Preventing a Lost School Year

Building trust is a major theme of Stand for Children’s free, new guidebook, Preventing a Lost School Year, which was created to help district leaders plan for academic and social-emotional learning in the coming school year.

The 2019-2020 school year was severely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and, without the right preparation and intervention, the 2020-2021 school year stands to put the continuity of children’s education further at risk. Our most vulnerable students stand to lose the most and are more likely to fall behind — and in some cases stay behind — if planning doesn’t take place with their needs and challenges in mind.

Stand for Children has identified evidence-based actions school districts can take to keep the academic success and emotional well-being of students at the forefront as decisions are made ahead of the incoming academic year. These actions include:

1. Students must have internet access and a connected device for learning.

2. School needs to matter. Grades, attendance, and opportunities for acceleration are a must. 

3. Fair grading practices are essential.

4. Every middle and high school student needs regular meetings with an advisor.

5. Secondary educators and staff should team up to support students, grade by grade.

6. Prioritize hands on learning.

In addition, the following essentials for strong family partnerships are suggested:

1. Overcommunicate.

2. Start the year with a virtual home visit.

3. Use a texting platform to provide learning tips to early preschool and elementary grade parents.

For more, see