There are things we can learn in the messiness of adapting through this crisis, which has revealed profound disparities in childrenâs access to support and opportunities. And now, as the new school year approaches, itâs led experts to wave cautionary flags that say: Be very careful about how you handle testing this year. A lot of parents are struggling with that. How should international education work during a pandemic that largely prevents travel? What can school systems do to address that gap? Itâs particularly important this year, experts say, to use each kind of assessment for the right purposes, and to avoid overidentifying struggling students, English-learners, or students with special needs for remediation. Disadvantaged students suffer the consequences of those gaps more than affluent children, who typically have lots of opportunities to fill in those gaps. One way to know what has been lost is through testing, but is it, Thu., January 21, 2021, 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. I was talking recently with folks in a district in New Hampshire where, because of all the snow days they have in the wintertime, they had already developed a backup online learning system. With so much riding on instruction, districts need to plan for it with the same rigor theyâve applied to more operational aspects of reopening. While aiming for success in higher education as a parent is challenging enough, achieving academic goals in the midst of a pandemic can be emotionally overwhelming and exhausting. Itâs a lot to take on even as the ground shifts under teachersâ feet. Despite the incredible challenges of offering medical education during this time, the pandemic has led to many positive and potentially long-lasting innovations. The only precedent in our field was when the Sputnik went up in 1957, and suddenly, Americans became very worried that their educational system wasnât competitive with that of the Soviet Union. Some students will be fine during this crisis because they’ll have high-quality learning opportunities, whether it’s formal schooling or informal homeschooling of some kind coupled with various enrichment opportunities. Now more than ever, schools need to give all students access to grade-level work, experts say. GAZETTE: What lessons did school districts around the country learn from school closures in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and other similar school closings? "We need to look holistically, at the entirety of childrenâs lives.". Some school systems are doing online classes all day long, and the students are fully engaged and have lots of homework, and the parents donât need to do much. With about 57 million kids enrolled in kindergarten through high school, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, the closures during … (CNN) This isn't the first time leaders have struggled with deciding whether to keep schools open in a pandemic. REVILLE: The first thing to consider is that itâs going to be a variable effect. Weâre thrilled to announce the launch of the all new EdWeek.org. Deep Dive: What Should We Teach? These times are unprecedented. The pressing challenge facing our national, state and local leaders of how to structure K-12 education during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has only intensified during the past few weeks. The pandemic has forced universities and their students into a new normal. In order for children to come to school ready to learn, they need a wide array of essential supports and opportunities outside of school. During the influenza pandemic in 1918, even though the world was a … All of our children should have the technology they need to learn outside of school. The COVID-19 pandemic has created the largest disruption of education systems in history, affecting nearly 1.6 billion learners in more than 190 countries and all conti- nents. The school closings due to coronavirus concerns have turned a spotlight on those problems and how they contribute to educational and income inequality in the nation. Schools should acknowledge upfront that theyâll likely have less instructional time this year and should plan to identify the highest priority parts of their curriculum accordingly. EdWeek invited readersâand its staffersâto summarize this frightening, depressing, infuriating year in only six words. At the same time, many communities still need help just to do what Boston has done for its students. But this year, because of all of the financial challenges related to the pandemic, Bernal says lawmakers will have to make tough decisions if they want to continue bolstering public education. That made the transition, in this period of school closure, a relatively easy one for them to undertake. "The best that can come of this is a new paradigm shift in terms of the way in which we look at education, because childrenâs well-being and success depend on more than just schooling," Paul Reville said of the current situation. Here's what they said. This content is provided by our sponsor. Teaching Physical Education is hard enough as it is, but it’s become much more challenging in recent months due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But on this scale? Education Week reporters Catherine Gewertz and Sarah Schwartz interviewed 50 teachers, instructional leaders, and curriculum and assessment experts, and reviewed dozens of documents for this installment. Other major concerns during the pandemic have been lack of access to equipment and the internet. But there are some prioritiesâlike engaging with students, providing access to cognitively demanding work, and responding to formative assessmentâthat teachers can address in any environment. The coronavirus didnât just disrupt learning last spring; it opened up vast craters of academic and emotional need in students that adults must now try to meet. For most Physical Education teachers, everything changed when schools began to move to online learning in the early days of the pandemic. Online, they will have to develop relationships and classroom routines with students they may have never met in person. Instead, theyâre urging schools to focus deeply on instructional techniques and informal tests in the classroom. These education prerequisites go far beyond the purview of school systems, but rather are the responsibility of communities and society at large. (Previous installments in our âHow We Go Back to Schoolâ series have focused on staffing changes needed for health and safety.). The default in our education system is now homeschooling. Universities across Central Virginia say participation in international education dropped during the pandemic. DigitalVision Vectors/Getty and Laura Baker/Education Week. