Families Are Key to Building Back Better: Unpacking Elements of Effective Engagement in Remote Learning

Tasked with planning and implementing remote learning for over 55 million children in the U.S. in the wake of COVID-19 school closures, districts and teachers relied heavily on families to support youth learning. SCRI discovered that remote summer programs using the BellXcel model were able to established supportive and consistent relationships between staff and families which empowered families to support their children’s learning. Staff integrated high-quality family engagement strategies throughout the program which included frequent communication and meaningful outreach to support participants.

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In Their Own Words, 2nd Edition: What Scholars Say about Social-Emotional Skill Development while Learning Remotely

SCRI conducted a mixed-methods analysis to learn about the scholar experience in a remote learning environment with the revised SEL focus and to see how scholars, in their own words, described their SE growth over the summer. The analysis revealed a wealth of insights about how BellXcel Remote’s SEL programming positively impacted scholars and showed how participation in BellXcel Remote led to improved relationships, increased confidence, strengthened growth mindset, improved self regulation and engagement, and better routines and schedules.

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Boosting Technology Confidence Through Summer Learning

SCRI uncovered an unexpected effect of participating in a summer program: Families, staff, and youth reported that participating in the 2020 BellXcel Remote summer program increased confidence in remote learning and technology, improving preparedness for potential shifts and uncertainties in the school year, and in some cases repairing negative perceptions of remote learning from the spring of 2020. This brief explores this theme and looks to uncover why the experience of BellXcel Remote resulted in these findings.

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Building Bridges During Challenging Times: How BellXcel Remote Summer Programs Kept Youth, Families and Staff Engaged in Learning During COVID-19

SCRI found evidence that BellXcel Remote did help to bridge the gap between a disrupted 2019-20 school year and the new 2020-21 school year and was able to engage youth in summer distance learning. Analysis of end-of-program stakeholder surveys demonstrates that the program kept scholars, families, and staff engaged in a myriad of academic, enrichment, and SEL activities.

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Quality Can’t Wait: Cultivating Continuous Improvement

Central to BellXcel’s approach to summer learning is its commitment to rapid-cycle continuous improvement because quality can’t wait. This brief presents SCRI’s review of BellXcel’s quality assessment process and its dedication to guiding partners through continuous quality improvement.

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Deepening Relationships and Developing Routines

More than ever before, young people need social-emotional supports to help them cope and thrive. This edition includes helpful research for practitioners and resources for families to deepen relationships this summer.

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