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IES Grant

Title: PreK–12 RESTART Network Lead (Research on Education Strategies to Advance Recovery and Turnaround)
Center: NCER Year: 2022
Principal Investigator: Therriault, Susan Awardee: American Institutes for Research (AIR)
Program: Prekindergarten Through Grade 12 Recovery Research Network      [Program Details]
Award Period: 3 years (09/01/2022 – 08/31/2025) Award Amount: $2,998,577
Type: Other Goal Award Number: R305X220009
Description:

Related Network Teams: The Prekindergarten Through Grade 12 Recovery Research Network, part of the Improving Pandemic Recovery grant program, includes the following other projects — Mitigating the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic Through Curriculum-Based Approaches to Learning Acceleration in Grades K–2 in Chicago (R305X220033); A Researcher-Practitioner Partnership to Improve Pandemic Recovery Efforts in California (R305X220028); Evaluation of the Learning Renewal-Social Emotional Learning Programs (LR-SEL) for Supporting Pandemic Recovery with Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) (R305X220015).

A Research Network involves several teams of researchers who are working together to address a critical education problem or issue. The objective is to encourage information sharing, build new knowledge, and assist policymakers and practitioners to strengthen education policies and programs and improve student education outcomes. The PreK–12 Recovery Network will work directly with state and local education agencies on their recovery efforts with the goal of providing evidence to help direct, improve, and select among potential K–12 recovery activities. Each network research team is examining a different pandemic recovery strategy.

Purpose: The PreK–12 Recovery Network Lead will facilitate the convenings and cooperation of Network research teams studying PreK–12 pandemic recovery strategies, will conduct a scan and synthesis of recovery strategies, and will support the training of early career researchers across the network. As part of its leadership and dissemination efforts, the Lead will convene a national forum of stakeholders who will provide input and feedback to the network.  In addition, the Lead will enact a multifaceted dissemination strategy to convey the network's findings to researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and the public.

Project Activities: The Network Lead will engage in four primary activities:

  1. Network coordination. The Lead will create and foster a dynamic peer learning community composed of the Network's research teams and early career researchers, focused on sharing and using evidence to help accelerate PreK–12 pandemic recovery. The Network will convene quarterly, with one annual in-person meeting and three virtual meetings each year. Additionally, the Lead will facilitate Network training and mentoring opportunities for early career researchers, who will be invited to participate the quarterly convenings and other Network activities. Network members will also meet in Solutions Working Groups (SWGs) that address equity-related recovery issues they have identified. Lessons learned, training materials, and summaries of Network meetings will be compiled and shared as a support to the field.
  2. Scan and synthesis of pandemic recovery needs and activities. The Lead will conduct two studies to capture information on SEA and LEA recovery activities. The first study, a national scan and analysis of state and local pandemic relief plan and annual monitoring reporting, will provide foundational information on planned and implemented strategies. Findings from the scan will be updated regularly and shared in accessible formats through Network convenings, website, social media channels, and professional networks. The second study will provide an overview of SEA and LEA pandemic recovery efforts and information on adjustments to plans based on the shifting pandemic recovery demands. This information will supplement the research scan and provide a well-rounded landscape of research activity.  The information will also help map out the available resources for recovery activities to contribute to a robust and ongoing inventory.
  3. Network leadership. The Lead will connect a broad and diverse set of researchers and stakeholders focused on pandemic recovery by (a) connecting Network members to other stakeholders involved in recovery activities to create an extended network; and (b) launching and facilitating a forum of researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to identify recovery research needs and opportunities. The Lead will synthesize what is learned from the forums to inform the broader field about emerging research needs and guide recovery-focused research agendas. The Lead will create a crosswalk between what is studied in the Network and what pandemic recovery needs and activities are identified more broadly across the country. The crosswalk may provide insight on how to expand existing projects in cost-effective and budget-neutral ways to better understand variations in SEA and LEA approaches. The Lead will support research teams in identifying opportunities to optimize their study designs and provide guidance on analytic challenges if design adjustments occur.
  4. Dissemination. The Lead will implement a multifaceted dissemination strategy as the go-to source for information on pandemic recovery for PreK–12 students. The team will use dissemination channels such as a website and social media accounts. They will also share research findings and resources using multiple formats. The approach to dissemination and communication about the Network will emphasize formats that practitioners and policymakers may find engaging and accessible, such as short briefs, infographics, videos, executive summaries, blogs, and newsletters. The Lead will also track use of Network-generated evidence by practitioners and policymakers.

Products: Products will include the Network website, summaries of Network meetings, blog posts, newsletters, and research summaries and syntheses in multiple formats such as short briefs (one to two pages), videos, and infographics. The Lead will also leverage social media platforms to reach diverse audiences and promote dissemination of the reports, briefs, videos, and other products.


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