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Statewide survey finds Nebraska educators can adjust to ‘virtually’ anything, but at what cost?

During spring 2020, all of Nebraska’s 983 public schools sat vacant — and all the state’s 330,000 children from pre-kindergarten to grade 12 were learning in out-of-classroom environments. Learn more about this project in the CYFS Research Network.

As the COVID-19 epidemic escalated to a pandemic in early 2020, millions of Americans began working from home — and millions of students left their classrooms to continue their studies remotely.

In March 2020, all 983 Nebraska public schools sat vacant, and all the state’s 330,000 children from pre-kindergarten to grade 12 were learning in out-of-classroom environments. Full Article

Literacy a lifeline for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities

Nebraska researchers are developing a detailed literacy profile to identify strengths and weaknesses in reading, writing and cognition skills among students with IDD. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

Each year, approximately 7 million U.S. students receive special education services. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, 25% of those students have an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD) such as challenges with adaptive functioning, intelligence or conditions such as Down syndrome or autism spectrum disorder. Full Article

Boosting children’s resilience in the face of socioeconomic risk

Hannah Kerby, doctoral candidate in school psychology, is exploring how children’s social-emotional skills are influenced by their residential neighborhoods. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

Children who possess strong social-emotional skills in elementary school tend to experience academic and personal success. Children lacking those skills, however, often experience adverse outcomes — both short- and long-term.

To improve outcomes for children, it is crucial to understand factors associated with positive social-emotional development. Full Article

Technology-delivered intervention fosters home-school partnerships in rural Appalachia

A recent project explored the effectiveness of a technology-delivered intervention for rural students struggling with significant behavioral problems. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

Although rural America affords children notable opportunities, those same sparsely populated areas can also pose unique challenges.

Relative to their urban counterparts, children in rural communities are more likely to face academic, behavioral and mental health obstacles, such as anxiety or depression. Full Article

Study explores how early language skills predict kindergarten readiness, later reading outcomes

A collaborative, multi-institution project is exploring how prekindergarten children’s early language gains predict their kindergarten readiness and later reading outcomes. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

Early language development is considered crucial for children’s school readiness and, ultimately, their reading success. But there are gaps in understanding how to best support children’s language skills during the preschool years, before they enter formal schooling. Full Article

Coaching model aims to enhance services for Nebraska infants, toddlers

Lisa Knoche, CYFS co-director, is leading a project to explore ways to enhance coaching of state early intervention personnel who work with infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

In the United States, almost 400,000 infants and toddlers who are not developing typically receive services through the federal Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities.

Because these children and their families rely on early intervention services for optimal developmental outcomes, evidence-based solutions are crucial. Full Article

SMILE project aided by COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant

The Self-regulation and Motivation In Learning Environments (SMILE) project, whose funding was supplemented by an ORED COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant, examines children as they transition from second to third grade — and how their self-regulation, motivation and interactions with teachers, parents and peers impact their classroom behavior. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

In early 2020, Jenna Finch, assistant professor of psychology, began a pilot project to identify which non-academic factors help predict a successful transition from second grade to third grade.

Third grade presents significant new challenges for students, including the onset of standardized testing, increased behavioral expectations for them to work independently and the transition from learning to read to reading to learn. Full Article

Research explores ways to bolster early childhood numeracy skills

Keting Chen, human sciences doctoral student in the Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies, is exploring how home and childcare environments affect preschool-aged children’s numeracy skills — the ability to understand and work with numbers. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

For some young children, learning the basics of 1-2-3 can be easy as A-B-C.

But because early numeracy skills often receive less attention than early literacy skills, children who lag in number comprehension may fall behind academically in kindergarten and beyond. Full Article