Professional Development

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Resources for Coordinating with Schools to Reopen

Monday, 06 July 2020 16:23

Many states are issuing guidance documents to help communities prepare to reopen schools in the fall. If you haven't done so already, reach out now to school administrators to ensure afterschool is not an afterthought. Here are some tips and tools to help you get started.

STEP ONE: Write to offer your help.
Start by reaching out to your school superintendent and principals, by email, formal letter, or both. If you know the administrator well, you could also call them using these sample letters as talking points. This sample email and letter make the case for including afterschool in discussions and planning around reopening schools and may be used as templates for this important communication.

STEP TWO: Follow up.
If you don't receive a response, follow up by phone. Leave a brief message if they are unavailable and continue to call every few days to express your interest in meeting with them and/or their planning group. Don't wait long for them to respond—most states have a quick turnaround time to submit their plans to their State Department of Education and it's much better to talk to them before the plans are submitted.

STEP THREE: Prepare to meet.
Think through your organization's priorities and capacity. What is most important to communicate to the planning committee or administrators? Make a list of what you offer to help with and what you would like from them. We all share the goal of safeguarding the health and safety of students and staff, but even some of the detailed decisions such as grouping students that attend the same afterschool program into the same class can make a huge difference in preventing exposure to the coronavirus. Share this graphic aligning school groupings with afterschool groupings, from the Connecticut Afterschool Network, to help administrators understand the importance of considering all parts of the day—including after school.

Courtesy of NAA.