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.

What Afterschool Can Offer for Various 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.

build_circlePartnering with Schools to Reopen and Meet Students' Needs

A table that describes how afterschool programs can help meet kids' needs for different strategies schools are using to reopen. This includes messages you can use to make the case for involving afterschool leaders in discussions about protocols and schedules that are being developed for instruction, transportation and safety procedures in the coming school year.

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.

build_circle Sample email and letter from a network or provider to superintendent or school board

Customize this template email and letter and send to school leaders, asking to be part of their school's reopening planning discussions. Send this letter with the handout.

 

build_circle Afterschool and Summer Learning Programs Are Essential for Recovery

A handout you can share with school leaders to help you show why afterschool programs are critical to recovery, what support programs need to do their work, and how different stakeholders can help.

 

build_circle Sample one pager about how afterschool can support different reopening scenarios

Customize and share this one-pager with school leaders. This explains how afterschool programs can support students and families, and what they can offer for various reopening strategies.

 

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

A template email afterschool networks and leaders can send to programs in their state requesting that they engage parents and contact school leaders about partnering with afterschool.

 

build_circle Sample email from providers to families

A template email afterschool providers can send to families requesting that they email their child's principal about including afterschool in reopening plans. The email includes a sample letter from parent to principal in both English and Spanish.

 

build_circle NAFSCE Recommendations

For additional ideas on how to engage parents in the reopening process, take a look at these ideas from the National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement.

 

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.

build_circle Sample sign on letter for afterschool networks and leaders

A template sign on letter that describes the critical resources afterschool programs can provide and urges school officials to partner with afterschool programs. Use it to gather names and email addresses; share it with school officials to demonstrate the demand for afterschool.

 

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

To get back to school in 2020, student's will need every option on the table. Afterschool programs are ready to partner with schools where they're needed most. Thisisafterschool.org (or link to a place on your website that provides information on how afterschool are operating or how the person can be supportive)
Back to school comes with a lot of uncertainty. One thing we can all agree on: Kids need more support. Let's involve afterschool programs in recovery plans. Thisisafterschool.org (or link to a place on your website that provides information on how afterschool are operating or how the person can be supportive)
Back to school 2020: Schools are worried. Parents are worried. Afterschool programs can help. Thisisafterschool.org (or link to a place on your website that provides information on how afterschool are operating or how the person can be supportive)
Back to school planning seems nearly impossible – for schools, for parents, for employers. Afterschool programs can help. Thisisafterschool.org (or link to a place on your website that provides information on how afterschool are operating or how the person can be supportive)
When kids go back to school in 2020, they'll need more than a plan. Afterschool programs can help students, schools, and families get back on track. Thisisafterschool.org (or link to a place on your website that provides information on how afterschool are operating or how the person can be supportive)

build_circleGraphics

A collection of graphics that can be shared on Facebook and Twitter. Click on a graphic to download.