California Educator

August/September 2021

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Page 29 of 75

Let ' s Reimagine California ' s Schools Coalition proposes restarting and rebuilding schools with equity at the center CTA's Wellness Center Trauma associated with events of the past year and half runs deep. CTA has created a hub for your well-being and mental health — as an individual and in schools and classrooms. Check out for resources and tips, including links to our Mindful Mondays series. T H E P A N D E M I C and our nation's reckoning on racial jus- tice further exposed systemic inequities in our education system. The impact has been particularly devastating on students of color, students from low-income families, English learners, youth in foster care, students experiencing housing insecurity, students with disabilities, and other marginalized children and youth. Educators also experienced greater stress and burnout. The pandemic altered our understanding of how schools could and should operate as well. Now, as we return for a new school year and districts are poised to receive a major infusion of federal and state funding, we have an opportunity to make real change. We know we can't go back to "normal" because the pre-pandemic normal was not working for all students. Instead, we should build toward an education system that places equity at the center so that all students have the sup- port and opportunities they need to achieve their potential. CTA has joined a coalition of education and community groups that is reimagining California schools and districts with this goal. The whole-student approach includes cen- tering relationships, strengthening educators, advancing a robust curriculum and empowering school teams. Rebuilding and recovery must begin by nurturing students' and educators' social and emotional well-being to support academic progress. But it should go farther by reimagining the very systems in which students learn. This includes strengthening the foundation of our education system and all child- and family-facing systems to eradicate systemic racial and other inequities; to build trust between and among stu- dents, families, educators, administrators and leaders; and to strengthen systems for continuous improvement. Long-term systemic transformation can happen when our schools are restorative places — where students feel safe, known, supported and fully engaged in learning. A big idea proposed by the coalition is a bold move dis- tricts can make in the coming months: A Restorative Restart Every California district should take six weeks to offer students, families and educators a restorative restart. During this time, district and school leaders and staff should pri- oritize the five practices listed below and then continue to expand them year-round. Read more at 28 Feature

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