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Resources to Help Guide Your Summer Learning Program2852GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​​​​​The school bell may have stopped ringing, but summer is a great time for all kinds of learning opportunities for kids. In honor of this year’s National Summer Learning Week, here are some helpful reports, tools and articles to guide your summer program. And don’t forget to check out the <a href="https&#58;//www.summerlearning.org/summer-learning-week/" target="_blank">National Summer Learning Association</a> to discover summer programs, additional resources and more during this week-long celebration.<br><br> </p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/supporting-quality-in-summer-learning-how-districts-plan-develop-and-implement-programs.aspx?_ga=2.130479439.1378018415.1657643438-504352793.1654185536"> <strong> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/resources-to-help-guide-your-summer-learning-program/supporting-quality-in-summer-learning-full-report-a.jpg" alt="supporting-quality-in-summer-learning-full-report-a.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;146px;height&#58;188px;" />Supporting Quality in Summer Learning&#58; How Districts Plan, Develop, and Implement Programs</strong></a><strong>&#160;</strong>School district-led summer programs play a critical role in supporting students academically and providing them with enriching experiences. Drawing on existing research and the perspectives of policymakers and field professionals, this recently released report looks at the policies, practices and resources that go into the planning, development and operation of these programs.​<br><br></p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/summer-for-all-building-coordinated-networks-promote-access-to-quality-summer-learning-enrichment.aspx?_ga=2.130479439.1378018415.1657643438-504352793.1654185536"><strong><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/resources-to-help-guide-your-summer-learning-program/summer-for-all-building-coordinated-networks-promote-summer-learning-a.jpg" alt="summer-for-all-building-coordinated-networks-promote-summer-learning-a.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;145px;height&#58;207px;" />Summer for All&#58; Building Coordinated Networks to Promote Access to Quality Summer Learning and Enrichment Opportunities Across a Community</strong></a><strong>&#160;</strong>This report looks at how schools, community-based organizations and other civic organizations in four cities formed coordinated networks to increase access to high-quality summer programming for young people.<br><br></p><p> <br> </p><p> <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/two-summer-programs-inch-towards-normal-as-covid-subsides.aspx"><strong><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/blog-pandemic-summer-post-lg-feature.jpg" alt="blog-pandemic-summer-post-lg-feature.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;274px;height&#58;117px;" />Two Summer Programs Inch Towards Normal as Covid Subsides</strong></a>&#160;​Summer programs could be a key to addressing lost instructional and extracurricular time from COVID-19, and summer program leaders can learn a lot from the past two summers. Read about how two programs in New York and New Jersey have adapted to help young people through the pandemic, and how they’ve been preparing for this unpredictable summer.<br><br></p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/getting-to-work-on-summer-learning-2nd-ed.aspx"><strong><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/resources-to-help-guide-your-summer-learning-program/Getting-to-Work-on-Summer-Learning-2nd-ed-a.jpg" alt="Getting-to-Work-on-Summer-Learning-2nd-ed-a.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;144px;height&#58;206px;" />Getting to Work on Summer Learning&#58; Recommended Practices for Success, 2nd ed.</strong></a>&#160;This report addresses questions about how to implement a high-quality summer learning program and offers evidence-based recommendations on such topics as timing, hiring and training, and how to recruit students. It also discusses the costs associated with offering a voluntary summer program and provides suggestions for lowering them, such as working with community-based organizations and consolidating program sites into as few buildings as possible.​<br><br></p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/toolkit/pages/default.aspx"><strong><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/resources-to-help-guide-your-summer-learning-program/blog-summer-learning-toolkit.jpg" alt="blog-summer-learning-toolkit.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;180px;height&#58;110px;" />Summer Learning Toolkit</strong></a><strong>&#160;</strong>One of our most popular resources, the Summer Learning Toolkit consists of more than 50, evidence-based tools and resources drawn from the work of five urban school districts and their partners, and aligned with research from RAND. It might be a bit late to start planning this year, but it’s never too early to start the pre-planning for next summer!</p>​<br>Jenna Doleh912022-07-13T04:00:00ZFrom research reports and our popular hands-on toolkit to interviews with program staff and parents, these materials can help you plan a high-quality summer program.7/13/2022 1:00:21 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Resources to Help Guide Your Summer Learning Program From research reports and case studies to our popular hands-on toolkit 206https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Five Takeaways for Developing High-Quality Principals39093GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​​​Effective principals are important—but they don’t grow on trees. Their preparation, development and support can make a major difference, not just for principals themselves but for teachers, staff and students as well. </p><p>Two new reports show how states, districts and universities all have a role to play in improving the quality of principal preparation across the board&#58; <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/developing-effective-principals-what-kind-of-learning-matters.aspx"><em>Developing Effective Principals&#58; What Kind of Learning Matters?</em></a> from the Learning Policy Institute (LPI), and&#160;<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/redesigning-university-principal-preparation-programs-a-systemic-approach-for-change-and-sustainability.aspx"><em>Redesigning University Principal Preparation Programs&#58; A Systemic Approach for Change and Sustainability</em></a> from the RAND Corporation. </p><p>Authors from the two research teams recently <a href="https&#58;//www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsHGy7lCZLA&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank">presented highlights from their work​</a>, along with a panel of experts to help dig into the findings. Here are five key takeaways from that conversation&#58;</p><h3 class="wf-Element-H3">Leveraging federal funding can help improve principal preparation</h3><p>Federal COVID relief funds can play an important role in supporting principal development, according to Peter Zamora, director of federal relations at the Council of Chief State School Officers. He cited examples from Florida, Illinois, Kansas and Nevada, all of which have created some sort of program to help train, mentor and develop principals. </p><p>Zamora pointed out how the new research from LPI and RAND can help states seeking to use federal funds for similar types of work. He referred to an earlier example shared by the RAND researchers, which notes how states can use Federal funds from ESSA Titles I and II, as well as the <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/american-rescue-plan-five-things-state-and-district-leaders-need-to-know-now.aspx">American Rescue Plan Act</a>, along with state funds, to create leadership academies and paid internships for school leaders.<br></p><p class="wf-Element-Callout">“We do a thousand things in a day, make a thousand decisions in a day,” Tyson said. “So I appreciate those informal times, be it just a text message or a quick phone call.”​<br></p><h3 class="wf-Element-H3">Mentorship matters</h3><p>Developing a cadre of mentors to support principals is important, Marjorie Wechsler, principal research manager at LPI, emphasized. These mentors are often retired, successful principals who, importantly, receive training, ongoing support and networks of other mentor principals to learn from. Strong mentorship programs take significant time to build a culture of trust, Weschler said. And she pointed to the importance of good matches between mentors and administrators. </p><p>Rashaunda Tyson, assistant principal at University High School of Science and Engineering in Hartford, Conn. shared her experience with a clinical supervisor who became her mentor, noting that the best part for her was the informal, in-the-moment support she received.<br> <br>“We do a thousand things in a day, make a thousand decisions in a day,” Tyson said. “So I appreciate those informal times, be it just a text message or a quick phone call.”</p><h3 class="wf-Element-H3">Truly collaborative partnerships are critical</h3><p>Daniel Reyes-Guerra, associate professor at Florida Atlantic University and a project director for the University Principal Preparation Initiative’s work at FAU spoke about the importance of collaboration in the success of his program’s redesign. FAU’s principal preparation program partnered with the university’s local school district for co-construction. The program also collaborated with state policymakers so they could see firsthand what the needs were on the ground and incorporate them into state-level policies.</p><p>In Florida, policymakers created a new set of educational leadership standards and program approval standards for universities and districts. They also passed new legislation that governs how the state supports educational leadership professional development.</p><p>This kind of deep partnership takes time to cultivate, noted Reyes-Guerra, and requires a culture shift at the university.<br></p><p class="wf-Element-Callout">“Just sitting in a room and lecturing doesn’t do it,” Domenech said.​<br></p><h3 class="wf-Element-H3">Clinical experiences can make a big difference</h3><p>Dan Domenech, executive director of AASA, the superintendents association, underscored the importance of strong clinical experiences for pre-service principals.</p><p>“Just sitting in a room and lecturing doesn’t do it,” Domenech said. </p><p>He said that pre-service principals learn best by having the opportunity to practice the skills they’re learning and work closely alongside a principal. This hands-on experience also applies to developing current principals who can visit other schools and work with more experienced principals. And when it comes to these clinical experiences, strong partnerships between universities and districts continue to remain important. In one survey conducted by AASA, principals reported having less-effective clinical experiences when that strong partnership was not in place.</p><h3 class="wf-Element-H3">Equitable access to high-quality support continues to be an issue</h3><p>The role of the principal is continuing to evolve, Domenech said. Districts should support and encourage leaders to participate in high-quality development programs because it has such an impact on performance and staff. But as the research from LPI points out, not all principals have equal access to those programs. With principals from higher-poverty schools reporting fewer quality professional development opportunities than those from lower-poverty schools, equity must continue to be at the forefront of improvement conversations.</p><p>“It’s a whole new ballgame today,” said Domenech. “What are the needs, what are the skills and how do we provide opportunity to our administrators so they have the leadership that can ensure all of our students have the quality education they’re entitled to.”</p><p>See the full webinar recording <a href="https&#58;//www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsHGy7lCZLA&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank">here</a>.<br></p>Andrea Ruggirello1142022-06-28T04:00:00ZBacked by new research, expert panel discusses how universities, districts and states can better prepare and support school leaders6/28/2022 12:00:48 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Five Takeaways for Developing High-Quality Principals Backed by new research, expert panel discusses how universities 906https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Afterschool Arts Provide Digital Lifeline in Covid Times2961GP0|#d2020f9f-c87c-4828-b93b-572786ae94a8;L0|#0d2020f9f-c87c-4828-b93b-572786ae94a8|Arts Education;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Recent studies have shown that <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/why-young-people-need-access-to-high-quality-arts-education.aspx">creating art can help young people</a> make sense of the world around them, process their feelings and deepen empathy. After the pandemic hit and programs scrambled to go online, making art also became a source of<a href="https&#58;//www.aep-arts.org/power-of-the-arts-a-covid-19-silver-lining/" target="_blank"> healing</a>, connection and, ultimately, resilience, as well as increasing broader access to arts programs for more youth across the country. </p><p>The Wallace blog caught up with researchers involved with two arts learning programs to get a sense of the specific lessons they learned in the pivot to virtual learning and what we all might carry forward. <a href="https&#58;//www.researchforaction.org/about-rfa/meet-the-team/tracey-a-hartmann/" target="_blank">Tracey Hartmann</a>, Ph.D., is the director of qualitative research at Research for Action in Philadelphia and has been working with Wallace for a decade on our Youth Arts Initiative with the Boys &amp; Girls Club of America (BGCA). All five BGCA clubs from different parts of the country stayed open during the pandemic, offering some form of virtual,&#160; in-person and hybrid programming.&#160;<a href="https&#58;//protect-us.mimecast.com/s/ckbuCv2DQvHR4DGhzLOmI?domain=linkedin.com/" target="_blank">Monica Clark</a>, Ph.D, is the Teach YR project director at YR Media–a national media, technology and music training center and platform for emerging BIPOC content creators headquartered in Oakland, California. She leads the organization’s research team and conducted this research project collaboratively with colleagues Lissa Soep, Ph.D., and Nimah Gobir, ME.d. The pandemic gave birth to YR’s&#160;<a href="https&#58;//protect-us.mimecast.com/s/nEiACrkX2oTW65pFzkfBw?domain=yr.media/" target="_blank">Type Beat Challenge</a>, managed by Oliver &quot;Kuya&quot; Rodriguez and Maya Drexler, which allowed young people to create and submit music from anywhere, collaborating with one another and with professional music producers around different themes.