There are clear impacts from the reduction in SIA funding and from the direct efforts to respond to COVID-19. It is important for a school district’s community, including focal student groups, families, and educators, to understand about SIA implementation efforts during the 2020-21 school year and the positive impacts that have occurred. ODE has instructed school districts to place the following questions and answers on their websites in order to provide this information.
ODE: How was NSSD able to make progress towards the goals and outcomes you were aiming at with SIA funding and processes during the 2020-2021 school year?
NSSD: There were two significant activities that continued this work in meeting these challenges. First, having access to reliable internet was a huge challenge for many of our families and funding in SIA met those needs. Secondly, moving our Equity work forward with The Equity Collaborative was important and taking this time to progress thoughtfully will benefit our underserved populations in the future.
ODE: What barriers, impediments, or challenges to SIA implementation has NSSD faced or identified that are helpful for the community and/or state leaders to be aware of?
NSSD: Finding highly qualified applicants.
ODE: SIA implementation includes ongoing engagement with focal students, the families of focal students, and educators. What successes and challenges, if any, has NSSD experienced in maintaining engagement?
NSSD: The Equity Group experienced challenges meeting with focal group populations via Zoom. They discovered that utilizing this platform made it difficult to gather the information they typically receive. Students were more reluctant to participate and reading facial cues was difficult with masks on. Conversely, The Equity Group had huge success connecting with our staff and families.
ODE: Please share your professional assessment of what guided NSSD choices and prioritization efforts in the first year of SIA implementation? What stands out? Anything important or surprising to report back or reflect on? How were key decisions on scaled down implementation made? What impacts, if any, are helpful to name in how NSSD navigated through the last year, specifically as it relates to SIA implementation?
NSSD: In preparing the SIA budget, we asked our SIA team to work with their building to prioritize activities after viewing stakeholder input. Based on this work, it was easy to select activities to implement with reduction in funding or when other factors influenced implementation. It was difficult for students to connect with the social-emotional support provided through the school setting.