3 Ways to Ensure Back to School Success

3 Ways to Ensure Back to School Success

Whether you’re new to Xello this year or returning, there’s a few things you’ll want to know if you’re looking to (re)launch future readiness activities in the 2021/22 school year.

Here we are, the beginning of another school year. It goes without saying that this past year was incredibly difficult for students, teachers, parents, and school leaders alike. In any year, back-to-school can be an anxious time for educators, but the lingering uncertainty makes it even more stressful. There are resources that provide valuable guidance on how to support and protect teachers and education support staff in the return to school, like the UNESCO’s toolkit for school leaders.
Schools’ college and career readiness programs experienced a wide range of impacts from the pandemic, from having to cut back to focus on core academics to increasing CCR activities. At the same time, there’s greater awareness of and emphasis on mental health and SEL as critical components of students’ well being and their preparedness for life after high school.
Student portfolio creation and the development of a self-paced curriculum were among the top newly implemented CCR activities according to The State of College and Career Readiness in K–12: 2021 Report.
With this year’s back-to-school not being back-to-normal, school leaders have the important responsibility of ensuring their educators feel ready to respond to the vast needs of their students as they return to the classroom, while still working towards key academic goals. Whether that’s through coordinating training, facilitating self-serve learning, sharing sample lessons, or collaborating with parents, preparing educators to reach their students is critical.
Here are 3 ways school leaders can start the year off successfully by supporting their educators with Xello.

1. Empower Educators with Tools That Help Them Develop and Enrich the Whole Student

A confident and motivated learner most often stems from strong self-awareness and sense of purpose. Equipping educators with classroom tools that encourage self-discovery and post-secondary exploration will help students connect the dots between school and their future. When students are more aware of an end goal, they are more likely to be more focused on their studies as they see the value in them.
Xello Activity: As students return from the summer, they may have new interests and skills they’ve developed. Have them update the “About Me” section where they left off, or complete it for the first time, in Xello. This can be a catalyst to spark a discussion on what they did over the summer and see how that can impact their career options. For older students, taking a look at how these updates impact their resume can be a way to identify gaps they need to address in their final years as they look to apply for higher education or enter the workforce.

2. Look for Ways to Expand the Student’s Support System

Developing future-ready students takes a village, and educators don’t have to carry the responsibility alone. Including parents, guardians, and community mentors throughout a child’s growth and development is the secret ingredient identified in the The State of College and Career Readiness in K–12: 2021 Report. Reinforcing the building blocks of career readiness, like SEL skill building and interest assessment, with others who come into contact with the student will help build confidence, preparedness, and self-awareness.
This year, Xello launched a Work-based Learning Module that allows students to connect with job opportunities in their community.
And Xello Family is now available to all schools that helps parents and guardians stay in the loop on their child’s future pathway.
Xello Activity: Help lighten the load of educators by engaging parents in Xello. Our Xello Family Night Kit has resources to help educators introduce Xello to families. You can also find more Xello Family support materials, like an introductory video, in Xello Support.

3. Facilitate Educator Adoption of CCR Software

Frontline educators are the gatekeepers of student engagement, but finding ways to easily get them up to speed on new software can be tricky when balancing all the other pressures of this year’s return to the classroom. Ignite educator curiosity with short Xello videos that encourage exploration at their own pace, while offering self-serve learning modules that delve deeper.

Empower early adopters of Xello by taking advantage of our newly revamped paid custom training offerings. These folks will be enabled to lead the charge in your district and serve as champions for software adoption, on a wider scale. If finding the time for in-service training poses too much of a challenge, there’s always the live and on-demand training sessions, found in the new Xello Support portal.
Xello Activity: Create a training plan to help you establish a calendar to get your educators up to speed for the 2021/22 school year. A training plan creates clarity with your district’s goals and priorities, it accounts for the needs of different educators, and keeps you on track with critical dates especially helpful if and when changes in staffing occur. Contact your Success Manager to discuss your start of year success and they can assist with recommendations based on your district’s training needs.

Looking Ahead

While the start of the school year can be daunting, overcoming pandemic learning gaps and turning them into opportunities will surely set districts and schools apart. The team at Xello is here to support you in achieving your future readiness goals and unlocking the potential in your their schools. To learn more, you can download our latest ebook: Close the Learning Gap: 3 Strategies for Your K–12 Students.