</p><p></p><p>Hartmann and Clark were meeting each other personally (on Zoom!) for the first time and had a lot to say about young people and the arts. The conversation has been edited for space and clarity. </p><p> <strong>Wallace Foundation&#58; In your work with the BGCA clubs, Tracey, you found that in moving to virtual there needed to be a higher level of what you called “intentionality” in programming. Can you give an example of what you mean? And then, Monica, does this resonate with your findings too? </strong></p><p> <strong>Tracey Hartmann&#58; </strong>Our data comes from focus groups we did with 31 youth participants across the five clubs, and what we heard from youth was that what engaged them in the virtual programming was very similar to what engaged them in person. But from the teaching artists’ perspectives, they found that they had to be more intentional about the things they did, and there were three elements that came up. The first was for young people to have input into programming. The program was designed for middle school youth–and sometimes older–an age group that is really hard in any setting. So the artists had to make an effort to learn what the young people were interested in, sometimes on an individual level, and be more intentional about following these interests, even outside of the Zoom class. </p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/afterschool-arts-provide-digital-lifeline-in-covid-times/blog-photo-rfa-1.JPEG" alt="blog-photo-rfa-1.JPEG" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> <br> <br> </p><p>Artists also had to be more intentional about connecting with youth, checking in at the beginning of class. For example, one artist said he had to make an extra effort to know who was shy and didn’t want to be on camera or what was going on for them that day. We also heard from youth that they wanted more verbal guidance, especially if they were learning new skills, to help them feel like they were getting the kind of hands-on support they might get in person. </p><p>Finally, the artists had to be intentional in thinking through how to do the hands-on art, making sure young people had the supplies or equipment they needed. Sometimes they delivered art supplies or sent home packets to young people. They also found that youth really appreciated watching them do the art. </p><p> <strong>Monica Clark&#58; </strong>So much of what Tracey just shared mirrors findings from our focus groups with about 40 people. We also held a convening where we brought together leaders from five different arts organizations to talk about the pivot to virtual. One of our instructors from that convening said something to the effect of “I’m shouting out into the void,” talking about the black screens, and the vulnerability involved in trying to engage&#160; students virtually and get them to turn their cameras on. How do you build community around that? </p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/afterschool-arts-provide-digital-lifeline-in-covid-times/blog-photo-ryl-studios-2.jpg" alt="blog-photo-ryl-studios-2.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> <br> </p><p>One of the things that made our Type Beat project so successful for virtual was that it was co-designed with and by youth. We took advantage of remote platforms by opening up the program to young people outside of the Bay Area or to those who might not have been able to access the program in person. Doing this also highlighted the glaring inequalities that young people could face going online&#58; access to computer hardware and software, because with music production it’s not just your laptop but the software that’s going to help you bring the beats together; unreliable broadband and wifi access; equal resources and training for teachers; and a lack of basic social and economic support for our most marginalized students in their communities. </p><p>We knew we needed to meet people virtually where they were already hanging out online, and we did this by using eight different platforms. We also collaboratively created community norms for how we were going to operate as a community in the virtual space. These were specifically outlined and always pinned up in the chat. We were always thinking about how to create a positive community space focused on mental well-being. One of the Type Beat challenges was something like “chill beats for wellness,” so the young people could build that into the art they were making.&#160; </p><p> <strong>WF&#58; How did the teaching artists specifically need to change their practice in the virtual world? And what kind of support or tools did they need to be able to teach their art in this way? </strong></p><p> <strong>MC&#58; </strong>In some ways they were doing the things that were already done but learning how to do them in the virtual space. Of course, we always want to support our young people when they're showcasing their art. We want them to feel confident in what they're producing. But how do you do that when they're in their bedroom and you're in your apartment or wherever you are? For the Type Beat challenge, we asked our instructors to support young people in developing the design aesthetic of the background space of their room, knowing that we were asking them to be very vulnerable in showing their space. </p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/afterschool-arts-provide-digital-lifeline-in-covid-times/blog-photo-ryl-studios-1.jpg" alt="blog-photo-ryl-studios-1.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> <br> </p><p>Then there are the kinds of interpersonal and community building activities that are needed in any space, but you need to be even more innovative in the ways that you do it in the virtual space. For instance, you could support students on screen by doing a hype up dance that each person would perform in their own space, so the whole group would be together dancing and getting each other excited. It helps break the discomfort and model that it’s safe to be vulnerable in this space.&#160; </p><div> <strong>TH&#58; </strong>Monica was referencing physical and emotional well being before, which is one of the <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/something-to-say-success-principles-for-afterschool-arts-programs.aspx">10 principles</a> [for developing high-quality afterschool arts], and which was definitely coming up around people feeling shy about having their camera on. The artists worked to help young people create virtual backgrounds. They were aware that family members were also in the room, and some artists used that as an opportunity to invite them into the conversation or the activity. In fact some of the young people in focus groups suggested that it would have been okay for the artists to ask them to turn on the camera more often to show their work.</div><p> <br>​The instructors also needed basic tools. In addition to having the wifi capacity, maybe good cameras, microphones, lighting. There was a certain software that dance artists needed that helped them sync music with their video. Some of the TAs were digital artists, so they already had a lot of tech skills, and they ended up being kind of advisors to other staff in the club. But others did not have those skills, and it was a steeper learning curve for them. They needed more training and professional development to develop the skills to be able to offer programming virtually. <br></p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/afterschool-arts-provide-digital-lifeline-in-covid-times/blog-photo-rfa-2.JPEG" alt="blog-photo-rfa-2.JPEG" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> <br> </p><p> <strong>WF&#58; What did you learn about how young people used art during the pandemic to support their mental health, process their feelings, support civic engagement or anything else? </strong></p><p> <strong>MC&#58; </strong>We found that young people turned to art as an escape from what is happening in the world and also in trying to make sense of and reshape what they're experiencing under these extreme and uncertain conditions. They are using art as a social intervention to formulate and share their points of view, connect with others and mobilize for equity and justice. One of our young people said, “I think my view on art has definitely changed, and now I see it, less of something, just like doodling or whatever, and more as a tool that I can use in my life moving forward.” Another one of our national correspondents from Minneapolis was talking about a <a href="https&#58;//yr.media/news/a-minnesotan-weighs-in-is-there-hope-after-the-hashtags/" target="_blank">journalism piece she published ​</a>​with YR&#160; during the George Floyd protests, after his killing, and how it was one of the most difficult things that she ever wrote, but it was also the most powerful and it made her feel so good afterwards–particularly due to the fact that she was able to work with a Black editor that she looked up to in making final edits to her piece.<br></p><p>The&#160; prevailing assumption was that the pandemic lockdown meant that young people could not go anywhere, that everyone was stuck in their house and trapped. But from a number of our focus group participants we found that the same conditions also enabled young people to explore more widely than before, forming new communities through digital access to faraway places and professional artists.​<br></p><p> <strong>TH&#58; </strong>We saw that youth created artwork about Covid, about racial injustice, about grief and loss. It was a coping mechanism and a way to calm their nerves. Some young people needed opportunities to process some of the things that were going on in the world. But the program also served youth as young as nine, and maybe even younger, and for them it just took their mind off of what was going on, helped them feel “normal” or represent their private experiences. An instructor at one club described a song that his class created called quarantine crazy where youth were rapping and singing about their experiences during Covid. </p><p>The teaching artists were always responsive to where young people were at any given day and created the space, if needed, for them to talk about what was on their minds. Again this was particularly so for the older youth, who often wanted that space to talk about things. One artist said, “I feel as if I'm a counselor and an art teacher when they're sharing with me, and if I affirm how they feel, hopefully that makes some type of positive impact.”</p><p> <strong>WF&#58; What unique role do you see art making continuing to offer young people, and how can we best support both the practitioners and the organizations that are dealing with them as they do this?</strong></p><p> <strong>MC&#58; </strong>We are focusing now on the idea that STEAM [science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics] implementation can be built on solid foundations and serve genuine opportunities for deep learning at the intersection of creative and technical disciplines. Our young people are creating art but they're also learning the technical side of packaging, developing and creating music, which is a tech skill.</p><p>It’s also important to remember that we are freed from many of the constraints of schools, including short class periods, mandated use of grades, academic tracking limits on admissible subject matter.&#160; Out-of-school-time afterschool arts educators, who are often working artists themselves, can help support young people in the creation of creatively and socially challenging products that are guided by the young people and the issues that they want to be addressing.</p><p> <strong>TH&#58; </strong>The artists described how they themselves needed support in these roles. They needed to know who to go to for referrals if issues came up that were beyond their ability to respond to. They needed more training in areas related to social and emotional well-being. For example, they received training in how to manage their own emotions to support young people. They received some training around supporting youth experiencing trauma, but they would have liked even more of that training. They received training around setting appropriate boundaries, because in the virtual space, the boundaries are a little different. How to de-escalate intense situations–this was for artists that were back in person–and then again just responding to grief and loss, because that was coming up a lot. </p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/afterschool-arts-provide-digital-lifeline-in-covid-times/blog-photo-rfa-4.jpg" alt="blog-photo-rfa-4.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;380px;height&#58;507px;" /> </p><p> <strong>WF&#58; Any final words of advice for other organizations who are thinking about expanding their virtual arts learning or other models that include some people being online while others are in person? </strong></p><p> <strong>TH&#58; </strong>One of our takeaways was that the synchronous model, which is live programming on Zoom or a similar platform, works best for youth who are really passionate about the art form. We heard from the artists as well that you have to be really motivated to do virtual synchronous programming. The hybrid model that the clubs used with the artist Zooming into the in-person classroom seemed to work well, especially if the artist was able to be in the club occasionally. It works better for exposure programming, meaning programming that allows youth to try out an unfamiliar art form to see if they like it. The hybrid model also has promise for bringing in artists from all over the country, which can expand youth access to all kinds of resources.</p><p> <strong>MC&#58; </strong>The design of hybrid programs must be carefully considered in order for programs to, as one of our participants said, “bring the activity, energy and vibe that instructors bring to class to the virtual format.” As Tracey says, you have to carefully consider the work that's being done and determine which activities could be suited for the virtual space. Also remember that you can’t just be in one social space or one app. You have to meet students where they are and that’s always going to be shifting. <strong></strong></p><p>Most importantly, anytime you're doing programming that supports young people, young artists, they need to be brought into the design. I am really hyped about how our Type Beat challenge did that. It meant a lot to our young people, particularly in the moment in time that we were in, for them to have that agency, to feel that power and feel like they would produce not only the music but they would produce this program that is now living on.​<br></p><p> <em>All photos courtesy of the Boys &amp; Girls Club of America and YR Media.​</em></p><p><em>Lead photo courtesy of YR Media, featuring </em><em>Oliver &quot;Kuya&quot;&#160; Rodriguez,&#160;music and audio production program manager, who ran the <a href="https&#58;//protect-us.mimecast.com/s/nEiACrkX2oTW65pFzkfBw?domain=yr.media/" target="_blank">Type Beat Challenge</a>.</em></p>Wallace editorial team792022-06-21T04:00:00ZTwo arts education researchers share what they learned when programs went online–and the strategies that might endure7/12/2022 7:15:11 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Afterschool Arts Provide Digital Lifeline in Covid Times Two arts education researchers share what they learned when 1079https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Pandemic Recovery Cannot Happen Without Great Principals2799GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61;GP0|#b68a91d0-1c13-4d82-b12d-2b08588c04d7;L0|#0b68a91d0-1c13-4d82-b12d-2b08588c04d7|News​<p>​​​J​​​ames Lane, assistant secretary of the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education in the U.S. Department of Education, began his address on a recent webinar for education leaders with gratitude for principals. “You’ve stepped up in ways that none of us could have ever imagined,” he said, going on to thank principals for their dedication, perseverance and tenacity in keeping communities together during the pandemic.