Three tips from the Turnaround for Children Toolbox to welcome students back with rich opportunities for connection and agency.

Turnaround for Children: Learning Is Integrated
Turnaround for Children: Learning Is Integrated

After a year of extraordinary disruptions to nearly every aspect of our daily lives, signs of new ways forward are emerging this spring.

Districts across the nation are navigating the return to in-person learning and making a commitment to rebuild in new ways. With this shifting context, parents, teachers and leaders are asking important questions: How can we ensure a safe return to school? What will it take to address the unevenness of learning opportunities that have occurred over the past year? How can we use this moment as an unprecedented opportunity to redesign schools for equity?

The pandemic has…


Listen to the episode on Turnaround for Children’s website. Also available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Podbean.

In our previous episode, we heard from Christina Theokas of Turnaround for Children about how their Well-Being Index was designed and is meant to work. In this episode, we get to hear details from the field about how it works in action.

P.S. 340 is a K-5 school in the Bronx, NY. Frankly, it’s one of those incredible schools that goes well beyond reading, writing and arithmetic to help students learn and grow.

P.S. 340’s mission, stated clearly on its website, is…


Christina Theokas on The 180 Podcast.
Christina Theokas on The 180 Podcast.

Listen to the episode on Turnaround for Children’s website. Also available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Podbean.

How do teachers know how their students are doing? Grades? Grades measure how much students have learned. Attendance? Attendance measures whether they show up.

But as the science of learning and development shows, how well children learn depends on how well and how safe they feel. So it’s important for educators to have a true picture of the whole child.

And, of course, the urgency and challenge to understanding how children are doing has only increased during the pandemic.

That’s why Turnaround…


By Elizabeth Miller and Becky Myers

At Turnaround for Children, we begin our partnerships with educators reflecting on our origin stories. We ask, what are the events and experiences that shaped your career path into education? What compelled you to embark on this journey? We hear a diverse set of stories in response: a memorable teacher, an inspiring class, a calling to fill a gap felt in their own educational journey.

Turnaround was founded in the wake of the September 11th attacks to understand and support educators whose students have experienced trauma. Since then, we have worked closely with educators…


Listen to the episode on Turnaround for Children’s website. Also available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Podbean.

When it comes to learning and thriving during the pandemic, many students have faced one obstacle after another — including lack of access to high-speed internet and devices, disconnection from teachers and friends, and the cancellation of sports, clubs and church choirs. But where many people see obstacles, Hal Smith sees opportunity.

Smith is Senior Vice President of Education, Youth Development & Health for the National Urban League and leads the organization’s programmatic, advocacy, policy and research work in those areas. …


Turnaround for Children’s The 180 Podcast with John King
Turnaround for Children’s The 180 Podcast with John King

Listen to the episode on Turnaround for Children’s website. Also available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Podbean.

Education is among the highest stated priorities right out of the gate for the new administration. Besides the obvious–getting students and teachers back to school safely and quickly–major challenges remain around what some call “unfinished learning” and others call “learning loss.” …


You Can’t Separate Character from Student Success, with Ron Berger & Laina Cox (Part 2)

Listen to the episode on Turnaround for Children’s website. Also available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Podbean.

Today we continue our conversation with Ron Berger and Laina Cox.

Ron is Chief Academic Officer for EL Education, which guides a network of over 150 public schools in more than 30 states — helping build schools in low-income communities that send all graduates to college through high student achievement, character and citizenship, while also building teacher capacity through professional coaching, resources and open-source curriculum.

Laina is one of those educators and administrators who bring EL’s vision to life, as Principal at…


When the Building is Closed but School is Open, with Ron Berger & Laina Cox (Part 1)

Listen to the episode on Turnaround for Children’s website. Also available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Podbean.

As schools try to determine how best to help students, the challenges, it seems, are everywhere: health, safety, technology, food security, personal growth, and, of course, learning. Which is what makes learning about EL Education’s approach so useful.

EL Education guides a network of over 150 public schools in more than 30 states — helping build schools in low-income communities that send all graduates to college through high student achievement, character and citizenship, while also building teacher capacity through professional coaching, resources…


Margaret Beale Spencer: Unstacking The Deck — A Call for Candid Self-Interrogation About Identity and Racism (Part 2)

Listen to the episode on Turnaround for Children’s website. Also available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Podbean.

In this episode, we continue our conversation with Margaret Beale Spencer, the Marshall Field IV Professor of Urban Education at the University of Chicago.

In Part 1, Prof. Spencer explained — in powerful narrative — her own history and how her personal path led to the topics central to her life’s work: identity, resiliency and competency building within a racially, ethnically and economically diverse society.

Today, we dive deeper into Dr. Spencer’s scientific research on human development and ask her for guidance…


Margaret Beale Spencer: Where Resilience Comes From (Part 1)

Listen to the episode on Turnaround for Children’s website. Also available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Podbean.

As the new school year begins in the substantial shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, our students face challenges that go beyond making friends and making up for lost time in the classroom — beyond virtual Zoom teaching and hybrid learning.

After a summer of protests against systemic racism and police brutality, amid calls for a racial reckoning, many students, parents, and educators are engaging in conversations about race, equality and opportunity, and they may even find themselves discussing what makes some people…

Turnaround for Children

Turnaround connects the dots between science, adversity and school performance to catalyze student development and academic achievement. www.turnaroundusa.org

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