It’s that time of year again, and while the back-to-school bells are echoing through hallways, your brand should be responding to support educators. But it’s no secret that schools need to operate differently than they did even five years ago, so the way that administrators and teachers are connected with the tools they need to succeed in the classroom. So let’s take a closer look at what changes have occurred across the nation and how your brand should support this back-to-school season.
Education in the 2022/23 school year
Two years ago, many industries experienced a severe shift in how they operated due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Education was no different. Now, in the fall of 2022, some things have returned to relatively standard, but the ripple effect of the pandemic will be felt for a long time to come. In addition, there are political and economic shifts that impact students and their teachers as well. Indeed, Education is constantly responding to outside events, and this year is no exception.
The continued impact of COVID-19
While many schools are back in session, as usual, do not let this trick your brand into thinking that COVID-19 has gone away or that its impacts are also gone. Quite the contrary, many school districts have implemented new policies due to the pandemic, such as contact tracing for the virus, proper ventilation, and sanitation, as recommended by the CDC. In addition, school districts prefer different methods of communication.
CARES Act Emergency Relief
First initiated in 2020, the CARES Act Emergency Relief for Elementary and Secondary schools has been extended until December 2022. This means that schools have additional funding to spend on the tools and equipment they need to make students and teachers successful. Agile Education is aware of the requirements that schools have and the limitations of the CARES Act.
Teachers and administrators are tired of hearing the terms “learning loss” and “learning gaps,” but the pandemic seriously hindered students’ progress across the nation. Now, many educators are trying to play catch up as new students enter their classrooms without some of the robust academic growth that they need to proceed through the education system.
Brookings Institute reports that “math test scores in grades 3-8 were 0.20-0.27 standard deviations lower relative to same-grade peers in fall 2019 while reading test scores were 0.09-0.18 SDs lower.” Students in areas with a higher level of poverty saw an even worse gap in their math and reading scores. The current school year will have leaders dealing with the shock of the aftermath of the pandemic.
Educator shortages across the nation
Before going into a school district to pitch a tool, be aware that a national teacher shortage is impacting the education system significantly. The 2022/23 school year is dealing with staffing gaps of potentially thousands.
“I have never seen it this bad. Right now, it’s number one on the list of issues concerning school districts; necessity is the mother of invention, and hard-pressed districts are going to have to come up with some solutions,” Dan Domenech, executive director of the School Superintendents Association, told the Washington Post.
Solutions range from increasing classroom size or hiring emergency teachers who are less qualified than average educators. This can impact the quality of learning in classrooms, and some educators may not know how to use particular tools that are available. On the other hand, overstuffed classrooms will need as much assistance from effective tools as possible. These are essential considerations to keep in mind when your brand is supporting educators.
The labor market in Education has always been slightly rocky, according to education secretary Miguel Cardona, but retention has been even worse during the past few years. One of the main reasons this has been happening is the lack of competitive salaries among the majority of educators. Going into a school district with this information can help your brand succeed in supporting the needs of teachers and students.
As your brand ventures into school districts, it can help to have an expert on your side. This is where Agile Education comes into play, with our wide range of solutions and resources that can make all the difference. From market intelligence to data services, we are here to support our clients in finding success. To learn more, reach out to Agile Education today.