&#160;<br></p><p>Citing the report,&#160;<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/how-principals-affect-students-and-schools-a-systematic-synthesis-of-two-decades-of-research.aspx">How Principals Affect Students and Schools</a>, Lane emphasized the importance of school leaders, quoting the report authors&#58; Principals really matter.</p><p>Indeed it is difficult to envision an investment with a higher ceiling on its potential return than a successful effort to improve school leadership. He underscored this point by reviewing the Department of Education’s priorities and its supplemental priorities.</p><p>The supplemental priorities include&#58;<br> </p><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet"> Diversifying the education workforce to reflect the diversity of students.</div><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">Addressing staffing shortages through measures such as encouraging states to increase compensation; improving teacher working conditions; supporting teacher-wellbeing; and building a cadre of substitute teachers.</div><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">​Investing in an educator pipeline by establishing loan forgiveness, teacher development residencies and teaching as a registered apprenticeship.</div><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">Providing technical assistance to states and studying teacher shortages in order to provide researched guidance as to how to increase the number of teachers in the pipeline and improve retention.</div><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">Preparing and developing principals by expanding the definition of “educator” in certain grants to include not only classroom teachers but all those involved in education, including principals. These grants include the&#160;​<a href="https&#58;//oese.ed.gov/offices/office-of-discretionary-grants-support-services/innovation-early-learning/education-innovation-and-research-eir/" target="_blank">Education Innovation and Research (EIR) grant program</a>, and&#160;<a href="https&#58;//oese.ed.gov/offices/office-of-discretionary-grants-support-services/effective-educator-development-programs/supporting-effective-educator-development-grant-program/#&#58;~&#58;text=The%20purpose%20of%20the%20SEED%2cenhance%20the%20skills%20of%20educators." target="_blank">Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) grants</a>.</div><p>Lane also addressed the administration’s commitment of federal funds to meet the needs of students and educators trying to recover and reimagine schools.</p><p>“We have got to invest those dollars <em>now,</em>” Lane said, addressing education leaders across the country. Lane and his colleagues are meeting with district leaders nationally who are using their federal funding to support activities such as partnering with community organizations to provide holistic services to students, putting a health clinic on campus that is open to the entire community and others. </p><p>Lane ended his remarks urging district leaders to be bold about the actions they take to make sure every student has the support they need to be successful.</p><p>You can view the recording of the webinar <a href="https&#58;//vimeo.com/705801954/334fd7c94b" target="_blank">here</a>. </p>Andrea Ruggirello1142022-05-31T04:00:00ZU.S. Assistant Secretary of Education explains how the department is prioritizing educators now and in the future5/31/2022 5:30:34 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Pandemic Recovery Cannot Happen Without Great Principals U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education explains how the department 700https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Covering Education in a Crisis3680GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​Education has been at the center of the news over the past couple of years as the nation continues to wrestle with the pandemic and the havoc it has wreaked on schools. Education writers, too, have at times found themselves having to stretch to cover more areas of public policy, health issues and basic concerns like food and housing.<br></p><p>In early 2020, just before the first cases of Covid began to surface in the U.S., the Education Writers Association commissioned the EdWeek Research Center to conduct a study of education journalism. Released the following year, the <a href="https&#58;//www.ewa.org/sites/main/files/file-attachments/ewa_ed_beat_report_2021_1.25.21_0.pdf?1616011351" target="_blank">State of the Beat report</a> surveyed 419 education journalists, following up with 24 phone conversations, to tell the story of the people who are covering education today.&#160; According to the survey, 83 percent of respondents said education journalism is a career path they’re committed to pursuing, and 98 percent said their w​​​ork has had a positive impact on the community. Despite these positive perceptions, education journalists surveyed indicated that they face serious challenges–from outright harassment and hostility to diminishing resources, financial difficulties&#160;and the public’s distrust in the news media.<br></p><p class="wf-Element-Callout">“​School and home overlapped in so many ways that it became more important to understand both contexts—the expectations that schools were placing on families for virtual learning and the nature of quarantine policies, for example, combined with the challenges children and parents faced at home.​” — Linda Jacobson<br></p><p>The Wallace blog spoke with two education writers to discuss some of the obstacles and bright spots they’ve encountered and how the pandemic has affected the education beat in general. Linda Jacobson, senior writer at The 74 Million, has been covering education for over a decade, and Dahlia Bazzaz, education reporter at The Seattle Times, has been covering education for about four years. Her first two years at the publication were spent as an engagement editor for the <a href="https&#58;//www.seattletimes.com/education-lab-about/" target="_blank">Education Lab</a>, a project that started in 2013 that spotlights promising approaches to some of the most persistent challenges in public education. This conversation has been edited for length and clarity. </p><p> <strong>The Wallace Foundation&#58; Linda, as a veteran in education writing, can you talk about how the education beat has changed during the pandemic?</strong></p><p> <strong>Linda Jacobson&#58; </strong>For me, the access to and growing awareness of families’ and educators’ lives outside of school has been a noticeable departure from how I, and probably many other reporters, routinely interacted with sources prior to the pandemic. School and home overlapped in so many ways that it became more important to understand both contexts—the expectations that schools were placing on families for virtual learning and the nature of quarantine policies, for example, combined with the challenges children and parents faced at home. Did they have reliable internet? Were students sharing a study space with siblings? Did they have to go to work with their parents? I know I also had to develop knowledge in some areas that were outside the typical boundaries of education policy. COVID testing, vaccines, supply chain issues&#160;and broadband access are a few examples. </p><p> <strong>WF&#58; Dahlia, You were a member of EWA’s New to the Beat rookie class in 2018. What was it like being newer to the education beat in the middle of a pandemic? Can you talk about some of the challenges?&#160; </strong></p><p> <strong>Dahlia Bazzaz&#58;</strong> By the time the pandemic began, I had been a full-time reporter for about two years, and an engagement editor for the education team for two years prior to that. For some context, I covered the closure of Bothell High School in the Seattle area, the first school in the United States to shutter in the pandemic. I remember pairing up with our health reporter at the time for that first story, and believing it would blow over. A few months prior, a Seattle school had closed because of a norovirus outbreak, so this type of story wasn’t unusual to me. Two days later, on February 29, when a King County man’s death was announced as the first known in the U.S. from the coronavirus, I realized I had helped write some of the earliest pages of our pandemic history. One of our stories, about the order closing all schools in King County, actually “broke” the analytics tracker that the Seattle Times uses and set a pageview record. </p><p class="wf-Element-Callout"><span style="color&#58;#2b92be;font-size&#58;24px;">“</span>To fully capture how the disruption of foundational services are affecting people, you have to understand them at a deep level, and understand how they used to work (and not work) before 2020.<span style="color&#58;#2b92be;font-size&#58;24px;">”</span> — Dahlia Bazzaz​<br></p><p>The pressure and responsibility we felt, and still feel, was immense. Children are the most vulnerable members of our society. Almost every day early on, someone would cry during an interview. Then I would cry afterward as I processed their worries about their future and my own. We got an unprecedented amount of feedback and attention on our reporting from around the world.&#160; </p><p>It was a huge test of everything I’d learned about the education system and government until that point. To fully capture how the disruption of foundational services are affecting people, you have to understand them at a deep level, and understand how they used to work (and not work) before 2020. I also found myself truly living in every single beat—one day a health reporter, researching the best air filtration systems for schools, another day out at protests against institutional racism and police brutality. The definition of education beat reporter has really expanded. </p><p>A lot of things helped me keep going. I am fortunate to live and work in a community where there are many kids and adults willing to spend time speaking with a reporter in the midst of chaos and trauma in their lives. I am forever thankful to them for their trust. My experienced colleagues came up with the questions I never thought to ask because my reporting or life hadn’t taken me there yet. The Education Lab team has also kept a steady lens on racism and inequity in schools, which meant our first questions and stories centered on how the pandemic would affect kids of color, kids receiving special education services and kids living in low-income communities. I’m a better education reporter now, almost four years into the game, than I was two years ago. But part of that improvement is realizing how much I didn’t know and how much I still need to learn. The pandemic made me see that. <br></p><p> <strong>WF&#58; According to the State of the Beat report, access has been a challenge for education journalists. What kind of access do you have to school leaders and how has that changed during the pandemic?</strong></p><p> <strong>LJ&#58; </strong>Because I cover education from a national perspective and don’t concentrate on a specific district, it’s rare that I get to visit and meet with leaders in person. It might only happen if I’m reporting on something in the Los Angeles area, where I live, or traveling for a story. But I’m constantly developing connections with superintendent and principal organizations at both the national and state levels. On deadline, they’ve been quick to refer me to principals or district leaders, and I’ve found that throughout the pandemic, many have been especially candid about their experiences.<br><br> Perhaps it’s because whether they were in rural Georgia or the Pacific Northwest, they’ve all experienced the same dilemmas—burned out teachers, annoyed parents and disengaged students. Instead of being reticent, many leaders I’ve interviewed over the past two years have talked as if they were almost waiting for someone to ask how they were coping. Our retrospective on&#160;<a href="https&#58;//www.the74million.org/article/700-days-since-school-lockdown-covid-ed-lessons/" target="_blank">700 days</a> of the pandemic, in particular, was a platform for some of these leaders to share their personal and professional reflections. </p><p> <strong>DB&#58; </strong>Because Western Washington schools opened later compared to the rest of the country, there was a good solid year where our coverage took place outside. We managed to get inside a few schools in between, but they were outside of the Seattle area, where policies on visitors inside schools were less restrictive. Since schools reopened full-time this past fall, the access has been really dependent on the district. Some are much more open and friendly to reporters than others. Or the access appears predicated on the type of story we’re pursuing. </p><p> <strong>WF&#58; The survey also shows that journalists are split on whether or not K-12 schools were going in the right direction—roughly half say they are going in the right direction and the other half say they’re not. Do you think these numbers would look different now, given everything that has changed in the education field over the past 2 years? Why or why not?</strong></p><p> <strong>LJ&#58; </strong>My coverage largely focuses on this exact question, so I don’t think it’s my place to share any personal perspectives here or speculate on what journalists would say. It’s important for me to keep the lines of communication open with sources that fully believe in traditional public schools as well as those working outside of the system to offer new options to children and families. Besides, there’s never an easy answer to that question. For students and families, these aren’t simple, either-or choices. There are challenges and marks of success with all schools and educational models.</p><p> <strong>DB&#58;</strong> This is a hard question because I personally don’t feel we have a uniform experience of education in the United States. It is vast, it is inequitable and it is largely dependent on zip code. I think we’ve seen how heavily state and local policies drive what happens in schools, especially when it comes to funding and the efforts in places to suppress teaching about racism and social issues. </p><p>Here in Washington State, I’ve had the opportunity to witness a lot of things that make me hopeful at the local level. Our job at Education Lab is to find promising, research-backed solutions to longstanding problems in education. For example, I’ve been able to read and report about ways schools and nonprofits are successfully improving kids’ reading skills or finding alternatives to suspending and expelling students. But for a variety of reasons, promising practices can take a long time before they float up to state policy, if they even do at all. School districts still rake in more money if their community has high home values and is amenable to passing levies. So, even within a state, there can be a multitude of different experiences and outcomes for kids. I don’t believe the pandemic has changed this. <br></p><p> <strong>WF&#58; How do you cover such hot-button issues while retaining your journalistic point of view?