Virtual School Meanderings

August 1, 2020

Helping Newcomers Navigate The U.S. School System & More

Note the online learning item about three items down.

July 2020 Newsletter
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Starting School in the US: A guide for newcomer students' families
With the goal of helping educators and policymakers use data and evidence to improve student outcomes, we are pleased to share the following REL Northwest research and resources.

NEWCOMER STUDENTS

Guide Helps Newcomer Students’ Families Navigate the U.S. School System

Starting a new school can be difficult—especially for newcomer immigrant and refugee students, whose families may not be familiar with the U.S. education system. Our new resource, Starting School in the United States: A Guide for Newcomer Students’ Families, provides answers to many questions newcomer families typically have about the U.S. school system. Specifically, the guide (which is available in Arabic, English, Somali, and Spanish) offers research-based guidance on the registration process, how families can get involved in their children’s education, the rights every student has under U.S. law, and more. We encourage schools, districts, and refugee agencies to provide a link to the guide on their website and print copies for newcomer families.

EARLY MATH

Activities for Families to Help Children Practice Math

Research has shown that children can recognize basic math principles at a young age. Parents and caregivers can seize opportunities throughout the day to talk to their children about math—including numbers and operations, geometry, and patterns. We partnered with REL Appalachia and REL Central to compile a set of online resources that offer research-based activities with easy-to-follow steps to help families support young children’s math skills during a typical day.

ONLINE LEARNING

Ways to Create Welcoming, Bully-Free Online Learning Environments

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, most students believed cyberbullying was a major problem. With students spending a lot more time online, it’s critical to know how to prevent cyberbullying and ensure victims of cyberbullying get help. Our new blog post explains the nuances of cyberbullying and shares five research-based strategies educators can use to create online learning environments in which all students feel safe and that they belong.

SCHOOL STAFF

How to Support School Employees’ Health and Well-Being

A stakeholder recently asked, “What does the research say about evidence-based practices and programs that support K–12 school employee health, resilience, and well-being?” Our Ask A REL librarian searched the literature on this topic and compiled a list of recent, publicly available references and resources. View other featured responses to education-related research questions from the region—or submit your own—on our website.

MORE RESEARCH AND RESOURCES FROM THE REL PROGRAM

Insights and information for unprecedented times:

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REL Northwest’s goal is to deepen collaboration and evidence use among educators and policymakers on important educational issues identified by stakeholders across the Northwest region. Together, we are putting research into action.

REL Northwest at Education Northwest
101 S.W. Main Street, Suite 500
Portland, OR 97204
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You are receiving this email because you are a member or stakeholder of a REL Northwest research collaborative or alliance or signed up to receive these messages. If you want to stop receiving these emails you can unsubscribe from this list.

This newsletter was prepared under Contract ED-IES-17-C-0009 by Regional Educational Laboratory Northwest, administered by Education Northwest. The content does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of IES or the U.S. Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

REL Northwest at Education Northwest · 101 SW Main St Ste 500 · Portland, OR 97204-3213 · USA

June 16, 2020

Supporting Students w/ Autism, Accurately Identifying Native Students, & More…

This regional education laboratory newsletter may be of interest to some folks.

June 2020 Newsletter
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graphic showing city and rural together
With the goal of helping educators and policymakers use data and evidence to improve student outcomes, we are pleased to share the following REL Northwest research and resources.

SPECIAL EDUCATION

Supporting Students with Autism During School Closures

Disruptions caused by COVID-19 can be especially challenging for students with autism. Adding to the stress, the parents/caregivers of students with autism may find themselves acting as their child’s special education teacher (often with little to no preparation or training). On our blog, Aleksandra Hollingshead, University of Idaho associate professor and REL Northwest Governing Board member, describes three ways education leaders can support the families of students with autism during school closures.

NATIVE YOUTH

The Importance of and Processes for Accurately Identifying Native Students

Native students are eligible for unique educational supports from various programs. However, many Native students do not receive the services they need and qualify for—simply because they are not identified as Native. This video—created in collaboration with the Northwest Tribal Educators Alliance—explains how the proper identification of Native students by school systems is critical for ensuring appropriate program funding, upholding treaty obligations, and tracking student achievement. It also describes ways to create school- or districtwide engagement plans for reaching out to Native families and caregivers.

