Community Partnerships: Back in School Together


Albany, NY (October 28, 2021) – No one knew quite what back to school was going to bring this year, but creativity and imagination are at the forefront of current practices.  Amidst staffing shortages for school buses and in P-12 buildings, and increasing mental health concerns, teachers, staff, and school leaders are putting in extra time and effort to ensure that our kids have a safe, comfortable, and productive learning year.  

School of Education faculty researchers, staff, students, and alumni have a long history of commitment to creating a supportive community for all educators.  Faced with additional issues brought about by the enduring pandemic, programming through AATLAS, CDWP, CASDA, NYKids and SPELE, are just some of the ways to keep the research and practice connected.  With communication and collaboration, we can continue to address and learn from the multitude of challenges.  As collegial partners, we build and nurture this educational community together.

The Academy for the Advancement of Teachers, Leaders and Schools (AATLAS) continues to offer edTrends conversations on a variety of themes, most recently including Back to School But Not Back to Normal, Hyflex Learning, and Preserving What Matters Most in Literacy Intervention Online.  There are also opportunities to spend time focusing more deeply on one topic like the Assistive Technology for Special Education Series and Building a Trauma-Informed, Compassionate Classroom Series. Visit the edTrends video library or explore AATLAS offerings.

Capital District Writing Project (CDWP) makes space for teachers to breathe, to write, and to share.  Last month, Dreaming and Writing Our Way into Possibility: Conspiring for Change provided protected writing time for participants to imagine a writing classroom where they envision young people as co-conspirators for social justice.  This event introduced a new public engagement project called Freedom Dreaming for Educational Justice. Next month, there is another event on November 6 titled Writing with Urgency and Wonder: Strategies to Support Student-led Inquiry Through Writing.  To see all upcoming and past events, visit

CASDA hosts an assortment of events and conversations throughout the year including a new series of free, hour-long sessions, What's On Our Minds?: A Free Monthly Virtual Series, which includes topics such as Equity-Centered Trauma-Informed Education, Teacher/Student Learning Partnerships, and The School as a Community Institution. CASDA also holds specialized roundtables for school counselors, principals, athletic directors, and IT professionals as well as series like Improving Student Attendance Series: Re-engaging students in a Post-COVID World. To learn about all CASDA’s offerings, visit  

The NYKids blog addresses a range of important topics and makes connections to their own research.  Some recent topics have included Leaders’ Communications in Times of Crisis, Parent, Family and Community Engagement, Weakened Collaboration Among Educators During Pandemic, Focusing on School Bus Drivers and Pandemic Children in School for the First Time.  Access the NYKids blog here.

Safe, Prepared and Effective Learning Environments (SPELE) held its 3rd annual summer summit with a focus this year on mental health and education.  A panel of experts representing all age levels talked through how to support students, staff, and ourselves in the individual ways we all need.

Our many Master’s programs in areas such as Early Childhood, Childhood, Literacy, Special Education, Mental Health Counseling, Secondary Education, continue to incorporate instructional components to support early career educators in areas such as remote learning, instructional support around learning gaps for students, and high quality student teaching and internships in local school and community settings.  We appreciate these opportunities to collaborate with local schools as we prepare the next generation of educators.