</strong></p><p> <strong>LJ&#58; </strong>I’ve worked hard over the past two years to understand the arguments on all sides of the more contentious issues we’ve covered—reopening schools, mask mandates, vaccine requirements, discussions of race and gender. I always try to represent the multiple positions in my articles, and again, for families and teachers, these issues can be more complicated than the public debate suggests. We try to capture that when we can. I think we’ve also strived to give readers realistic expectations about where things are headed and the relevant legal and policy options. If a lawsuit or piece of legislation has no chance of advancing, we try to make that clear.</p><p> <strong>DB&#58; </strong>I think the key to covering hot-button issues is not losing sight of who the issue will affect the most. Because that is often not the person who will be the most accessible to the press or the loudest person in the room. In education reporting, we need to remind ourselves that it’s about the kids. They are the recipients of this system. It matters the most what happens to them as a result of any policy or change.</p><p> <strong>WF&#58; What are some of the big issues we should be watching in 2022? Where might we see some “bright spots”?</strong></p><p> <strong>LJ&#58;</strong> We ran an article in the fall of 2020 with the headline, “Right Now, All Students are Mobile,” quoting a source with expertise on the issue of student mobility. There are students who have spent each year of the pandemic in a different schooling situation—traditional, homeschooled, a virtual charter. Recent research is showing that the correlation between multiple school changes and declining academic performance is even stronger than previously thought. It’s another aspect of the long-term effects of the pandemic’s disruption that I know I want to better understand.<br><br> With our recent coverage of&#160;<a href="https&#58;//www.the74million.org/article/covid-school-enrollment-students-move-away-from-urban-districts-virtual/" target="_blank">enrollment trends</a>, I think it’s important to keep following the departure of students from urban districts and the tough decisions leaders will make regarding school consolidations and closures. And we need to understand where families are going, what districts and new models they’re choosing and how those decisions are working for students.<br><br> Data is emerging not just on how districts plan to spend federal relief money, but actually how they’ve spent it. There are endless opportunities there to track where it goes and what difference it makes for students.​<br></p><p> Certainly, we’ll be watching the midterm elections. President Biden already hasn’t been able to accomplish all he set out to do in the early phases of his presidency—including his plan for child care, universal pre-K, and teacher and administrator preparation. And if Republicans gain control of the House—or the House and Senate—that could bring his agenda to a standstill.<br><br> As for bright spots, I would expect that districts have learned a lot from the past two summers and that there would be even more ambitious and creative examples of summer learning programs to watch this year.</p><p> <strong>DB&#58;</strong> I’m interested in watching how schools spend their unprecedented amount in federal aid due to the pandemic. The last of those funds expire in a couple of years from now, so we’ll need to keep our eyes on those dollars for a while. These funds can be used to start helpful beneficial programs for kids most affected by the past two years, and we need to be shining a light on where and if that happens—and whether people in power will invest to prolong their lifespan. We should also be holding leaders accountable for the promises they made to improve the education system for Black and brown students in 2020.<br></p>Jenna Doleh912022-05-24T04:00:00ZTwo journalists discuss the challenges and rewards of working the education beat and how COVID-19 has changed things for them5/24/2022 2:38:59 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Covering Education in a Crisis Two journalists discuss the challenges and rewards of working the education beat and how 1122https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Missouri’s Ongoing Effort to Develop Principals Pays Off39358GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61​ <div><p>E​​​​​​​​ight years ago, officials at Missouri’s state education department reflected on all they’d accomplished with principal preparation—a highly-regarded leadership academy, mentoring for new principals—and wondered where they’d gone wrong.</p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/missouri-ongoing-effort-to-develop-principals-pays-off/Paul-Photo.jpg" alt="Paul-Photo.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;190px;height&#58;266px;" />“Why weren’t schools getting better?” they wanted to know, said Paul Katnik, assistant commissioner at the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. “Why were principal retention rates low? What were we missing here?”</p><p>In the end, they determined that there was nothing amiss with the content of their effort. “But it was being done at a scale that didn’t have any real measurable impact,” Katnik said&#58; Only 120 out of 300 new principals got mentoring each year. The 25-year-old Leadership Academy served only 150 principals annually out of 2,200 in the state. “We thought, we need to rethink this. We need something big and systemic.”&#160; </p><p>In 2016, when Missouri launched one of the nation’s most comprehensive statewide principal development initiatives, that something big happened. The <a href="https&#58;//dese.mo.gov/educator-quality/educator-development/missouri-leadership-development-system" target="_blank">Missouri Leadership Development System (known as “MLDS”)</a> now offers professional development to every principal in the state—aspiring to retiring—based on a common set of leadership competencies. Today, 45 percent of Missouri principals participate annually, and the retention of early career principals is rising. <br> </p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/missouri-ongoing-effort-to-develop-principals-pays-off/missouri-blog-post-MLDS-Domains-small.jpg" alt="missouri-blog-post-MLDS-Domains-small.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> <br> <br> </p><p>​Since 2018, the year-to-year retention rate for Missouri principals in their first three years on the job has grown steadily from 82 percent to 87 percent in 2021. And retention rates for those enrolled in the professional development system is even higher—a remarkable 98 percent annual retention rate over the past three years. <br></p><p>“When you’re a new principal, it’s a whirlwind, and in Missouri, we have a large number of rural districts so there’s really no one else to talk to,” said Michael Schooley, executive director of Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals. “MLDS gives them a knowledge specialist and a peer support network which is critical, so they don’t get overwhelmed.” </p><p class="wf-Element-Callout">“Our principals have had an incredibly tough job the last couple of years. We are going to be helping educators deal with the aftermath of the pandemic for a while.”​<br></p><p>Nationally, <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/New-Research-Points-to-a-Looming-Principal-Shortage.aspx">concerns over a principal shortage</a> are growing. The National Association of Secondary School Principals recently released a report finding that 4 in 10 principals planned to leave the profession in the next three years, many citing political tensions and other stressors related to the pandemic as reasons. At the same time, <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/how-principals-affect-students-and-schools-executive-summary.aspx">rigorous research</a> points to the principal as key to improving academic achievement schoolwide. While teachers have more influence on the learning of their own students, studies find, principals with strong instructional leadership skills can help improve learning in every classroom. Such research was the impetus behind MLDS, said Katnik, whose state participated in a years-long effort, sponsored by The Wallace Foundation, to&#160;assist teams from 11 states in developing and implementing plans to use federal dollars to support effective school leadership efforts. </p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/missouri-ongoing-effort-to-develop-principals-pays-off/2Y8A9277.jpg" alt="2Y8A9277.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> <br> <br>Today, Missouri is fueling an expansion of MLDS with American Rescue Act Plan funds, on top of other federal sources as well as state funding it had already applied to the system. “Making ourselves even more available to principals in the state is a great use of money” said Katnik. “Our principals have had an incredibly tough job the last couple of years. We are going to be helping educators deal with the aftermath of the pandemic for a while.” <br></p><p class="wf-Element-Callout">“How do you keep a tent from blowing away in the wind? You put stakes in the ground.”​<br></p><h2 class="wf-Element-H2">Staying Power<br></h2> ​Thoroughness may be one key to the Missouri Leadership Development System’s success—and its staying power. School leaders throughout the state are invited to 15 hours or more of professional development annually offered through nine regional centers. Learning is provided at four levels—“aspiring” for those in education administration degree programs ; “emerging” for principals or assistant principals in their first two years on the job, which for principals comes with mentoring; “developing” for those in at least year three; and “transformational” for the most experienced. Early on, the state also aligned its principal certification requirements to the same set of competencies as its professional development. More recently, university education administration programs were encouraged to adopt the aspiring principal curriculum. Districts are encouraged to use a principal evaluation form aligned to those same competencies. And the statewide principals associations now offer 15 online, self-paced “micro-credentials” based on the competencies that count towards advanced state certification. <div> <br> </div><div>“How do you keep a tent from blowing away in the wind? You put stakes in the ground,” quipped Katnik, an official in a state that has had its share of stormy weather; the education commissioner lost her position in 2017 under a new governor but was reinstated a year later when the political winds shifted. Through the turmoil, the Missouri Leadership Development System endured. “When it’s embedded in that many places, it becomes ‘That’s just what we do here,’” he said. “That’s how you sustain it.”<br></div><div> <br> </div><div> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/missouri-ongoing-effort-to-develop-principals-pays-off/2Y8A9154.JPG" alt="2Y8A9154.JPG" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> <br> <br>The collaboration that went into the system’s design is another key to its success, according to Katnik. “When we first started, we said, ‘Everyone who works with a leader has to be a partner in this or it won’t work.’” <br></div><div> <br> </div><p class="wf-Element-Callout">“You’re in people’s turf and people had their own good ideas. We just kept bringing it back to the vision. Do we believe that we need a statewide system? If we do, we have to figure this out.”​<br></p><div> <br> </div><div>The partners who began their efforts in 2014 in a windowless basement conference room in Jefferson City included the statewide principals and superintendents associations, the Missouri Professors of Education Administration, and representatives from the state’s nine regional professional development centers.</div><div> <br> <p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/missouri-ongoing-effort-to-develop-principals-pays-off/Jim-Photo2.jpg" alt="Jim-Photo2.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;179px;height&#58;228px;" />If anyone had said a decade ago that the principals and superintendents associations would be working that closely with the state education department, “people would have laughed,” remarked Jim Masters, a former superintendent and now the education department’s coordinator of educator evaluation and training. “The department was seen as compliance driven and less of a partner in helping schools get better,” he explained, so coming together “was a little bit of a leap of faith.”</p><p>Collaborating wasn’t always easy, Katnik said. “You’re in people’s turf and people had their own good ideas. We just kept bringing it back to the vision. Do we believe that we need a statewide system? If we do, we have to figure this out.”</p><p>Within a year, the team had agreed on 41 principal competencies organized into five domains&#58; visionary, instructional, managerial, relational and innovative leadership. All were aligned to the <a href="https&#58;//www.npbea.org/psel/" target="_blank">Professional Standards for Educational Leaders</a>. </p><h2 class="wf-Element-H2">Hands-on Learning<br></h2><p>Crafting the professional development for each level was the next challenge. Busy principals needed engaging and relevant content, not “50 people in a room and a PowerPoint presentation,” said Mike Rutherford, a consultant who led the curriculum design and later trained the regional facilitators, all of them former principals. “From the outset, we thought about the experience that principals would have just as much as what kind decision-making model or what kind of theory of [school] change to include.”<br></p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/missouri-ongoing-effort-to-develop-principals-pays-off/2Y8A9202.JPG" alt="2Y8A9202.JPG" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> <br> </p><p>The content was also designed “to be put in the hands of people who have had experience with adult learning, motivational learning and instructional design,” Rutherford added, with enough flexibility to tailor it to the needs and interests of participants. “I can’t emphasize enough that the results that MLDS is getting is really due to that design.”<br></p><p>Content-wise, MLDS didn’t break much new ground, he said. Topics for emerging principals included strategies for getting the school year off to a strong start, such as by communicating expectations and leading effective meetings. New principals also delve into how to build relationships, shape school culture, develop effective instruction, manage time and make good decisions. But learning was active with readings, discussion, writing exercises, brainstorming, roleplay and field experiences, such as touring a school with peers to observe and analyze school culture. <br> <br>Travis Bohrer, now superintendent of Dixon R-1 School District, enrolled in MLDS the summer before he became a high school principal. “That first meeting was transformational,” he recalled.&#160; “I went from feeling anxious to feeling confident that I had the tools for that first day, first week and first month of school.