COVID-19 PANDEMIC

What Do We Know About Student Learning Loss During COVID-19?

Education stakeholders undoubtedly have many questions such as this about serving students during this unprecedented time. Our Ask A REL librarian is ready to respond to your education-related questions with evidence-based resources and references. View responses to pandemic-related questions—or submit your own—on our website.

MORE COVID-19 RESOURCES

Insights and information from other RELs & IES centers:

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REL Northwest’s goal is to deepen collaboration and evidence use among educators and policymakers on important educational issues identified by stakeholders across the Northwest region. Together, we are putting research into action.

REL Northwest at Education Northwest
101 S.W. Main Street, Suite 500
Portland, OR 97204
Follow us on Twitter!

You are receiving this email because you are a member or stakeholder of a REL Northwest research collaborative or alliance or signed up to receive these messages. If you want to stop receiving these emails you can unsubscribe from this list.

This newsletter was prepared under Contract ED-IES-17-C-0009 by Regional Educational Laboratory Northwest, administered by Education Northwest. The content does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of IES or the U.S. Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

REL Northwest at Education Northwest · 101 SW Main St Ste 500 · Portland, OR 97204-3213 · USA

May 14, 2020

How Native Communities Are Harnessing The Internet For Students

A newsletter from one of the RELs.

graphic of online learning

How Native Communities are Harnessing the Internet to Share Traditional and Contemporary Knowledge with Students

Mandy Smoker Broaddus | May 12, 2020

From Indigenous language lessons streamed on Facebook Live to American Indian history lessons and oral traditions uploaded to YouTube, Native communities have been finding creative ways to engage learners during the COVID-19 pandemic. In doing so, they are sending an important message to Indigenous youth: We are here for you. Your languages and culture are here for you. In times of crisis, your identity matters and can be a sustaining force. In our latest blog post, Mandy Smoker Broaddus takes a deeper dive into some of these innovative educational strategies.

Read our latest blog…
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Copyright © 2020 Education Northwest, All rights reserved.
Education Northwest is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization based in Portland, Oregon. Our research, technical assistance, professional development, and evaluation services are driven by a desire to help all learners meet their full potential. We partner with schools, districts, tribes, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders who share that passion for equity and excellence.

Our mailing address is:

Education Northwest

101 SW Main St, Suite 500

Portland, OR 97204

May 5, 2020

Responding To A New Educational Reality

Several K-12 distance and online learning items in the REL newsletter below.

EdNW logo

THANK YOU

We recognize and thank you for everything you are doing to meet students’ needs during this critical time. From innovative ways to deliver instruction to a ceaseless commitment to reaching each and every student, you inspire us every day. Your dedication is making a difference in the lives of students and families during the crisis and laying the foundation for innovative practices that our educational system will need as we transition into the fall. Thank you for all you do.

Patty Wood, CEO

Read the latest from Patty

graphic of man in a boat

SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT

Looking Ahead: Future Proofing the U.S. Education System

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Education Northwest a five-year grant to serve Idaho and Montana as the Mountain West Comprehensive Center. In this role we provide high-impact training and technical assistance to state and local education agencies and schools—building their capacity to improve educational outcomes, close achievement gaps, and enhance the quality of instruction. Initial areas of need identified by stakeholders include serving rural schools and recruiting and retaining effective educators.

What we do now will help us prepare for a better future >

graphic showing student watch teacher online

DISTANCE LEARNING

Switching Gears: Ways to Optimize an Unplanned Shift to Online Teaching

Teachers did not anticipate having to provide their instructional expertise almost solely through online teaching. This unplanned pivot doesn’t come without challenges, but it also offers opportunities for ingenuity and creativity. Educators may be further ahead than they realize because they have already built relationships with their students.

