|This month SCRI celebrates its one-year anniversary. In many ways, launching at the start of the pandemic accelerated the importance and value of our work. The education and youth development fields faced unprecedented challenges that required a nimble response.
SCRI’s mission to turn evidence into action propelled us to lean in on our practical expertise, consulting, coaching, research, and evaluation capabilities to support and amplify our partners’ efforts to meet these important challenges. Here are a few highlights of the year:
Shared Knowledge and Insights
We published numerous reports, research briefs, and expert interviews to help our stakeholders understand and navigate the pandemic, and apply lessons learned in real time. You will find a wealth of information and insights in our document library.
Strengthened Remote Learning
As the research affiliate of BellXcel, we utilized its large reach and capacity for remote learning to ask key questions to inform the field. This work led to a greater understanding of how best to engage students and adults in remote learning, boost technology confidence, and assess the quality of remote learning using a new reflection tool.
Built Educators’ Skills
Educators have risen to the occasion and taken on so much this year. We are proud to share Rand’s first-of-its-kind study of teacher professional learning opportunities in the summer, conducted in partnership with BellXcel. The study revealed how powerful summer can be for teacher development if the right conditions are in place. We interviewed the study authors to distill additional insights to inform practice.
Preparing for 2021
Our coaching and consulting took on new meaning, as we helped our clients pivot and adjust. We supported organizations like Roca in launching a coaching and PD institute, districts in Texas as they plan to launch summer learning programs this year (more to come on this!), and communities — including Tulsa and many across the Hawaiian islands — as they developed strategies to strengthen learning opportunities for young people.
The work, and the field building, continues. Last year SCRI published In Their Own Words: What Scholars Say about Social-Emotional Skill Development in Summer, sharing scholar reflections on things like growth mindset, self-awareness, and self-regulation. Now, one year later, we are releasing In Their Own Words 2nd Edition: What Scholars Say about Social-Emotional Skill Development while Learning Remotely. Learn from scholars how an intentional focus on SEL led to improved relationships, increased confidence, and strong growth mindsets at a time when social and emotional resilience was challenged.
Finally, we’re thrilled to be celebrating another important milestone — the billions of dollars in support for afterschool and summer learning funded by the passage of the American Rescue Plan by Congress. In total, the bill could make $21.9 billion available at the local level and $8.45 billion available at the state level for afterschool and summer learning. This sizable funding has the potential to support millions of scholars in need across the country and boost academic, social, and emotional growth at a critical time.
Thank you for being part of our first year and for your support of young people and families. We are so proud to be part of this dynamic community and look forward to the exciting opportunities to come.