The unprecedented event of the 2019-2020 Coronavirus pandemic reached Arkansas on March 11, 2020. Governor Hutchinson and Arkansas' Secretary of Education Johnny Key immediately began to create a plan to serve school children across the state during this critical time. Being a state of educational excellence and believing that all students can learn at high levels, Secretary Key was committed to addressing the educational issues that this pandemic might create. On April 6th, Governor Hutchinson announced that Arkansas schools would not return to onsite instruction for the remainder of the school year. Secretary Key shared his vision for supporting schools as they plan for reengagement of learning after the pandemic.
A statewide guiding coalition was created to address the probable academic needs for core instruction in the fall of 2020 with a focus on essential learning of students at each grade level. Grade level collaborative teacher teams were recruited from practicing Professional Learning Communities across the state to create a "playbook" resource—designed by teachers, for teachers—to guide instructional planning for Arkansas schools. This playbook includes unit plans with activities, assessments, rubrics, interventions, extensions, and instructional videos aligned to Arkansas Academic Standards and essential learning outcomes, and may be utilized immediately by classroom teachers. This resource also serves as a team action planning template for teachers should they desire to create their own units. This playbook is intended to serve as a valuable structure to facilitate dialogue among collaborative teams as they plan to meet the needs of ALL Arkansas students. Contact information for all authors is included throughout the playbook in hopes educators across the state will join in and continue this student-focused collaborative work.
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