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many students are attending school online and from home. REVILLE:Â I think the lessons weâve learned are that itâs good [for school districts] to have a backup system, if they can afford it. Again, in 1983, the report âNation at Riskâ warned of a similar risk: Our education system wasnât up to the demands of a high-skills/high-knowledge economy. Theyâll also have to keep instruction coherent across online and in-person settings, since many districts plan to offer hybrid schedules. We need to look holistically, at the entirety of childrenâs lives. Why not construct a system that meets children where they are and gives them what they need inside and outside of school in order to be successful? Tue., January 12, 2021, 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. We need another paradigm shift, where we look at our goals and aspirations for education, which are summed up in phrases like âNo Child Left Behind,â âEvery Student Succeeds,â and âAll Means All,â and figure out how to build a system that has the capacity to deliver on that promise of equity and excellence in education for all of our students, and all means all. Most of our big systems donât have this sort of backup. Deep Dive: Donât Rush to âDiagnoseâ Learning Loss With a Formal Test. Finally, we must recognize the equity issues in the forced overreliance on homeschooling so that we avoid further disadvantaging the already disadvantaged. I hope we donât fail to take advantage of it in a misguided rush to restore the status quo. More than ever before, itâs essential that instruction encourages strong, caring relationships with adults and provides opportunities for students to think deeply, to connect with their peers, and to get excited about learning again. While a dip was expected due to health risks, they say a tense political climate also contributed to the decrease in international students. Even if students had little instruction in the spring, districts should fight the impulse to require extensive remediation or reteaching of whole units from last year. REVILLE: In politics we say, âNever lose the opportunity of a crisis.â And in this situation, we donât simply want to frantically struggle to restore the status quo because the status quo wasnât operating at an effective level and certainly wasnât serving all of our children fairly. We have to strike a balance between what children need and what families can do, and how you maintain some kind of work-life balance in the home environment. ET, The pandemic has disrupted lives and schooling for nearly a year, and some in the education spaceâand beyondâworry about lost learning. Some people are saying they should remain closed through the end of the school year. But the challenge, of course, for parents is that they are contending with working from home, and in other cases, having to leave home to do their jobs. Hereâs What Teaching Looks Like Under COVID-19, Deep Dive: Taking Care of Teachers: Round-the-Clock Communication Is Exhausting, Deep Dive: How Schools Can Redeploy Teachers in Creative Ways During COVID-19, Downloadable Guide: New Roles for Educators, Shielding Students From the Economic Storm, Bridging Distance for Learners With Special Needs, Do Parents Trust Schools? They moved seamlessly to online instruction. The Gazette talked to Reville, the Francis Keppel Professor of Practice of Educational Policy and Administration at Harvard Graduate School of Education, about the effects of the pandemic on schools and how the experience may inspire an overhaul of the American education system. That’s a daunting combination, but it’s what the pandemic has delivered. There are lots of creative things that can be done at home. Despite some challenges, high schoolers say … As this report is published, many school districts are already conducting a week or more of professional development on a range of topics. “In this situation, we donât simply want to frantically struggle to restore the status quo because the status quo wasnât operating at an effective level and certainly wasnât serving all of our children fairly.”, Assessing the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on correctional institutions, Democrats have both Congress and the White House â but not a free hand, Plant-based diet may feed key gut microbes, Highly infectious coronavirus variant dampens prospects for summer return to normal, Time to fix American education with race-for-space resolve, âIf you remain mostly upright, you are doing it well enoughâ. Do This InsteadDownloadable Guide: Assessing Students This Fall: Focus on the Classroom. Illinois parents may be going through their individual struggles during the pandemic — but they appear to be sharing one major parenting woe in common: they’re very worried about the soft skills that have slipped through their children’s fingers since COVID-19 entered their lives. Schools might well need to respond to that reality by forging new roles or responsibilities for staff membersâmaking one teacher the âremote lead,â or creating new cross-grade teams to support progressions in learning. Shutting down should not be an option. GAZETTE: How seriously are students going to be set back by not having formal instruction for at least two months, if not more? Harvard students, alumni, faculty, and staff from the nationwide âTo Serve Betterâ project reflect on how coronavirus is affecting their communities, Bits of the socially distanced lives of staff and faculty, from a LEGO model of the Music Building to Gov. Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. For years, the success of our students has been measured by two arbitrary constructs — proficiency and time. This makes digital literacy no longer a ânice to haveâ but a âneed to have.â How do we ensure that every student can navigate. Within this coronavirus crisis there is an opportunity to reshape American education. We need to correct for these inequities in order for education to realize its ambitious goals. In some ways, the question was a welcome one, SIT president Sophie Howlett said, 'because we're not … The COVID-19 pandemic is a huge challenge to education systems. Thatâs a daunting combination, but itâs what the pandemic has delivered. Weâre looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience. REVILLE: The best that can come of this is a new paradigm shift in terms of the way in which we look at education, because childrenâs well-being and success depend on more than just schooling. Connection and trust are as central to instruction as curricular mapping and assessment. Suddenly we see front-page coverage about food deficits, inadequate access to health and mental health, problems with housing stability, and access to educational technology and internet. This Viewpoint offers guidance to teachers, institutional heads, and officials on addressing the crisis. In North Carolina, homeschooling filings nearly tripled, with over 10,000 parent forms submitted over the summer, compared to about 3,500 last year. We decided to look at education as an important factor in human capital development in this country. The pandemic has forced so many changes that experts are saying teachers and other school staff members need training on a wide range of things. Although some activities were brought back to campuses in the autumn, many classes at these institutions are still in hybrid or online form and seem likely to remain this way for some time. Some communities can take it for granted that their children will have such tools. Teachersâ practices and routines will look different this year, whether theyâre holding class online or in-person. Teachers can then remediate those gaps âjust in time,â instead of trying to cover every standard or skill that might have been missed last spring. With many students on hybrid schedules that plan for some in-person and some remote learning, one âclassâ of students likely wonât be the coherent unit that it was in past years. Others who have been unable to afford to level the playing field are now finding ways to step up. Hereâs a sampling of the topics most frequently mentioned as especially important for PD this year: Feel like a long list? We felt vulnerable, like our defenses were down, like a nation at risk. During the swine flu outbreak in 2009 in the UK, in an article titled "Closure … Hereâs How. Do This Instead, Downloadable Guide: Assessing Students This Fall: Focus on the Classroom, Deep Dive: Classroom Routines Must Change. How can leaders forced to consider distance learning as the primary mode of education during the coronavirus pandemic do … In order to learn, children need equal access to health care, food, clean water, stable housing, and out-of-school enrichment opportunities, to name just a few preconditions. Where the Fault Lines Are During COVID-19, 'No Going Back' From Remote and Hybrid Learning, Districts Say, Insurgency at the U.S. Capitol: A Dreaded, Real-Life Lesson Facing Teachers, How to Teach the U.S. Capitol Attack: Dozens of Resources to Get You Started, 5 Strategies to Ensure Student Engagement Online, High-Power Workstation Solutions for Remote Learning, Incorporating SEL, Climate, & Culture into School Improvement and Accountability in 2021, A Seat at the Table With Education Week: Testing & Accountability, Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity, Superintendent, Jefferson County School District RE-1, Why Asking the Teacher Isnât Always the Best Course of Action, Parents Are Watching Like Never Before. âIn an environment like this, where there is so much going on at the same time, itâs true, there is an awful lot to cover.â. The COVID-19 pandemic has also had a severe impact on higher education as universities closed their premises and countries shut their borders in response to lockdown … But districts canât expect teachers to be available 24/7âsetting boundaries is essential for creating a sustainable work environment and protecting teacher mental health. We should be asking why the adults always control the learning. GAZETTE: What can parents can do to help with the homeschooling of their children in the current crisis? It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff. 