</p><p>“That was just the tip of the iceberg,” he continued. “It became this really powerful network of mentors facilitating the learning and the network of colleagues attending these meetings who are experiencing the same challenges.”<br></p><p class="wf-Element-Callout">“It [MLDS]&#160;had a profound impact on the culture of my own building when we started telling teachers, ‘You do this well and kids learn from it, and I hope you’ll share it with your team later today,’<span style="color&#58;#2b92be;font-size&#58;24px;">”</span>&#160;said Bohrer.<span style="color&#58;#2b92be;font-size&#58;24px;">​​</span>​<br></p><p>One of the most valuable experiences, he found, were the Coaching Labs. Small groups of principals visit a school with their regional facilitator, observe and analyze classroom instruction and then take turns providing teachers with “30-second feedback,” describing how the teacher’s instruction had a positive impact on student learning. </p><p>“While you’re doing this, your cohort and coach are listening to you,” he said. The group would offer on-the-spot feedback, such as, ‘This phrase is effective,’ or ‘You’re trying to give affirming feedback and you just canceled it by saying that.’”</p><p>The goal of 30-second feedback is to draw teachers’ attention to promising practices they can build on, according to Rutherford, who developed the technique based on research about effective coaching for teachers (which is timely and specific) and positive psychology, which focuses on developing strengths. Principals are taught to use the technique to build trust and open the door to more extensive craft conversations about instruction, another topic the curriculum covers. </p><p>The idea is to spread effective practices schoolwide. “It had a profound impact on the culture of my own building when we started telling teachers, ‘You do this well and kids learn from it, and I hope you’ll share it with your team later today,’” said Bohrer.<br></p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/missouri-ongoing-effort-to-develop-principals-pays-off/2Y8A9119.JPG" alt="2Y8A9119.JPG" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> <br> </p><p>Gabe Burris, an elementary school principal in Harrisburg, Missouri, credits both the Coaching Labs and the roleplaying of difficult conversations during workshops for strengthening his communication with teachers. “I was able to be successful at some things as a first-year principal that I wouldn’t have been without that resource,” he said. “From the first meeting on, it has been a tremendous experience.” </p><p>Mentoring during his first two years also improved his instructional leadership, said Burris. While mentor principals receive online training videos and a handbook with content to cover, they will still tailor their guidance to each new principal’s interests and needs. At his request, Burris went to his mentor principal’s school to observe how the problem-solving team tackled student learning and behavioral challenges. </p><p class="wf-Element-Callout">&#160;“MLDS keeps us grounded in the work of being an instructional leader,” which helps participating principals keep from getting swept up in “the day-to-day logistics of managing a building.”​<br></p><p>Now in his third year, Burris said the mentoring continues informally. “I talk to him to this day. ‘I have this discipline situation, I’m going to handle it this way what do you think?’ or ‘How would you handle it?’”</p><p>Tabitha Blevins, an elementary school principal in St. Joseph, Missouri, said that “MLDS keeps us grounded in the work of being an instructional leader,” which helps participating principals keep from getting swept up in “the day-to-day logistics of managing a building.” </p><p>Currently she is working on developing a more “data-driven approach” for grade-level teams to analyze and strengthen instruction using an approach from a recent MLDS workshop for developing principals. She let her teachers know that their professional development was a byproduct of her own&#58; “I am essentially modeling that we are not stagnant in our professions and we should be seeking out the shared knowledge of our peers.” </p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/missouri-ongoing-effort-to-develop-principals-pays-off/2Y8A9289.jpg" alt="2Y8A9289.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> <br> </p><h2 class="wf-Element-H2">Getting More on Board</h2><p>Partly because of the pandemic’s disruption to schooling and testing, it’s unclear whether the system has yet made a measurable impact on student learning—although annual external program evaluations find the system gets high marks for quality and relevance. </p><p>And not everyone across the state is on board with MLDS. “Many large suburban districts think they can do their own thing better,” said Schooley of the Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals, noting that some districts prefer to tailor training to local practices. And while some urban districts have signed on, including St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield, rural districts are the most likely to seek out the support. &#160;Still, he said, “There are more and more districts participating because they find out its good stuff.”</p><p>To expand professional development to more districts, the state education department tapped newly available federal COVID-19 relief, which paid for increasing the number of regional trainers from 18 to 27. The 2021 <a href="/news-and-media/blog/pages/making-a-wise-investment-in-principal-pipelines.aspx">American Rescue Plan Act</a> provides more than $126 billion for K-12 schools and additional funding for early childhood and higher education that states can tap into. Other blended federal funds that help support MLDS include Title I and Title IIA funds, depending on district eligibility, and early childhood funds. </p><p>Katnik’s team is also working to win over university education administration programs. Beginning in fall 2020, MLDS provided training for directors of educational leadership programs across the state interested in adopting the aspiring principal curriculum.<br></p><p class="wf-Element-Callout">“Why reinvent the wheel when they could take it [MLDS]&#160;from us and tweak it? I think our system could be a great launching pad for any state that was thinking of doing something like this.”​<br></p><p>“They actually did some activities as if it was a class and we were students,” said Jane Brown, director of the educational leadership program at Missouri Baptist University who participated in the curriculum development. She knows of at least five programs that have formally adopted the curriculum and others that done so to some degree at professors’ discretion. “Since it was designed collaboratively, I think a lot of people understood it and took it back to their universities,” she said.</p><p>MLDS is beginning to reach superintendents, too. As principals trained through the system move into district leadership, they are looking for a similar professional learning experience, said Katnik. In response, the MLDS team recently wrote new competencies for superintendents aligned to those for principals. This school year it piloted executive coaching for superintendents and also revised the rules for superintendent certification to align with the new standards.&#160; </p><p>“I’m not sure we’ll ever be done,” said Katnik, whose team often dreams up new ways to improve and expand the leadership development system. </p><p>For states wanting to get started, Schooley observed that all MLDS content is in the public domain. “Why reinvent the wheel when they could take it from us and tweak it? I think our system could be a great launching pad for any state that was thinking of doing something like this.”<br></p><p> <em>Photos courtesy of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education</em> </p></div></div>Elizabeth Duffrin972022-05-17T04:00:00ZYour source for research and ideas to expand high quality learning and enrichment opportunities. Supporting: School Leadership, After School, Summer and Extended Learning Time, Arts Education and Building Audiences for the Arts.5/18/2022 3:02:17 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Missouri’s Ongoing Effort to Develop Principals Pays Off The state’s comprehensive system now offers professional 1866https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
How Principals (and their Bosses) Can Use Technology for Learning and Management37531GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61​<p>​​​The timing was certainly not intentional, but shortly before the Omicron variant surged late last fall and sent schools across the country into another round of reliance on remote and hybrid learning, Wallace published a study titled <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/principal-leadership-in-a-virtual-environment.aspx"><em>Principal Leadership in a Virtual Environment</em></a>. The report offers early considerations from a field of emerging research on how school districts can develop a large corps of principals adept at employing technology to manage their schools and keep students learning. It centers on the idea that high-quality, equitable education in the digital realm—described as “powerful learning”—emerges through the combination of three essentials&#58; meaningful use of technology; inclusive access to it; and, notably, the leadership of principals with the know&#160;how to implement both.<br></p><p>The report, commissioned by Wallace, was produced by <a href="https&#58;//digitalpromise.org/" target="_blank">Digital Promise</a>, a nonprofit that works with districts and schools nationwide on the effective use of technology. Recently, as the nation began what almost everyone hopes will be an emergence from the worst of COVID-19, the Wallace blog caught up with Stefani Pautz Stephenson, the publication’s lead author and director of educator community partnerships at Digital Promise. Through an email exchange, she discussed how the embrace of technology for learning and school operations during the pandemic may have a lasting influence on school leadership.&#160; <strong></strong></p><p><strong>Wallace Foundation&#58; What have school leaders learned over the last two years about leading in a virtual environment?</strong></p><p><strong>Stefani Pautz Stephenson&#58;</strong> In our report, we share the emerging finding that nimbleness and flexibility are essential traits for both principals and principal supervisors who are leading in a virtual environment. This continues to hold true today. School leaders have learned how to make decisions with limited information, or information that’s rapidly changing. They’ve learned how to be responsive with their own learning, by re-learning or upskilling their own leadership abilities. They’ve also learned a lot about how to lead people who aren’t physically in the same space. Just as teachers have learned to teach students who aren’t in the same classroom, school leaders have learned how to, for example, virtually observe a classroom and virtually model risk-taking and growth mindset.</p><p><strong>WF&#58; In a recent EdWeek Research Center</strong><a href="https&#58;//www.edweek.org/leadership/the-teaching-strategies-educators-say-will-outlast-the-pandemic/2022/03" target="_blank"><strong> survey</strong></a><strong>, principals and other educators listed pandemic-spurred changes that they thought would stick, and at or near the top were technologies, including teaching software and platforms to monitor students’ progress. What innovations do you think are here to stay, and what can principals and/or districts do to ensure they are used effectively?</strong></p><p><strong>SPS&#58;</strong> The survey states that educators believe the digital learning platforms most likely to stay are those that facilitate making assignments and monitoring progress. I think that’s an accurate assessment. Many school districts were already using a learning management system, at least in some capacity, prior to the pandemic. But the pandemic turned it from a<em> nice to have</em> to a <em>must have</em>. The learning management systems that integrate student learning, teacher feedback and communication with families are likely to have the greatest longevity because they support the school-to-home transparency that all stakeholders have grown accustomed to in the last two years.</p><p>To ensure technology is used effectively, school leaders must set clear expectations for use. As with any technology adoption, there will be innovators and early adopters who embrace it and want to use it to its fullest potential. There will also be those who are slower to adopt and want to know what the “must-dos” are. School and district leaders will see more successful implementation if they are clear about how the technology is supportive and set baseline expectations for how it is integrated. It has to be clear that it's not an add-on. Then, it’s critical to provide ongoing, growth-oriented feedback and to make professional learning and coaching readily available.</p><p><strong>WF&#58; EdWeek has also reported that educators who had scurried to learn about and then use digital tools were</strong><a href="https&#58;//www.edweek.org/technology/tech-fatigue-is-real-for-teachers-and-students-heres-how-to-ease-the-burden/2022/03"><strong> </strong></a><a href="https&#58;//www.edweek.org/technology/tech-fatigue-is-real-for-teachers-and-students-heres-how-to-ease-the-burden/2022/03" target="_blank"><strong>experiencing some tech fatigue</strong></a><strong>. How can principals keep the momentum for sound use of technology going?</strong></p><p><strong>SPS&#58;</strong> One strategy is to help teachers manage all of the incoming information, including the amount of technology they’re learning. Focus on a few&#160;critical pieces of technology and look to technologies that serve multiple functions and can be implemented across the board, like a learning management system. Aim for deep learning with those technologies, and give it the time it needs.</p><p>Attending to educators’ social-emotional needs is also essential. The Council of Chief State School Officers published<a href="https&#58;//docs.google.com/document/d/163ZNDs7sZ0FWOT7-1JFxQ9Lbo6zbQNJhaHSs0LbljCE/edit#heading=h.85w6zatiiauu" target="_blank"> guidance on fostering staff wellbeing and connection</a>, highlighting the importance of creating opportunities for staff to reconnect, heal, and feel safe and supported. School leaders can, for example, give staff an opportunity to engage in a community-connection activity prior to formal professional development on technology implementation. Creating those opportunities for connection, coupled with clear and realistic expectations for technology use, can help prevent burnout.</p><p><strong>WF&#58; One lesson from the pandemic seems to be that Zoom or similar conferencing technologies have allowed for more inclusive communications with families, enabling schools to maintain contact with parents and others who had previously found it hard to attend in-person meetings because of work or other circumstances. How do you think this lesson will influence principal-parent interactions once schools fully reopen?