Projects & Events
Back to School with the U.S. Department of Education

Tue, Jul 27, 2021 at 2:19 PM EDT


Dear Colleagues,


As we wind down summer, the Department is planning some exciting Back to School activities for the week of August 9th.  We hope you can join us for some or all of these unique opportunities from the Department. Below you will find more information and a registration link for Back to School Week. Please share with your colleagues in the state who may be interested. A more detailed agenda will come out next week!




Patrick Rooney, Director
School Support & Accountability



Back to School Week

Brought to you by the U.S. Department of Education

Monday, August 9 - Friday, August 13, 2021 

12:00-2:00 PM ET Daily

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is hosting a week of Back-to-School programming to assist State educational agency Federal program managers as you support the schools and districts in your States on the path to safe in-person learning in the fall.  The week will feature curated content and live discussions between ED leaders focused on a particular theme each day as we begin the 2021-2022 school year.  Each day will also include information on how American Rescue Plan and other federal relief funds may be used to support activities referenced during the day. 


  • Monday, August 9Accelerating Learning for all Students and Student Groups: Providing resources and examples of successful approaches to accelerate learning for all students, particularly the most underserved students, to help support and extend the plans that schools, districts, and States have developed.


  • Tuesday, August 10Promoting Health and Safety for Students, Staff, and Families: Providing updated resources and guidance on mitigation strategies to ensure a safe school environment, including information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


  • Wednesday, August 11Engaging Students and Families with a Focus on Underserved Populations that the Pandemic may have Further Disengaged from School: Providing resources and examples to bring all students and families fully back to the routines of in-person learning, including addressing (1) student social/emotional/mental health/behavioral needs to make sure students are ready to learn and best positioned to address the impact of lost instructional time; and (2) parent engagement to ensure robust and ongoing interactions with families to support students in a holistic manner. 


  • Thursday, August 12Lessons Learned to Inform Program Planning for the 2021-22 School Year: Providing resources based on State and local efforts to date to keep schools open safely and address student, family, and staff needs (leveraging lessons learned from schools that have been opened for in-person learning).


  • Friday, August 13Keeping Equity at the Center of Planning and Implementation: Providing resources and information on strategies to consider for ensuring equitable access to a high-quality education for all students and student groups.


Please join us this week for a variety of presentations to support you and the schools and districts in your States.  Stay and learn from the whole session or drop in on one or several of the many short, targeted sessions to learn in your areas of interest!  Each day we will provide a list of links to curated resources to support you as you continue to support all students but especially those that are underserved.


  • Monday: Hear live from ED senior leaders on priorities for supporting educators and schools in the 2021-2022 school year and beyond.
  • Tuesday: Engage live with scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the most recent guidance to ensure student and staff safety in K-12 educational settings. 
  • Wednesday: Learn of resources and information to engage students and families and support student social, emotional, and mental health well-being.  
  • Thursday: Explore strategies to scale up evidence-based practices to support student learning at this critical time of re-engagement.
  • Friday: Hear from ED’s Office for Civil Rights on keeping equity at the center of programming for the 2021-2022 school year.  


You must register to participate in ED’s Back to School Week.  Please register here.  A detailed agenda will be sent to registrants.


About the Author

Patrick Rooney is the Director of two offices--Evidence-Based Practices Assessment and Accountability and School Support and Accountability within ED’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. Before this recent appointment, Mr. Rooney was the Deputy Director of the Office of State Support.  Prior to joining the Office of State Support, Mr. Rooney worked in the Implementation and Support Unit, where he helped lead the work of the Reform Support Network, providing technical assistance to states implementing comprehensive Race to the Top reforms, and the Race to the Top Assessment program, which provided grants to groups of states to develop new assessments aligned to state’s college- and career-ready standards. Mr. Rooney also worked in the DC Office of State Superintendent of Education, where he was a senior policy advisor and worked on a wide variety of K-12 issues in the District of Columbia.