Instructional Considerations for the 2020-21 School Year

Authors: Student Achievement Partners , Council of the Great City Schools

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These resources support instructional planning and decision making for the 2020-21 school year by naming grade-specific instructional priorities in math and ELA/literacy and key considerations for addressing unfinished learning while attending to social emotional and academic development. 

This school year presents a unique set of opportunities and challenges due to the disruption to instruction in spring 2020, but it is critical that all students--including those with specialized learning needs--pursue grade-level academic content when they return to school. While many students will have incomplete prior-grade learning, extensive assessment and remediation at the expense of time spent on grade-level instruction will further jeopardize students’ academic growth. The two resources below reflect a consensus among education experts that the most equitable approach to instruction in 2020-21 is to address social emotional and academic development by strategically scaffolding grade-level content of high-leverage, priority topics. These complementary resources explain the rationale for this approach and describe how to focus on content in ways that support educators to address unfinished learning in the context of grade-level work.