There are a number of strategies that districts, schools, and educators should consider in order to help these stimulus funds have the best impact on students–particularly students with disabilities and those who are negatively impacted by the equity gap.
1. Knock down internal barriers: Anticipate and address procurement red tape, explore temporary waivers of state hiring and licensure requirements, and improve facilities and ensure access for all.
2. Quickly get current on Individualized Education Programs (IEPs): Address the backlog of referrals and annual updates, and build capacity to provide related and compensatory services.
3. Assess and screen well: Secure top-notch, effective assessment tools and develop and recalibrate multi-tiered systems of support.
4. Engage families as partners: Invest in family partnerships, build family information hubs, and create a virtual help desk for families of students with disabilities.
5. Address trauma and social-emotional learning (SEL): Prioritize addressing trauma and rethink student discipline.
6. Provide rich learning opportunities: Find ways to expand learning time, create robust and differentiated learning opportunities, and adopt Universal Design for Learning.
7. Anticipate lingering impacts of the pandemic: Make technology part of the solution and invest in essential tech training.
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