Things to Consider for the Upcoming School Year

2019-2020 School yearAt the end of each school year, educators and administrators are either tired or excited; after all, it is closer to summer break, and I’m sure your school year may have been met with both challenges and rewards. However, there are still a few things to consider prior to the first day of the new school year. I encourage school faculty and staff to consider the following:

  1. Your school’s foundation must be established; I know that changes may arise, but if you have a solid foundation then nothing, not even change, can shake the foundation of your school.
  2. Train teachers on relationship-building. Students come first, regardless of what it looks like.
  3. Train teachers and staff on what at-risk means, how to identify at-risk learners, and the factors that impact their learning; remember to provide teachers with strategies to redirect at-risk learners. Some strategies can be found in differentiated instruction, social and emotional development (ie. morning/class meetings as a tool to address concerns or needs of students.)
  4. Be sure that faculty and staff understand a child’s hierarchy of needs and strategies or resources to assist students.
  5. Consider partnerships with mentoring programs or developing an advisory program. This can be beneficial in providing referrals for at-risk youth or apart of a disciplinary infrastructure (positive reinforcement).
  6. Train all staff on Response To Intervention (RTI). RTI is a powerful tool, when used properly, that prevent students from falling into the academic achievement gap.
  7. Create ideas or plans to help get parents involved; parent training and teacher training on the components of parental involvement.
  8. Consider having teacher empowerment professional development sessions. Educators pour out knowledge and patience daily; let us make sure that they are being poured back into.
  9. Develop activities and events to establish a sense of community at your school (ie. dances, cultural events, pep rallies, etc.)

Published by Andrea Pickens and Associates, LLC

Greetings: My name is Andrea S. Pickens; I have several years of experience in education and youth development all of which include teaching and leading youth in under-resourced and economically disadvantaged communities. I believe that it is critical to the academic and over success of our youth to have proper academic and social-emotional support. This support is often found in schools and after-school programs that intervene by providing tutoring/enrichment services and are equipped with effective teachers and leaders. My belief is that each child can learn, but not all children learn the same; diversity and equity is crucial to youth development. It is my mission as an educator, entrepreneur, and servant-leader to equip and empower others in youth development and education to reach our youth beyond the secondary classroom. Yours in Education, Andrea S. Pickens, M.Ed

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