'Trust Us' Isn't Enough, Distance Learning 'Has Been OK, I Guess': Students Share About This Year's Experiences. REVILLE: One thatâs most striking to me is that because schools are closed, parents and the general public have become more aware than at any time in my memory of the inequities in childrenâs lives outside of school. REVILLE: School districts can be helpful by giving parents guidance about how to constructively use this time. REVILLE: Arguably, this is something that schools should have been doing a long time ago, opening up the whole frontier of out-of-school learning by virtue of making sure that all students have access to the technology and the internet they need in order to be connected in out-of-school hours. In the building, social distancing could put an end to the group projects and partner work that are central to many teachersâ pedagogy. Those of us in education know these problems have existed forever. Students in certain school districts donât have those affordances right now because often the school districts donât have the budget to do this, but federal, state, and local taxpayers are starting to see the imperative for coming together to meet this need. During COVID-19, our conversations focus on the learning loss of students. And whether teachers will feel adequately prepared and supported to meet the coming yearâs challenges remains an open question. We should be asking: How do we make our school, education, and child-development systems more individually responsive to the needs of our students? Some families have parents home all day, while other parents have to go to work. GAZETTE: What has been the biggest surprise for you thus far? How does a principal or superintendent manage busy schedules to get all this done? There were substantial closings in many places during the 1918 Spanish Flu, some as long as four months, but not as widespread as those weâre seeing today. To … Theyâve issued a stack of papers and guidance documents suggesting that these topics are important and urgent, but itâs a daunting list to conquer. Teachers will have to address those losses as they introduce grade-level content. Communities and school districts are going to have to adapt to get students on a level playing field. In the spring of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced many higher education institutions around the world to rapidly switch to remote learning. Teresa Vazquez, a teacher in Fort Wayne, Ind., remotely teaches a Spanish 1 class to students at Monroe High School in Albany, Ga. Police hold back pro-Trump rioters who tried to break through a police barrier Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol. Political analysts say they will be hampered by tight legislative majorities, Bacow, Harvard faculty, students call for affirmation of American principles, Large-scale study finds gut microbes associated with lower risks for diabetes, heart disease, obesity, Experts say it raises need to speed vaccinations, lifts herd immunity threshold, © 2021 The President and Fellows of Harvard College. Regular teacher-student interaction is critical to remote and hybrid learning. Education Week retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.A version of this article appeared in the August 19, 2020 edition of Education Week as Teaching During COVID-19: Instructional Improvements And Remote Learning Upgrades. Hereâs What Teaching Looks Like Under COVID-19Deep Dive: Taking Care of Teachers: Round-the-Clock Communication Is Exhausting. What to expect for education funding during the 2021 session: The Legislature passed an overhaul of the school finance system in 2019. We can see this playing out now as our lower-income and more heterogeneous school districts struggle over whether to proceed with online instruction when not everyone can access it. GAZETTE: Schools in Massachusetts are closed until May 4. Deep Dive: How Schools Can Redeploy Teachers in Creative Ways During COVID-19Downloadable Guide: New Roles for Educators, Contributors:Reporters: Catherine Gewertz, Sarah SchwartzDesigners/Visual artists: Laura Baker, Emma Patti Harris, Francis Sheehan, Vanessa Solis, Gina TomkoIllustrator: Stephanie Shafer for Education WeekPhoto editor: Jaclyn BorowskiWeb producers: Mike Bock, Stacey Decker, Hyon-Young KimVisual project editor: Emma Patti HarrisProject editor: Liana LoewusCoverage of whole-child approaches to learning is supported in part by a grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, at www.chanzuckerberg.com. If weâre not careful, we risk overloading families. And the question is: What resources, support, or capacity do they have to do homeschooling effectively? Educators teach science, and this is a moment … âSchool leaders canât be swallowed up in figuring out where the hand sanitizing stations are going to go,â said Justin Reich, the director of the MIT Teaching Systems Lab. And again, we have widely variable capacity in our families and school systems. Educational equity was already elusive. We tend to regard our school systems uniformly, but actually schools are widely different in their operations and impact on children, just as our students themselves are very different from one another. Through eight installments, Education Week explores the steps administrators need to take to ensure the safety of students and faculty. Training on how to respond to studentsâ unfinished learning and their emotional needs will likely be two of the other most common areas of focus, he said. That information offers the best way to do whatâs crucially important this year: adjust instruction to meet studentsâ needs, and provide support to help them be successful with on-grade-level work. Digital classrooms Educational technology is coming of age during the pandemic. That’s how educators describe the challenges in education during an unpredictable global health crisis. Thatâs a great start but, in the long run, I think we can do better than that. Now that their entire learning lives, as well as their actual physical lives, are outside of school, those differences and disparities come into vivid view. Germany's quick response to the pandemic in the spring allowed it to get some children back in schools after just a few weeks. When it comes to staffing, itâs likely that the usual roles and responsibilities will need to shift to allow a school to focus deeply on things that matter most: good instruction, since many students missed key content last spring; support for technology, since many students will be learning remotely; emotional support for students, who have likely experienced trauma in the pandemic; and connecting with families, whose help is required now more than ever as more learning takes place at home. 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