</strong></p><p><strong>SPS&#58;</strong> We continue to see positive responses from school administrators to the increased communication with families. Schools have seen the positive effects of conferencing technologies in breaking down barriers to participation, and they want that level of family engagement to continue. Parents have also gained a new insight into what and how their students are learning, and they value that transparency. We’ve heard these things consistently, across the country. This is here to stay.</p><p><strong>WF&#58; The report highlights considerations for districts that want to ensure that their principals can manage schools equitably and well in a virtual environment. Among them&#58;&#160; revising principal standards and updating principal preparation programming to take account of virtual learning and management. Have you seen movement in these areas? </strong></p><p><strong>SPS&#58;</strong> We haven’t seen movement on these fronts yet, and we still believe these recommendations are mission critical if we want to develop better leadership capacity for the virtual environment. There is increased funding going into broadband, and&#160;technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality and artificial intelligence are rapidly advancing in education. We haven’t prepared leaders for this. We need to take action so that school leaders can think both conceptually and practically about these topics and others like them.</p><p>Education officials can begin with advocacy. On the local level, they can start with human resources directors and offices of organizational effectiveness advocating for changes in standards for evaluation and principal preparation. At universities, they can make the case to deans and other officials who are making decisions about programming that leads to licensure. They can work with state departments of education that set certification requirements. Change starts by making people pay attention to the issues. </p><p>The pandemic drew everyone’s attention to virtual learning; now it’s time to draw attention to the changes needed for the future of education leadership.<br></p><p><br></p>Wallace editorial team792022-05-10T04:00:00ZSchool Leadership, principals, principal pipeline, school districts, technology, virtual learning, education research5/10/2022 3:27:02 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / How Principals (and their Bosses) Can Use Technology for Learning and Management Co-author of study reflects on nimbleness 1497https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
How Can Arts and Culture Organizations Be More Welcoming?2875GP0|#8056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be;L0|#08056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be|Building Audiences for the Arts;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>W​​​hat kinds of arts experiences foster feelings of connection and well-being? A new report reveals some insights from Black and African American participants, a viewpoint historically sidelined from research and planning efforts in the arts. In-depth interviews with 50 Black and African American participants revealed common threads that demonstrate the importance of four key practices for arts and culture organizations in creating a positive environment&#58; celebrating personal and community creativity, supporting self-care, working to be more trustworthy and creating a sense of welcome and belonging.<br></p><p>The qualitative study, <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/a-place-to-be-heard-a-space-to-feel-held-black-perspectives.aspx?utm_source=The+Wallace+Foundation&amp;utm_campaign=bfe7509f3a-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2022_01_07_04_25&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_term=0_59ab24ca7b-bfe7509f3a-211159397&amp;_ga=2.77163926.2027710580.1650894280-1368872614.1650558612"> <em>A Place to Be Heard, A Space to Feel Held&#58; Black Perspectives on Creativity, Trustworthiness, Welcome and Well Being</em></a>, was funded in part by Wallace, with research conducted in 2021. The project is part of a pandemic-era, equity-focused research collaboration with Slover Linett, LaPlaca Cohen and Yancey Consulting called <a href="https&#58;//culturetrack.com/research/transformation/" target="_blank"> <em>Culture + Community in a Time of Transformation&#58; A Special Edition of Culture Track</em></a>. The initial survey research found that people <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/what-we-need-from-arts-and-culture-right-now.aspx?_ga=2.77163926.2027710580.1650894280-1368872614.1650558612">crave more racial inclusion and connection</a> from the arts, and a follow-up survey determined that <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/as-the-pandemic-shifts-so-does-peoples-thinking-about-arts-and-culture.aspx?_ga=2.77163926.2027710580.1650894280-1368872614.1650558612">people’s attitudes were shifting</a> throughout the pandemic, with the desire for arts organizations to be more community-oriented only growing stronger. The new report homes in on perspectives from Black and African American participants, exploring how organizations can better support Black communities, work to earn their trust and make them feel welcome. </p><p>To examine some of the report’s key takeaways, the Wallace blog connected with the team from Slover Linett who co-authored the study (along with Ciara C. Knight)&#58; researcher Melody Buyukozer Dawkins, research coordinator Camila Guerrero and vice president and director of research Tanya Treptow.&#160;</p><p> </p><strong style="color&#58;#555555;font-size&#58;14px;"><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/how-can-arts-and-culture-organizations-be-more-welcoming/Melody_Buyukozer_Dawkins_Slover_Linett_Audience_Research.jpg" alt="Melody_Buyukozer_Dawkins_Slover_Linett_Audience_Research.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;160px;height&#58;200px;" /><span></span></strong><div><strong>​Wallace Foundation&#58; How did the four themes of creativity, self-care, trustworthiness, and welcome and belonging come into focus during the interviews?</strong></div><div><strong><br></strong></div><div><strong></strong><strong>Melody Buyukozer Dawkins&#58;</strong> Our initial focus on the main themes of creativity, trustworthiness and welcome and belonging came from the first wave of quantitative findings from the <a href="https&#58;//sloverlinett.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Centering-the-Picture-full-report-CCTC-Wave-1-findings.pdf" target="_blank"> <em>Culture + Community&#58; The Role of Race and Ethnicity in cultural engagement in the U.S.</em></a> report. Those findings provided guidance at several levels&#58;</div><p></p><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">The findings indicated that Black and African American​ respondents were less likely to participate in the range of cultural activities included in the survey, even though those that did participate did so at the same frequency as the other racial and ethnic groups. One discussion our team had was whether the list of activities that we included in the survey was comprehensive enough to cover all potential activities Black respondents participated in. To this end, we took an open-ended approach in our interviews and asked participants about the general creative activities they partake in to expand this list.</div><p></p><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">Over three quarters of Black and African American respondents desired change in arts and culture organizations and it was particularly important for them to engage with diverse voices and faces, more than any other racial and ethnic groups. About one third also wanted to see friendly approaches to diverse people. To examine in our interviews what dynamics come into play in these processes, we explored welcome and belonging.</div><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">Black and African American respondents were also more likely than other groups to want to stay informed with&#160;trustworthy sources of information, so building on this finding we aimed to explore the factors that affect the trustworthiness of any organization or person.</div><p>We initially didn’t seek to examine self-care within our interviews but as we spoke to people, this theme emerged organically, especially as people talked about how they have been living through the pandemic era. </p><p> <strong>WF&#58; Against the backdrop of the larger <em>Culture + Community</em> study, why was it important to conduct this qualitative study to gain the perspective of Black and African American participants regarding community and culture organizations? What are the benefits and tradeoffs or pitfalls of conducting research that delves deeper into understanding the experience of a particular group? </strong></p><p> <strong>MBD&#58;</strong> This is a question we heard often throughout both the research and dissemination process. One way we found very helpful to answer this question is to take a system-level approach and ask ourselves why the question of the importance of Black perspectives really exists in the first place. What structures and conditions that historically excluded Black people make this kind of research necessary? And why do we try to assess what there is to gain (or to lose) from this kind of research, rather than focus on how research can shift our paradigms and help us transform? With our research, we intentionally tried to stay away from the impulse to justify, but instead to amplify and celebrate Black voices, stories and wisdom, authentically and unapologetically.&#160;&#160; </p><p> <strong> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/how-can-arts-and-culture-organizations-be-more-welcoming/Tanya_Treptow_Slover_Linett_Audience_Research.jpg" alt="Tanya_Treptow_Slover_Linett_Audience_Research.jpg" class="wf-Image-Right" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;175px;height&#58;219px;" />Tanya Treptow&#58;</strong> And we felt like a qualitative study could be an important complement to—and a check on—the quantitative components of the <em>Culture + Community</em> work. In qualitative research, we’re inherently not looking to generalize research findings, but instead to hear people deeply as holistic individuals and to understand the emotional undertones of people’s values, philosophies and actions. In this case, we were able to explore how culture and community experiences and organizations naturally fit into people’s broader lives. </p><p> <strong>WF&#58; What most surprised or had an impact on you</strong><strong> while working on this study? </strong></p><p> <strong> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/how-can-arts-and-culture-organizations-be-more-welcoming/Camila_Guerrero_Slover_Linett_Audience_Research.jpg" alt="Camila_Guerrero_Slover_Linett_Audience_Research.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;179px;height&#58;224px;" />Camila Guerrero</strong>&#58; These were the first qualitative interviews I’d been a part of at Slover Linett and the loose structure of the interview, paired with people’s openness, seemed to create a space for vulnerability. The extent of how vulnerable people were willing to be, to talk about certain experiences they’d gone through was unexpected, because we were strangers and they didn’t owe us their unfiltered emotions, thoughts or experiences. The space we created in these interviews was safe not just for the participants, but also for us, the researchers. The interviews almost felt like a conversation I’d have with a friend even though they were for the purposes of this study. They all started off with “how are you feeling?” and despite our guiding question we still went in whatever direction felt most natural and comfortable. Each conversation brought something personal and eye-opening about the individual. One of many of those moments that still stands out to me is when one participant shared a beautiful moment of connection she had with her late mother through nature. I felt myself tearing up as she described her experience, and although perhaps at first glance it may have seemed unrelated to the themes we focused on in this study, it all circles back somehow. That very personal moment she gave us the privilege of exploring&#160;was what ultimately led to her love for photography, just one of the many ways she engaged with art. </p><p> <strong>TT&#58;</strong> I definitely agree with Camila. I’ve been referring back to our conversations in professional contexts and in my personal life to a much greater degree than in other studies I’ve been a part of. I think it’s because of the open-ended framing of our conversations, where people could share what was most meaningful to themselves. In a lot of social research in the arts and culture realm, research is constrained to a somewhat narrower frame, such as attendance or participation at specific kinds of institutions.&#160; In this case, we didn’t constrain our conversations, yet as in Camila’s example, people naturally still shared stories about the arts and culture in their lives. </p><p> <strong>WF&#58; Where do you think there are more opportunities for this kind of research and what would be a future priority from your perspective?</strong></p><p> <strong>MBD&#58;</strong> Shifting paradigms and building community. Thanks to the deep insights of our participants, we were able to examine the distinctions between trust and trustworthiness, and between welcome and belonging; explore the role of creativity and self-care in individual and community well-being; and question what “relevance” really means in the context of cultural experiences. One of the exciting outcomes of our study was that for each of our four thematic areas—creativity, self-care, trustworthiness and welcome—there were revelations that led to potential paradigm-shifting approaches to commonly used terms and concepts when equity and inclusion are talked about. So, one potential future priority for me is to rethink how we approach these concepts and how we ask questions in the first place. </p><p> <strong>CG&#58;</strong> This study felt more like it was about amplifying voices and perspectives than about serving institutions and organizations. I hope it encourages others to move more in this direction, to be participant-centered. Although much of the focus of this study was to support institutions through our findings, throughout the process we found ourselves thinking about the interview participants as not just the main focus, but the main <em>audience</em> for our report. During our debriefs as a team it came up time and time again, that we wanted this to be something all the participants could read through and understand, because their insights were what even allowed us to get to this point. This participant-centered approach is something I hope to see more of in studies because without participants we have no research, no findings, no ability to take action.</p><p> <strong>WF&#58; What implications does this study have for the arts and culture sector more broadly?