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Leading Edge Blog

Remote Learning Resources for the 2020-2021 School Year

With nearly a month (or longer for some) of learning behind us—whether it be in person, 100 percent remote, or a hybrid module—the 2020-2021 school year is well under way. Each day brings something new, and often times, something leaders have never experienced. That’s why effective leadership has never been more important. It is absolutely necessary to move us forward.

At OLAC, our primary focus right now is to remain helpful and relevant to you during this unique time in education, and our world. To get a better pulse on how to better serve you, over the summer, we partnered with the Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA) to conduct a statewide survey to determine districts’ concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Results from this study offer a statewide, district-level perspective on a range of specific issues and, perhaps more usefully, on a smaller set of well-defined domains of related issues.

Top-rated Concerns, Spring 2020

  1. Providing services to students with special needs,
  2. High school graduation,
  3. Guidance from the state,
  4. Providing meals,
  5. Supporting students social and emotional learning, and
  6. Ensuring the health of families (of students and staff).

Top-rated Concerns, Fall 2020

The top-rated concerns looking to fall 2020, were more numerous and substantially more worrisome, including:

  1. Transporting students safely,
  2. Providing intervention and intensive services to students with special needs,
  3. Receiving sufficient guidance from state leaders,
  4. Supporting students’ social and emotional learning,
  5. Ensuring the health of students and their families,
  6. Ensuring the health of staff and their families,
  7. Ensuring cleanliness and maintenance of buildings and grounds,
  8. Providing high-quality curriculum to students,
  9. Using proper procedures for large-group gatherings,
  10. Ensuring adequate planning and coordination system-wide,
  11. Ensuring that the district has sufficient revenue,
  12. Providing meals to students who depend on them,
  13. Responding to the expectations of parents and families,
  14. Guarding the health of at-risk community members,
  15. Supporting families’ well-being, and
  16. Employing the staff needed for a new kind of schooling.

Future Uncertainties

Uncertainties in the future, including longer-term uncertainties were also documented:

  1. Statewide funding inequities,
  2. Increased learning gaps among vulnerable students,
  3. Reduced opportunity to learn for all students,
  4. Shift away from face-to-face schooling,
  5. Threats to health,
  6. Resource inadequacy,
  7. Intensified “culture wars” (e.g., to wear masks or not), and
  8. Increasing differences between the “haves” and the “have-nots” in the community.

Possible Beneficial Outcomes

The pandemic entails possible outcomes, and among them the responding districts tended to see the following as potential benefits:

  1. Reduction in the reliance on standardized testing,
  2. More individualization of learning,
  3. New ways to assess students’ progress and performance,
  4. More communication with parents and families,
  5. The availability to students of a wider array of learning platforms, and
  6. Greater use of online learning.

As you would expect, survey feedback revealed an expansive list of concerns, and we are well aware that OLAC is not in a position to address the entire list. However, we did identify the concerns that we believe OLAC, with support from our partners, can address, including social-emotional well-being, family engagement, evaluation and assessment, system-wide planning and support, high-quality curriculum and instruction, and supporting students with special needs.

“OLAC is deeply appreciative of our strong and valued partnerships, which provide the opportunity for OLAC to gather immediate and expansive resources to meet districts’ identified leadership challenges,” shares Karel Oxley, co-director of OLAC.

Using survey feedback, we organized and curated resources from OLAC’s site, along with resources from our education partners across the state. The resources are organized around topics that Ohio educators identified as areas of need to support for the 2020-2021 school year.

From modules and videos to webinars, toolkits, and more, we are pleased to share these free resources with you.

Explore Free Resources
Read the Survey Summary Report