Ensuring Equitable Instruction

Ensure equitable learning environments for all students by assessing district and schoolwide systems and structures, approaches to teaching and learning, and community partnerships and supports, using an equity framework such as the BELE Framework

Class of 2022 

  • Ensuring the Class of 2022 is on track to graduate is an important priority.  Districts should review the status of each senior as soon as possible to determine progress towards meeting district graduation requirements.  Successful transitions programs along with intentional planning for the Class of 2022 will ensure students achieve their postsecondary goals.
    • Set an ambitious goal to maximize the percentage of the Class of 2022 that enrolls in a strong postsecondary pathway by Labor Day.  
    • Articulate clear priorities for all faculty members and district/school leaders, who are working with 12th graders, to create the conditions to achieve the targets.
    • Coordinate and collaborate with administrators of local two and four-year colleges to ensure alignment.
    • Create a district or school-level team and designate a person who ultimately is responsible for reaching the set goals. The PRT should include:
      • Anyone who must agree with the recommendations of the leader (e.g. a lead counselor or a budget director)
      • Key stakeholders who can offer unique insights and input (e.g. an educator or head of PTO)
      • Leaders who are critical to moving the work forward (e.g. the leader who owns district or school data systems)
    • Organize a case management team that is responsible for working directly with the Class of 2022 and local college admissions officers to:
      • Determine which data matters most. 
      • Train case managers to initiate new advising relationships.
      • Conduct the first wave of student outreach.
      • Analyze data and articulate priorities to understand, from both the student perspective and the case manager perspective, the projected enrollment rate and the EPSC rate based on institutional outcomes.
      • Identify a manageable list of priority risks that could diminish postsecondary enrollment and affect large percentages of the student population.
  • Considerations for Postsecondary and Career Readiness 
    • Quality transitions programs offer focused support to mitigate transition challenges through high school graduation and into placement to postsecondary. This includes preparing students to search for emerging opportunities, explore non-traditional postsecondary options, and understand current labor market expectations. 
    • Focusing on career readiness skills and how to be flexible in these new environments while navigating college and career goals will always be beneficial. Though time may be limited now, be mindful of these goals and resources for improved transitions programming in your school district in the future. Career & Technical Education (CTE) specifically prepares students for career transitions. The following resources are offered to help support local districts in implementing high quality CTE and transition programming:

Addressing the Needs of Historically Marginalized Students 

  • Evaluate the quality and quantity of services provided to English Learners and Students with Disabilities to determine where additional resources and services are needed (e.g. counselors, occupational, physical, and/or speech and language therapists).
  • Provide guidelines and resources to schools to ensure accommodations and/or modifications are made for students whose families choose remote learning for their student in the 2021-2022 school year. 
  • Help schools and teachers make clear decisions about promotion and support conversations with parents about students’ progress and options.
  • Support teachers in understanding and implementing culturally relevant pedagogy and materials that meet the needs of racially and ethnically diverse learners.

Students with Disabilities 

While diagnosing Unfinished Teaching and Learning for all students should be the priority, students with disabilities have been disproportionately affected by school closure and/or remote delivery of instruction.  The temptation for many will be to pull students out of classrooms to provide enhanced support and remedial coursework.  Now, more than ever, it is essential to ensure that each and every student has equitable access to engaging, grade-level content and instructional rigor.  

  • One way to make grade-level content accessible for all students is through the use of the Universal Design for Learning (UDL).  For more information on UDL see The CAST website where the UDL Guidelines are outlined. .  
  • Consider specific supports for students with disabilities. Information from our 2020-21 considerations are still relevant and can be found here: Learning Guidance for Students with Disabilities 
  • All students but specifically, students with disabilities will also have a higher need for social-emotional learning (SEL) and recovery. The NeMTSS Summer SEL Webinar Series focuses on SEL from an adult perspective and informs participants of best practices that improve school culture, teacher efficacy, and student outcomes.
    • The five webinars cover five interdependent topic areas, which are adapted from the NeMTSS SEL Systems Development training offered by the NeMTSS team and serve as compliments to the core SEL training provided by NeMTSS. 
    • Educators of all types are encouraged to participate in this series to grow in their SEL competency and practice.
  • Utilize the Individualized Education Program (IEP) as your guide. To address the unfinished learning of students with disabilities, IEP teams should:
    • Continue to use the high-quality instructional materials with embedded supports, leveraging the Nebraska Essential Instructional Content for 2020-2021: ELA/Literacy and Mathematics, while providing additional supports based on the student’s IEP and individual needs.
    • Revisit each student’s IEP to identify students with disabilities who need additional instruction and services as a result of lost skills and learning during the shift to remote learning. If a child did not receive services during a closure or remote learning, a child’s IEP team (or appropriate personnel under Section 504) must make an individualized determination whether and to what extent compensatory services may be needed, consistent with applicable requirements, including to make up for any skills that may have been lost. These determinations are made by IEP teams.
    • Ensure additional instruction and services, as a result of IEP team reviews, are connected to high-quality curriculum and IEP goals, as appropriate for each individual student.
    • Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities
      • In addition to the steps for IEP teams noted above, teachers supporting students with significant cognitive disabilities should also:
      • Look at what was considered accessible to the individual student during remote instruction as access does not equal educational opportunities.  
      • Identify students who need accelerated supports and services as it was not available in the way that met the students needs during remote learning.