How to promote equity and inclusion in schools during COVID-19?

Idea TranslationsBest PracticesHow to promote equity and inclusion in schools during COVID-19?
schools covid19

If you belong to an educational organization, then you would know that on March 4th the civil rights arm of the U.S. Department of Education sent a letter to educators, urging schools to address the harassment of certain students amid ongoing concerns over the spread of the novel coronavirus.

There was an increasing number of reports regarding stereotyping, harassment and bullying directed at people from Asian minorities, including students.

In our mission to help overcome language barriers in education, Idea Translations believes it is essential to ensure that all students are able to learn in an environment that is healthy, safe and free from discrimination.

Below you will find guidelines to assist and support positive, inclusive and efficient learning environments:

  1. Reject any kind of intolerant speech and discourage others from engaging in such behavior. Call it out!
  2. Ensure equal access to programs and activities regardless of student native language.
  3. Know your students’ level of technology access and make sure you take this into consideration to choose the best platform to provide online courses and teacher-student interactions.
  4. Ensure access for students with disabilities; PDFs are generally easier to adapt to different devices.
  5. Take time to train teachers on how to use digital management systems and online learning strategies.
  6. Be flexible and open; this could mean reconsidering your syllabus. Remember not all students can engage in the same way during remote schooling. Think about alternative ways your students can show you what they have learned.
  7. Consider integrating culturally-relevant content, be identity-conscious.
  8. Hold supportive spaces, maybe a time in your class to talk about what everyone is going through.
  9. Be patient.

Be mindful of the different ways in which a crisis can impact communities, and how students from different identity groups may have different responses to a situation. And don’t forget to advocate for students in your community that may have other needs and fewer resources to rely on. If you feel students are struggling don’t get frustrated, just be proactive and supportive.

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