</strong></p><p> <strong>MBD&#58;</strong> When we started this process, we were thinking about the audiences for this report. As we went through our conversations and started to identify themes, it became very apparent that the findings and insights went beyond the audiences (cultural practitioners and funders) we initially thought about. So, we shifted our focus to the “culture and community” sector, very broadly defined to include not only cultural sector practitioners and funders but also organizations, activists, policy makers and anybody who connects personally with or connects others around culture and community. Excitingly, we have already started hearing reverberations of our findings for people across a wide variety of fields like higher education, creative placemaking, civic engagement and sociological research on places and participation—many of the areas that have been working to incorporate the arts in comprehensive community development. I think one of the next steps is to capitalize on these reverberations and build community around how these learnings can translate into meaningful change, action and also more questions and research. </p><p> <strong>TT&#58;&#160;</strong>I think there also needs to be a continued reckoning in the arts and culture field in accepting, celebrating and ultimately financially supporting arts and culture organizations and initiatives that support deep extrinsic goals, such as individual and community wellness (getting beyond art for art’s sake). Arts organizations that promote these goals explicitly are sometimes given less prestige than those focused on the quality of their collections alone. And that runs contrary to what we heard from the people we spoke to in this study in how they valued arts, culture and creativity in their lives. </p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/how-can-arts-and-culture-organizations-be-more-welcoming/Final_updated_qual_report_diagram_V2_2_A_Place_to_Be_Heard.jpg" alt="Final_updated_qual_report_diagram_V2_2_A_Place_to_Be_Heard.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> <br> <br> </p><p>We didn’t frame conversations around self-care or wellness, but these topics emerged anyways in very central ways. And I think this intersects with how the field should value and support BIPOC-led and BIPOC-centered organizations, which may be more likely to take an ‘arts and…’ approach. We do already see encouraging shifts in the sector, such as with John Falk’s 2021 publication, <a href="https&#58;//www.instituteforlearninginnovation.org/the-value-of-museums-enhancing-societal-well-being/" target="_blank"> <em>The Value of Museums&#58; Enhancing Societal Well-Being</em></a>, but there is so much more to do. I’d love to see continued centering of individual and community-level wellness at conferences, in the framing of funding opportunities and within individual organizational practice. </p><p> <em>The included chart is excerpted from the study, </em> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/a-place-to-be-heard-a-space-to-feel-held-black-perspectives.aspx?utm_source=The+Wallace+Foundation&amp;utm_campaign=bfe7509f3a-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2022_01_07_04_25&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_term=0_59ab24ca7b-bfe7509f3a-211159397"> <em>A Place to Be Heard, A Space to Feel Held&#58; Black Perspectives on Creativity, Trustworthiness, Welcome and Well Being</em></a>.</p>​<br><br><br>​<br><br>Wallace editorial team792022-05-03T04:00:00ZAuthors of new report break down what they learned about arts participation from in-depth interviews with 50 Black Americans5/3/2022 4:13:35 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / How Can Arts and Culture Organizations Be More Welcoming Authors of new report break down what they learned about arts 1719https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Three Districts, One Principal Pipeline2845GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>R​​ecent research has shown that <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/How-Principals-Affect-Students-and-Schools-A-Systematic-Synthesis-of-Two-Decades-of-Research.aspx?_ga=2.45912679.239897736.1650464379-225658064.1650464379">strong principal leadership is key to improved student achievement</a> and provided evidence of&#160;how building <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/principal-pipelines-a-feasible,-affordable,-and-effective-way-for-districts-to-improve-schools.aspx?_ga=2.45912679.239897736.1650464379-225658064.1650464379">principal pipelines can work</a> to better support school leaders working in large urban districts. But how can smaller, rural districts achieve this kind of success as well?<br></p><p>Three&#160;districts in central Nebraska–Grand Island Public Schools, Hastings Public Schools and Kearney Public Schools–are hoping to address this question by pooling their talent and resources to implement systemic improvements to the preparation, hiring, support and management of principals. Working together they have developed a model for an intensive internship and contextually-driven experience for teacher-leaders who are interested in becoming principals, called the Tri-City ASCEND Academy. Combined, Grand Island, Hastings and Kearney serve more than 19,000 students. </p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/three-districts-one-principal-pipeline/Tawana_Grover.jpg" alt="Tawana_Grover.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;150px;height&#58;210px;" />“We asked ourselves, how can we come together to ensure that we have high-quality educators ready to serve in the principal role where they feel confident?” said Tawana Grover, superintendent of Grand Island Public Schools. </p><p>The ASCEND Academy is a shared leadership program that offers teachers who are ready to take on administrative roles the opportunity to get hands-on experience. It is aligned with leading national <a href="/knowledge-center/school-leadership/Pages/principal-pipeline-implementation.aspx?_ga=2.45912679.239897736.1650464379-225658064.1650464379">research</a> on the elements necessary to building&#160;and maintaining a&#160;pipeline of high-quality&#160;school leaders, including&#160;leader standards that guide all aspects of principal development and support;&#160;rigorous&#160;preservice preparation&#160;for aspiring&#160;principals; selective hiring and placement of these professionals; and on-the-job induction, evaluation and support. </p><p class="wf-Element-Callout">“We asked ourselves, how can we come together to ensure that we have high-quality educators ready to serve in the principal role where they feel confident?”&#160;<span style="color&#58;#2b92be;font-size&#58;24px;"><em>—</em></span><em>​&#160;Tawana Grover, superintendent of Grand Island Public Schools.​</em><br></p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/three-districts-one-principal-pipeline/Toni_Palmer.jpg" alt="Toni_Palmer.jpg" class="wf-Image-Right" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;154px;height&#58;192px;" />“When we think about leadership standards—the competencies that our leaders need to have in order to influence people to move the continuous improvement process forward—building [the participants’] level of understanding of the knowledge and scope of that leadership capacity has to be in place in order to make that happen,” said Toni Palmer, chief of leadership and learning at Grand Island Public Schools. “We were really focused on equity-driven leadership and how we can build their level of knowledge and understanding of how to lead through that lens.” </p><p>The effort&#160;emerged in part from Nebraska's involvement in a Wallace-sponsored community of 11 states seeking to bolster the principalship. ASCEND participants ​were assigned and able to learn from their own home districts, and they were also given the opportunity to intern in the other two districts within one semester. After graduating, they can be hired in any of the Tri-City districts. </p><p class="wf-Element-Callout">“When you are a teacher, or in my case an academic support coach, you don't always see what goes into a principal's day. The ASCEND internship gave me that opportunity.”&#160;<span style="color&#58;#2b92be;font-size&#58;24px;"><em>—</em></span><span style="color&#58;#2b92be;font-size&#58;24px;">&#160;</span><em>​Jessica Schroeder, &#160;academic support coach at Grand Island Public Schools</em>​<br></p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/three-districts-one-principal-pipeline/Jessica_Schroeder.jpg" alt="Jessica_Schroeder.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;200px;height&#58;250px;" />Jessica Schroeder, currently an academic support coach at Grand Island Public Schools, was one of the first three graduates of the program, which was launched in fall 2021. She had the opportunity to intern as a principal in Kearney and Hastings as well. </p><p>“Seeing all the hats a principal wears was so valuable,” Schroeder said. “When you are a teacher, or in my case an academic support coach, you don't always see what goes into a principal's day. The ASCEND internship gave me that opportunity.”</p><p>Leaders in all three of the districts hypothesized&#160;that program participants&#160;would benefit by interning in different spots, although they realized that the logistics of arranging for this variety of placements&#160;would be complex.&#160;&#160;​​<br></p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/three-districts-one-principal-pipeline/Kent_Edwards.jpg" alt="Kent_Edwards.jpg" class="wf-Image-Right" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;148px;height&#58;222px;" />“We knew our overall goal and objectives, but bringing structure to it took an investment of thought and time,'' said Kent Edwards, superintendent of Kearney Public Schools. “Involving three separate school districts and three separate school boards brought forward the importance of communication and coordination between all of our districts.”</p><p>The districts’ boards approved the use of funds, and with a highly selective process, they chose their first three candidates. </p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/three-districts-one-principal-pipeline/JeffSchneider.JPG" alt="JeffSchneider.JPG" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;150px;height&#58;226px;" />“We hoped the candidates would get a feel for what it is like to be in an actual administrative position rather than just learning about administrative positions,” said Jeff Schneider, superintendent of Hastings Public Schools. “We also wanted them to learn the best practices of the district they were interning in and share these best practices with their home district.”</p><p>The three participants who were chosen kept weekly journals of their experiences to track progress and also met regularly with other educators&#160;from the districts they were interning with to work on professional development. “Each intern was exposed to three different leaders, three different structures, and three different practices and protocols to accomplish the mission of education,” said Edwards. “Each of the interns also were able to inventory and apply their own respective styles and ideas. Practically, a far better experience than any coursework could provide.”<br></p><p class="wf-Element-Callout">“We hoped the candidates would get a feel for what it is like to be in an actual administrative position rather than just learning about administrative positions,”<em style="color&#58;#2b92be;font-size&#58;24px;">—</em>&#160;<em>Jeff Schneider, superintendent of Hastings Public Schools.​</em><br></p><p>Schroeder, along with the other two participants, met with the district supervisors and learned about local principal performance&#160;standards, as well as how to process the&#160;problems of practice that one might experience as a first-year principal. </p><p>“There are many situations that you discuss in your college classes, but to experience them and have someone else to process through was very beneficial,” she said. “You were also able to see how the principal prioritized different situations that came up during the school day. Deciding what needed immediate attention versus something that could wait was a valuable lesson. I was also able to develop relationships with the principals I worked with. I feel because of this internship, I have two exceptional principals I can reach out to if I need advice or support.”<br></p><p class="wf-Element-Callout">“Just being in central Nebraska, there's going to be some things that are unique to us and how we have to go about solving those problems.<em><span style="color&#58;#2b92be;font-size&#58;24px;">”&#160;</span>​—</em><span style="color&#58;#2b92be;font-size&#58;24px;"><em>Tawana Grover, superintendent of Grand Island Public Schools.​</em></span><em>​​</em><br></p><p></p><p> Representatives from all three districts said the communication and partnership among them&#160;became essential&#160;for the work to succeed. “The relationship between the superintendents included trust and respect,” said Grover. “We found ourselves relying on each other, asking each other ‘what are you doing, how are you going to handle this?’ Our bond became so strong at that point, and I think it allowed us to be very candid about what our needs are as an individual district, and how we're going to work on that together.” ​</p><p>The three districts had something key in&#160;common&#58;&#160;the circumstances of being relatively small and&#160;located in a&#160;rural community.&#160;<br></p><p>“Just being in central Nebraska, there's going to be some things that are unique to us and how we have to go about solving those problems,” Grover said. “The bigger challenge for us compared to some of the larger systems is that we’re not surrounded by all that support. We don’t want these students to think for one minute that they don’t deserve what a larger school district may have to offer. We may have to think differently about how we do it, but the goal of having that highly effective principal should be at the forefront, for us as leaders.”​</p><p>Working together and sharing resources and ideas across all three districts was a way to overcome this challenge. And it could be possible for similar smaller, rural districts to replicate this partnership in their own areas. <br></p><p>“We came to it with the common understanding that every student deserves to have a highly effective principal leading their building–no matter their zip code, no matter where they are.” said Grover. “And I think what we've demonstrated is there is power in collaboration. We've demonstrated that we were not going to let location or size be an excuse for us. We’re going to pull our resources together to provide these rich experiences so that we can have high-quality principals available for all of our students.”</p><p>Grover’s advice for districts that&#160;want to take on similar work is to look for opportunities for collaboration,&#160;which proved&#160;beneficial to the Tri-City effort&#160;in a number of&#160;ways. Among other things, the three districts were able to split costs of the program, and they were able to have extra support, with multiple staff members from each district dedicated to the work.&#160; </p><p class="wf-Element-Callout">“We came to it with the common understanding that every student deserves to have a highly effective principal leading their building–no matter their zip code, no matter where they are.”&#160;<em style="color&#58;#2b92be;font-size&#58;24px;">—</em><span style="color&#58;#2b92be;font-size&#58;24px;"></span><span style="color&#58;#2b92be;font-size&#58;24px;"><em>Tawana Grover, superintendent of Grand Island Public Schools.