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Seizing the Opportunity in School Reopening Plans

    • Seizing the Opportunity in School Reopening Plans

      As states, districts, and schools start to plan for fall reopening, they need to face the questions: how healthy was our school system before? And how do we use this moment to address some of the systemic inequities and disparities that have plagued our system long before Covid-19?

       
      Most states face uncertainty around reopening schools in the fall. Many states are in the midst of decision-making around ways to keep students and educators safe if they are inside school buildings, buses, and on school property. Important decisions are being made about school food programs, educator staffing, and social distancing.

      While health and safety are critical considerations for any reopening plan; states, districts, and educators also need to ask about the overall health of our education system. For too long, inequities have been allowed to persist and in some instances, even flourish. This time of remote learning puts on harsh display some of the disparities we continue to see nationwide.

      Covid-19 has forced us to rethink how we work, play, and especially how we learn. Will we allow schools to go back to the inequitable status quo when they reopen this fall? Change is possible if we all agree it’s necessary and we start by giving everyone a seat at the decision-making table.

      Below are some resources from organizations that have been thinking through ways that schools can reopen as institutions that are more innovative, more rigorous, and more equitable. I encourage you to dig in and to take your seat at the table by pushing your state policymakers to incorporate the practices that speak to you!
       

      RESOURCES

       

      Jenn’s XQ Blog on School Reopening Plans

      My full blog that digs into these issues deeper and provides additional resources.

      Move School Forward: Principles for Better Education

      A collective of youth-driven organizations that have outlined guiding principles for schools to consider as they create reopening plans that will drive schools to move forward towards student-centric change.

      Brooklyn Lab’s Back to School Facilities Tool Kit

      An example of how one school community is using a collaborative process to orchestrate a reopening plan that works for everyone.

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