Tools for Programs & Networks to Engage in Conversations About School Reopening Plans
Afterschool programs are essential for meeting students' needs during the COVID-19 crisis and throughout recovery. As states release guidelines for the upcoming school year, principals and local leaders will drive decisions about how schools reopen and how they work with their afterschool partners. Collaboration between out-of-school time and in-school time is more important than ever.
Use the tools below and a simple 5-step plan to help ensure your afterschool programs are at the planning table and included in schools' reopening strategies.
This resource will help afterschool leaders and providers identify and communicate about specific ways programs can help as schools make plans to reopen.
5 Steps: Reaching out to School Leaders About Reopening
Identify the school districts, school board leaders and groups you will reach out to, including states superintendent, school board or community education council and school administrator associations. If statewide outreach is daunting, build a list of priority districts. Consider:
- High need and high poverty areas (map of high poverty counties)
- Districts where you have good working relationships with the district or afterschool programs in the area
- Districts that have a politically influential representative in Congress or the state legislature
- Bonus: aim to cover a variety of media markets in your state Identify any people or programs you can partner with to reach key groups on your target list.
Use these tools to contact the people and organizations you've identified. Share materials that show how afterschool can support schools for reopening and throughout the year. Request a meeting where feasible.
Afterschool networks, leaders and providers can help engage parents and ask them to contact their child's principal. State networks can also reach out to help coordinate and support programs in districts that have a politically influential representative in Congress or the state legislature.
build_circle Sample email from network to providers
build_circle Sample email from providers to families
State networks and leaders may consider using an open letter to gather signatures of partners, supportive schools and education leaders, programs, and other supporters across the state to share with school boards and superintendents.
State networks, leaders, programs and staff can use social media channels to promote the role of afterschool programs in reopening—and share tools that programs can use.
build_circle Sample posts and tweets