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Bulletin Board: Support

Principal, January/February 2021. Volume 100, Number 3.

Support In-Person Learning With Lysol Welcome Back Packs

Now more than ever, it’s important to teach children healthy habits and make sure they practice these habits in the classroom and at home. To help promote safe in-person learning and ensure that schools have the resources to make it happen, Lysol has partnered with the CDC Foundation to create Welcome Back Packs as part of Lysol’s HERE for Healthy Schools initiative.

Welcome Back Packs are available for educators nationwide to download and print. They include educational resources such as informative posters, fun activities, useful sticker templates, and engaging lesson plans that encourage healthy habits such as hand-washing, social distancing, and wearing masks. The Kids in Need Foundation is also helping distribute physical packs to selected Title I schools across the country.

In addition to Welcome Back Packs, parents, teachers, and administrators can find more resources on hand-washing, germ transmission, and other valuable lessons to share with children through the Lysol Healthy Habits Program. Practicing healthy habits can help ensure that children are present in the classroom, whether in-person or virtual, for all of the learning magic.

Lysol and NAESP encourage schools to take the necessary precautions for a safe school year. Use Welcome Back Packs at your school to ensure that extra health and safety measures are taken. For more information on Lysol HERE for Healthy Schools and Welcome Back Packs, please visit Lysol.com/Here.

3 Strategies to Improve Family Engagement

NAESP has partnered with Learning Heroes and National PTA to create “A Principal’s Guide to Leading in the Time of a Pandemic: Effective Family Engagement Strategies and Resources.” The guide highlights three ways for school leaders to help teachers improve family engagement during digital learning—and beyond:

1. Strengthen relationships: Encourage and help teachers make a positive, personal connection with every parent/guardian—especially during the pandemic. Some ways to do this are through welcoming phone calls, virtual meet-and-greets, and virtual town halls.

2. Share information about learning: Once families feel comfortable with the school and their child’s teachers, it is important to share information about how students are performing. Making this information available as early in the year as possible gives families more time to support their child’s learning at home. 

3. Help parents use learning resources: Student academic performance improves when parents take action at home to aid their child’s learning. To support parent action, teachers can suggest which resources to use at home and help them know how to use the resources effectively. Ways to do this are by clearly communicating up to three things you want families to do, hosting a parent academy to teach families how to use the resources you provide, and establishing virtual family support groups.

As a result of school closures in spring 2020 and continued digital or hybrid learning, many students have struggled to find their footing in grade-level work. School leaders, teachers, and parents need a shared understanding of where students are academically so they can work together to ensure that students stay on track.

Read the whole report at bit.ly/3khf3Cq.

Honor Student Achievements

Through a longstanding partnership with NAESP and the U.S. Department of Education, schools have looked to the President’s Education Award Program (PEAP) to recognize their students for achieving high academic goals. There are two awards available:

President’s Award for Educational Excellence: This award recognizes academic success in the classroom. To be eligible, students must meet grade point average or school-set criteria, plus a choice of state tests or teacher recommendations.

President’s Award for Educational Achievement: This award recognizes students who show outstanding educational growth, improvement, commitment, or intellectual development in their academic subjects but do not meet the criteria for the President’s Award for Educational Excellence. Its purpose is to encourage and reward students who give their best effort, often in the face of special obstacles.

PEAP opens for ordering in February, with a variety of items—free certificates, pins, graduation cords, and more—to help you honor students’ achievements. Learn more and find full eligibility requirements at naesp.org/PEAP.

Public Schools Week

Every February, NAESP—along with the Learning First Alliance—recognizes public school faculty and staff who prioritize their students by keeping them safe, learning, and growing.

Join us Feb. 22–26 as we focus our efforts on effectively communicating the importance of public education to lawmakers, businesses, and community members, as schools nationwide are facing their biggest challenge yet: balancing the competing needs involved in educating our children.

Schools have always been a safe haven for all students, a shelter for our most disadvantaged students, and a place for nurture, love, and learning. Educators cannot predict what the future will hold, but they remain committed to learning and growing. Together, they are rising to overcome challenges alongside their school families and communities, and they will continue to ensure that every child—regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, income, family background, or ability—is cared for as if he or she were their own.

Learn more at PublicSchoolProud.org and use #PublicSchoolProud on social media to add your voice to the conversation.


Copyright © National Association of Elementary School Principals. No part of the articles in NAESP magazines, newsletters, or website may be reproduced in any medium without the permission of the National Association of Elementary School Principals. For more information, view NAESP's reprint policy.

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