​</em></span><em style="color&#58;#2b92be;font-size&#58;24px;">​​</em><span style="color&#58;#2b92be;font-size&#58;24px;"></span><span style="color&#58;#2b92be;font-size&#58;24px;">”&#160;</span><br></p><p>In the first year of the academy, all participants were elementary-school placements. For the 2022-2023 school year, the participants will remain in elementary schools, and&#160;the districts are considering&#160;expanding to the secondary level. Another change is likely to be the number of schools where the participants serve; the districts learned&#160;from the candidates’ feedback that sending the interns&#160;to two different buildings in the same semester was a difficult task. </p><p>“While we liked the exposure to two different leaders, it was also very challenging for them to build relationships with two different sets of staff,” Schneider said. “So this year, they will just intern at one of the other districts as opposed to both.”</p><p>According to Edwards, the districts hoped to develop a stronger&#160;leader pipeline to meet the needs of the respective districts. The districts were able to ascertain if the participants ultimately would&#160; have&#160;the skills and traits of the kind of leadership they needed for their schools. And even if a&#160;match ends&#160;up not working, districts stand&#160;to gain from the&#160;endeavor. “Should they [the participants] elect not to pursue a formal leadership position, however, the district would still benefit, informally, from their decision to remain in their current position,” he said. “They would have a completely different perspective.”</p><p>Schroeder offered up some advice for future participants in the program, noting that her experience as one of its first three participants was both challenging and rewarding.<br></p><p>“The best advice I have is to ask questions,” she said. “I asked lots of questions to understand what the principal's thought process was for the decisions they made. My other piece of advice is to enjoy this experience. It was definitely an experience that challenged me. Becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable to learn and to grow through this experience truly helped me develop more confidence in myself as an instructional leader.”&#160; </p><p class="wf-Element-Callout">​“When we're able to lift up leaders across the state, ultimately we're going to have a national impact.”&#160;<em style="color&#58;#2b92be;font-size&#58;24px;">—</em><span style="color&#58;#2b92be;font-size&#58;24px;"></span><span style="color&#58;#2b92be;font-size&#58;24px;"><em>Tawana Grover, superintendent of Grand Island Public Schools.​</em></span><em style="color&#58;#2b92be;font-size&#58;24px;">​​</em><span style="color&#58;#2b92be;font-size&#58;24px;"></span><span style="color&#58;#2b92be;font-size&#58;24px;">”&#160;</span>​​<br></p><p>As the Tri-City ASCEND Academy prepares for its second year, educators in smaller districts and rural areas elsewhere&#160;might take notice.&#160;​“When we're able to lift up leaders across the state, ultimately we're going to have a national impact,” Grover said. “Kids all across the country can benefit from the seeds that are sown right here in the heartland.”<br></p><p> <em>Lead photo above&#58; ​Educators involved in the first year of the Tri-City ASCEND Academy included (from left to right)&#58; Kent Edwards, superintendent of Kearney Public Schools and Shannon Blaschko, selected as an intern from that district; Tawana Grover, superintendent of Grand Island Public Schools, and Jessica Schroeder, selected as a Grand Island intern; and Tamisha Osgood, an intern selected from Hastings Public schools and Superintendent Jeff Schneider.</em></p>Jenna Doleh912022-04-26T04:00:00ZAn inside look at how three rural districts worked together to train, develop and support principals4/28/2022 12:00:54 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Three Districts, One Principal Pipeline An inside look at how three rural districts worked together to train, develop and 2499https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Creating a More Equitable—and Welcoming—Afterschool Ecosystem2758GP0|#b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211;L0|#0b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211|Afterschool;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​O​​​​​​​​ne of the best parts of my job as director of research at Wallace is to interact with some of the country’s leading scholars and researchers studying our areas of work&#58; the arts, education leadership and youth development. These folks are so committed to and insightful about their respective fields.&#160;It’s maybe no surprise that many of them worked as teachers, youth workers, artists and the like, before entering the research world, and that this is partly what drives their passion.<br></p><p>Since I joined the foundation in late 2019, we have awarded 36 research grants, large and small, to 33 researchers, 14 of whom were first-time Wallace grantees. I thought it would be interesting (and fun!) to start an occasional series of interviews with some of them, as we publish their findings on the Wallace website.&#160;Kicking off the series with me is ​Bianca Baldridge​​​,​ ​an ​associate professor of education at Harvard University. Bianca is <a href="https&#58;//www.gse.harvard.edu/faculty/bianca-baldridge" target="_blank">a national expert​</a> in out-of-school-time programming (OST), with a particular interest in the youth workforce. </p><p>In 2020-2021, we commissioned Bianca, along with a group of her colleagues, to produce a rapid evidence review intended to inform Wallace’s future work in youth development. High level takeaways from that study are summarized in this <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/from-access-to-equity-making-out-of-school-time-spaces-meaningful-for-teens-from-marginalized-communities.aspx?_ga=2.110720197.1937604982.1650308769-375849283.1649958955">research brief</a>. In addition to a lit review and interviews with experts, their study involved a YPAR (youth participatory action research) project, where a group of older students designed and conducted a research study of their peers involved in afterschool programs, that you can read about <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/youth-perspectives-on-designing-equitable-out-of-school-time-programs.aspx">here​</a>. This work also led to a series of podcasts, where youth researchers discuss key issues related to their experiences in afterschool programs and which will be released later this spring.</p><p>This conversation has been edited for length and clarity. </p><p> <strong>Bronwyn&#58; How did you come to focus on out-of-school-time?<br> </strong> <br> <strong>Bianca&#58;</strong>&#160; I came to this work because I was a participant in youth-work programs as a middle school student and started engaging in youth work as a staff member in high school.&#160; </p><p>As much as I loved these programs—as a participant and a staff member—and as&#160;important as&#160;they were in shaping my development, as a Black girl growing up in south-central Los Angeles, I was also troubled by the way programs were making assumptions about who I was. They tended to position themselves as saving me, and that kind of deficit positioning of me, which I consciously felt, was a problem. But I didn’t have the language to name it until I got to college and graduate school and began to study African American Studies and sociology. I started to see how my experiences, and the organizations themselves, had been shaped by the social and political context around them—the broader structures of power like race, class and social-economic policies.</p><p> <strong>Bronwyn&#58; Over the last several years the OST field has started to more explicitly name the “ecological dimensions” of learning and development—in other words, looking beyond the program to understand how it is situated within a broader context, and how that context shapes what is possible. But the social and political dimensions of that ecology are not often articulated. The focus is more on spaces and places and practices.<br></strong><br><strong>Bianca&#58;</strong> I’m glad you said that. Families matter, communities, neighborhoods, all of that matters.&#160; And if those things matter, then within that ecosystem what’s happening? How do we not name those things?&#160; </p><p> <strong>Bronwyn&#58; That attention to the broader structures of power that shape and constrain possibilities is what we call “a critical lens” in the research world. How do you bring that lens to the study of OST?<br></strong><br><strong>Bianca&#58;</strong> Afterschool spaces are important sites of learning and development, particularly for minoritized communities and communities that are multiply oppressed. My research agenda has been to think about how young people experience these programs&#58; Black and Latinx young people or racially minoritized people in general. To understand the role of relationships within the programs—among youth, youth workers and staff members. And to try to legitimize and create scholarship that highlights the pedagogy as well as the philosophies of youth workers, as legitimate pedagogues and educators within the educational landscape.&#160; </p><p> <strong>Bronwyn&#58; Can you say more about what you mean about youth worker pedagogy? <br></strong> <br> <strong>Bianca&#58;</strong> I find that youth workers often have a true pedagogy in the sense that they have a philosophical sort of understanding about teaching, about learning, about youth development, about engagement with young people, and you can see that in practice in how they actually engage. So how they teach, how they cultivate relationships and connect with young people and their families, how they spark interest and ideas and a love of learning that is not just about academics, but also just about the world in general. </p><p> <strong>Bronwyn&#58;&#160;</strong><strong>It sounds like you’ve seen them recognizing the totality of the young person? <br></strong> <br> <strong>Bianca&#58;</strong> Yes. Youth workers can support youth academically, emotionally, socially and politically. They are really significant to “whole child” development. Youth workers are often placed in the position where they are supporting young people through their lives in school, neighborhoods and their families. Young people’s identities are complex and youth workers can be instrumental in nurturing all of who a young person is and who they are becoming. </p><p> <strong>Bronwyn&#58;&#160;</strong><strong>There has been a lot of research on how social policies and structures affect teachers and schooling, but less on how they impact youth development or afterschool and summer programs. I know you’re currently writing a book about this.<br></strong><br><strong>Bianca&#58;</strong> Yes, my current research is thinking about how displacement and gentrification can lead to school closures or rezoning, which in turn can impact community organizations that have been committed to Black liberation or youth development within Black communities. Part of the premise for me is that community organizations in many ways can be the backbone of neighborhoods and communities, and I’m really struck with the question of what happens when afterschool programs can’t afford high rents. What happens when they’re moved out of neighborhoods, what happens to programming for young people? Where do they go? Where will they hang out, what will they do? </p><p>For youth organizations that are committed to sociopolitical development or critical consciousness, I’m really interested in what they do and how they’re making sense of these transitions and displacement, and how they’re able to maintain a social justice, youth development approach in their work through this change. My new book links Black youth workers to the legacy and traditions of organizers like Ella Baker or Septima Clark, and projects how youth workers approach preparing young people to make sense of the world around them and to navigate a racially hostile, anti-Black world. It also addresses how they navigate anti-Blackness within their profession. How are they simultaneously taking care of themselves and also helping young people to negotiate the same social and political forces?</p><p> <strong>Bronwyn&#58; Your work has made me think a lot about how much our vision of the best out-of-school-time programs depends on youth workers who are profoundly giving&#58; Giving love, giving respect, giving vision, giving support. But it’s not like there’s a bottomless well of giving if the system is not giving back to them. Your work highlights how the structures that suppress wages, limit benefits and sometimes tokenize youth workers can work to undermine the whole vision for what young people can gain from out of school time. <br></strong> <br> <strong> Bianca&#58; </strong>Yes. Because the burnout and the turnover are real. And youth workers are everywhere&#58;&#160; detention centers, museums, libraries, housing programs, afterschool organizations. I believe that programs and organizations, however they look, need to be able to meet the needs of the young people in their communities. But we need to think about the youth workers, or the people who care for young people, and find systems and structures that support them.&#160; </p><p> <strong>Bronwyn&#58; The research you and your colleagues did for Wallace, and the research of the youth themselves, really got to how essential building a positive and inclusive context is, and that job is ultimately left to youth workers to create those conditions.<br></strong><br><strong>Bianca&#58;</strong> What blew us away was hearing directly from the youth about how students feel in those programs. They talked about feeling like things were cliquish or tokenistic. This goes back to what do these programs look like, what do they feel like, how are they organized, how are they structured? Not just anybody can run an inclusive OST program, not just anybody <em>should</em> run a program. I think allowing young people to share their firsthand experiences is just always, always, always sobering.</p><p> <strong>Bronwyn&#58; I&#160;</strong><strong>totally agree. There’s been a lot of work done on the kinds of things you need to have in place for assessing or building towards quality programs, but it is outside-in, and not inside-out, in terms of what it actually feels like to be in that space.</strong>&#160; <br> <br> <strong>Bianca&#58;</strong> Yes. And I definitely want to be able to talk about the resistance and the triumphs and the celebrations, the ways in which organizations, youth workers and young people are able to navigate structures outside and inside of the programs. But I think it’s important to name those structures that can oppress and get in the way of the possible. We have to be able to name and understand them to be able to overcome them.<br>​<br><br></p>Bronwyn Bevan1002022-04-21T04:00:00ZExpert in afterschool programming ponders how we can better support youth workers and the young people they serve4/21/2022 3:01:25 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Creating a More Equitable—and Welcoming—Afterschool Ecosystem Expert in afterschool programming ponders how we can better 1262https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx

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