Catapult Learning EduBlog

Tips for bridging learning gaps and achieving positive student outcomes

Actionable strategies and solutions designed to prepare administrators for a successful new school year As the 2022-2023 school year kicks off, the obstacles facing faculty, staff, and students remain significant. In fact, the upcoming school year might be the most challenging yet. Administrators continue facing pandemic-induced hurdles such as substantial numbers of students struggling academically, emotionally, and behaviorally. Additional concerns include significant teacher and other school-staff shortages, teacher and staff retention and wellness, and overall widened achievement gaps. Now is a critical time for school leaders to further examine these issues and determine the best ways to meet students and [...]

2022-08-29T11:26:25-04:00August 29th, 2022|

Remedies for Disproportionality: It’s Time for a Root Cause Analysis

By: Edward Fergus  As a significant portion of my career has been dedicated to identifying the root causes of disproportionality through extensive research and observation, it became imperative to create an analysis of these root causes that is accessible and impactful for educators at all levels. Through my research, I created the Disproportionality Root Cause Analysis. When working with schools, a paramount question I consistently ask about the type and frequency of prior analysis on equity concerns is, “Has your school or district conducted a root cause analysis in the last two to three years?” The answers to this question [...]

2022-08-08T10:18:31-04:00August 2nd, 2022|

Interrupting Bias-Based Beliefs to Achieve Equity

By: Edward Fergus There are inherent challenges in creating a universal message of equity, particularly in an academic environment. Doing so requires leaders who are comfortable listening to others’ perspectives, considering those perspectives, and then making an equitable decision. Developing a universal message of equity is important – but it’s seldom that simple. In this article, we’ll look at some bias-based beliefs that are hurdles in the pursuit of equity as well as ways to interrupt those beliefs using a positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS) framework that can help clear the way toward equity. How Bias-Based Beliefs Impact Equity [...]

2022-05-18T11:16:26-04:00May 18th, 2022|

Deficit-Thinking in Classrooms – and Four Steps to Interrupt It

By: Edward Fergus  Deficit-thinking, a common bias-based belief in the education field, is rooted in an ideology that explains academic performance by blaming individuals or groups for the conditions they find themselves experiencing. This type of thinking promotes the idea of cultural deficits in groups and discounts the presence of systemic inequalities that result from race-based processes, practices, and policies. Examples of Deficit-Thinking in the Classroom An unfortunate, yet common, example of deficit-thinking in today’s classrooms concerns low-income and racial/ethnic minority students. The effects can be devastating to these students because those on the receiving end of deficit-thinking beliefs are [...]

2022-04-20T09:51:06-04:00April 18th, 2022|

Three Ways to Mitigate Special Education Disproportionality

By: Dr. Edward Fergus Disproportionality within special education is not a recent trend. In fact, it was first identified and acknowledged in special education literature in 19681 and has increased in acknowledgement in the decades since. A report from the U.S. Department of Education in 2010 found that Black students were twice as likely to be identified with emotional disabilities and 2.7 times more likely to be identified as cognitively impaired than their white peers nationally. Similarly, Native American students were nearly twice as likely to be identified with specific learning disabilities and 60% more likely to be identified as [...]

2022-03-15T15:35:56-04:00March 15th, 2022|

How to Address Summer Learning Loss

Summer learning loss, also known as summer slide, has been a point of discussion and concern in K12 education for decades. While some experts claim that summer learning loss is a myth, assessment data and other evidence show otherwise. COVID-19 school closures and prolonged virtual learning have disrupted learning for millions of K12 students, leading to unfinished learning and, for many, increased academic, social, and emotional gaps. As we prepare for this summer, students face an unprecedented academic, social, emotional, and mental health crisis…so it’s important to ask: How can summer programming close academic gaps and improve students’ social skills [...]

2022-02-02T09:47:33-05:00January 27th, 2022|

What Makes an Effective Teacher Professional Development Program?

The world of education has undergone a sea change over the past 18 months. COVID-19 clearly illustrated why effective teacher professional development (PD) is so critical to the success of not only students but entire schools. When PD is done correctly and effectively, it’s an invaluable tool for educators. It keeps teachers in the classroom. Attracting and retaining skilled teachers is one of the most challenging area educators face in building and sustaining a thriving school environment.1 According to one study, one-third of teachers leave the profession within three years, and half of teachers leave within five years. Research consistently shows [...]

2022-01-05T13:23:13-05:00December 20th, 2021|

How Schools Can Responsibly Spend EANS Funding

EANS funding can be a difference-maker when you allocate those funds toward resources that allow your schools to accelerate their students’ learning, make up lost learning time that resulted from COVID-19, and address social-emotional learning. Before we get into some of the most impactful ways to spend your EANS dollars, here’s a brief overview of EANS funding. What Is EANS? The EANS (Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools) program is broken into two allocations: EANS I is $2.75 billion allocated to non-public elementary and secondary schools as part of the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER II) fund under the Coronavirus Response [...]

2021-10-29T16:55:33-04:00October 27th, 2021|

Accelerated Learning: Focusing on the Foundations That Propel Growth

COVID-19 forced all of us to adapt how we taught and how our students learned during the 2019-20, 2020-21, and even the current 2021-22 school year. And while remote/virtual/distance learning helped to fill a gaping void in students’ academic lives, the effect that the disruption of being in and out of school had on academic progress for many students is staggering. It’s crucial that educators take swift and decisive action to reinforce academic foundations and support social-emotional well-being to accelerate learning to propel growth. Accelerated learning models provide intense and intentional support in 1-to-1 or small-group tutoring settings to reinforce [...]

2021-10-29T16:26:42-04:00September 29th, 2021|

Educator’s Guide to EANS Funding

Whenever federal funding is made available to schools, questions inevitably follow. Our Educator’s Guide to Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools (EANS) Funding helps clarify the many rules and regulations involved with this type of funding, and provides answers to the questions you may have. As an educator, you’ll need to know all there is to know about EANS funds, such as: What is EANS and why should I apply for it? How do I know if my school is eligible for EANS funding? How do I apply for EANS funding? How do I access the funds, and how can I [...]

2022-08-12T11:10:01-04:00September 23rd, 2021|
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