Explore tools and resources to build upon that foundation >

student smiling while looking at a computer

6+1 TRAITS WRITING

Bridging the Distance: Three Ways Teachers Can Help Students Strengthen Their Writing Remotely

Helping students write well is especially important in this remote learning reality; with less opportunity for verbal and face-to-face interactions, students will more often need to demonstrate their knowledge in writing. All teachers—not just those who teach writing—can use these three approaches to strengthen student writing online.

Help your students strengthen their writing with these strategies >

NATIVE EDUCATION

Distance Learning Could Deepen Inequality Between Wyoming Schools

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced schools to close and shift to online learning. Education Northwest’s Mandy Smoker Broaddus talks to Wyoming Public Media about how this move may affect Native students.

Read the article >

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Copyright © 2020 Education Northwest, All rights reserved.
Education Northwest is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization based in Portland, Oregon. Our research, technical assistance, professional development, and evaluation services are driven by a desire to help all learners meet their full potential. We partner with schools, districts, tribes, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders who share that passion for equity and excellence.

Our mailing address is:

Education Northwest

101 SW Main St, Suite 500

Portland, OR 97204

April 29, 2020

How Parents Can Boost Middle Schoolers’ Math Confidence

Note the distance learning items at the bottom of this REL newsletter.

April 2020 Newsletter
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graphic from video
With the goal of helping educators and policymakers use data and evidence to improve student outcomes, we’re pleased to share the following REL Northwest research and resources.

Note: REL Northwest recognizes that some of the information provided below may not be immediately applicable due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we offer it now in the hope that it will be useful in the future.

MATHEMATICS

How to Boost Your Middle Schooler’s Math Confidence and Success

April is Math Awareness Month, and we have a new video to celebrate! As the teen years approach, many students enrolled in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) begin to feel frustrated with math, even if they excelled at it when they were younger. This REL Northwest video shares evidence-based strategies parents and caregivers can use to help their teenagers respond positively to math challenges and understand the value of math in everyday life and future STEM careers. Also remember our resource on how families can help younger children both learn and love math.

EDUCATOR RECRUITMENT

Promising Evidence for Addressing Teacher Shortages in Washington StateLike many states, Washington faces a growing teacher shortage. On our blog, Sun Young Yoon and Jason Greenberg Motamedi describe a recent REL Northwest report that found nearly 70 percent of limited certificated teachers surveyed were interested in becoming fully certified. Survey respondents also listed a range of supports they would need in order to pursue full certification. The study findings show promise for addressing teacher shortages, filling hard-to-staff positions in certain subject areas, and promoting a more diverse teacher workforce.

EVIDENCE USE

Getting Answers: High-Quality Research You Can TrustMany educators need reliable evidence to make informed decisions but do not have the time to wade through the research. The Ask A REL service allows you to ask education-related research questions and to receive timely and well-curated answers. For example, a stakeholder recently asked, “What does the research say about retaining students in third grade for not being able to read at grade level?” REL Northwest’s Ask A REL librarian explored the research literature on this topic and compiled a list of recent, publicly available references and resources. Learn more about this free service that provides customized, evidence-based answers to questions submitted by Northwest stakeholders.

HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION

Preventing High School Dropout Across Vulnerable Student GroupsImproving high school graduation rates—particularly for student groups who drop out of high school at high rates—continues to be a regional priority. A new infographic for educators shares evidence-based practices and describes a planning process that school and district teams can use to develop dropout prevention strategies for four vulnerable groups: American Indian students, Latino male students, students in poverty, and students with disabilities.

MORE RESOURCES

COVID-19 Distance Learning

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REL Northwest’s goal is to deepen collaboration and evidence use among educators and policymakers on important educational issues identified by stakeholders across the Northwest region. Together, we are putting research into action.

REL Northwest at Education Northwest
101 S.W. Main Street, Suite 500
Portland, OR 97204
Follow us on Twitter!

This newsletter was prepared under Contract ED-IES-17-C-0009 by Regional Educational Laboratory Northwest, administered by Education Northwest. The content does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of IES or the U.S. Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Education Northwest · 101 SW Main St, Suite 500 · Portland, OR 97204 · USA
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