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News and Opinion Apr 29, 2020

Turnaround for Children’s New Three Rs In Getting Smart

Brooklyn Laborotary Charter School. Photo cred: Getting Smart.

A blog post by Tom Vander Ark and Eric Tucker for Getting Smart, “How to Reopen Schools: A 10-Point Plan Putting Equity at the Center“, cites Turnaround’s focus on relationships, routines and resilience (The Three Rs) as a key element of how schools can plan to create a new normal upon re-entry that prioritizes the diverse needs of all learners, including those who have experienced trauma.

In the article, Vander Ark and Tucker outline a 10-point plan to help educators reimagine and strengthen systems. Noting that the first week of school may be optimal time to “reconnect with students, rebuild culture, and reassess academic and social and emotional growth,” the writers explain why it is important for educators to focus on relationships, routines and resilience:

Some students may have experienced trauma over the previous six months, and staff and community partners will need to be ready to support those learners. Turnaround for Children recommends rebuilding relationships, resilience, and routines. On re-entry, they recommend focusing on physical, emotional, and identity safety, and empowering students to design and use routine planners. They urge schools to co-create norms and routines and provide tiered support systems at all levels.

The authors note that with innovative and equitable re-entry approaches, schools can design new solutions that better meet the needs of all learners.