Healthy relationships form the foundation of a strong school community, lead to academic success, and promote equity and inclusion. With both students and staff still feeling the effects of living and learning through COVID-19 and trying to navigate a “new normal,” the need to rebuild relationships and foster new ones is vital. Now more than ever, educational leaders must level up their efforts to create the space, skills, and buy-in to address this challenge. This means ensuring that teachers, staff, and administrators have appropriate training and protected time to foster positive relationships to form stronger school communities.
- Use culturally responsive practices for engaging all members of the school community in relationship building.
- Provide resources and communication to students and families in the languages they speak fluently, making sure to accommodate their access to technology and different learning and communication styles.
- Consider how differences in power and privilege (e.g., between administrators and staff, among students from different backgrounds) can impact relationships and develop strategies to avoid reinforcing barriers.
- Prioritize meeting the needs of Black, Latinx and students with lower incomes as they have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and remote learning.