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Leading public health experts argue that states and local governments should prioritize opening schools ahead of bars, restaurants and other businesses. State plans include diverse approaches to making reopening decisions, including: Although state plans place requirements and provide recommendations to districts on many reopening-related topics, in much of the country closure and reopening decisions remain a localized, district-level affair. These dedicated COVID-19 briefings for children recently held by the prime minister of Norway and the prime minister of New Zealand helped show students that their governments care about the effect this pandemic is having on their education. It will be important to remember that technological solutions often exacerbate existing inequalities. Tying the method of instruction that districts may use to coded levels of infection, without specifying the metrics used to determine those levels (e.g. States including Colorado, Connecticut and Louisiana identified school staff and students as priority populations for surveillance testing in order to identify outbreaks and curb the spread of COVID-19. CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices – Interim Recommendation for Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine, Rockefeller Foundation – State and Territory Alliance for Testing, CDC – COVID-19 Vaccination Program Interim Playbook for Jurisdiction Operations, Rockefeller Foundation – Taking Back Control: Resetting America’s Response to COVID-19, New England Journal of Medicine – The Missing Piece: SARS-CoV-2 Testing and School Reopening, NCSL Magazine – States Use CARES Act Funds to Address Digital Divide, NCSL Blog – Remote Learning Creates Tradeoffs for Education Policymakers, State Education Technology Directors’ Association - Priorities, Federal Communications Commission – E-Rate Program, Center for Reinventing Public Education – Pandemic Pods Database, RAND Corporation – The Digital Divide and COVID-19. How will you protect the welfare of contract teachers and others in the education workforce? The pandemic's impact on homeless shelters has highlighted the connection between housing and public health. Be human. Children with special needs often receive specialist care in school settings. Everyone from ministerial staff down to district leaders and school heads, teachers, children, and parents has something to contribute, and together they will provide crucial insights to help you plan your response. It’s planned out. By the end of March 2020, the U.S. Department of Education had offered a waiver from testing requirements in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and all 50 states, along with the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, had cancelled their state exams. For learners, educators, their families, and communities, the loss of schooling erodes the social glue that holds together everyday life. Maintaining the standard instructional time requirement during distance learning (e.g. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions. Modules offered by radio broadcast have been used effectively in many countries (see Kenya for an early example of a program responding to COVID-19). The State Education Technology Directors’ Association (SETDA) has studied the broadband imperative for years, emphasizing state agency and district efforts to partner with the private sector to distribute hotspots and devices and improve broadband networks for students who lack connectivity. You can start by thinking about how you might replace these essential protective services—for example, can you switch from school meals to take-home rations, or cash transfers? Learning Loss, Assessments and Accountability, COVID-19: Education Bill Tracking Database, general liability insurance would not include COVID-19-related claims, National Governor’s Association: State Reopening Plan Database, Center for Reinventing Public Education: State Response Database, Center for Reinventing Public Education: School District Response Database, CDC – Indicators for Dynamic School Decision-Making, COVID-19 School Response Dashboard (Case Tracker), Council of Chief State School Officers: Considerations for Teaching and Learning. For now, just a few points to keep in mind: Address the needs of the most vulnerable children and youth. It is difficult to predict when the next influenza pandemic will occur or how severe it will be. As they await federal guidance on required spring exams, some states have already acted to bolster or alter their assessment and accountability infrastructure for this school year. Think now about seeding plans for bringing those most likely to drop out back into school. These have not changed, even if they need to be modified. Remember that while ministries of education have many fixed costs during school and university closures, there may be staff, equipment, and materials that can be redeployed; and myriad donors, partners, and stakeholders that can be called on to help fill gaps. The tricky question of exams. Offering seat time waivers to districts to account for school closures (e.g. In tandem with classroom education these programs can be valuable in combatting the effects of the pandemic. The COVID-19 “mess” for education is a unique one. Most state reopening plans address both instructional time and attendance or fall count requirements. In many states, statute ties school funding to schools meeting certain requirements for “seat time” for each student. Early education during a pandemic VPerspective Early education during a pandemic. In Spring of 2020, governors and state education agencies developed plans that lay out requirements or recommendations for the safe operation of schools. And even the best solutions require careful attention to the crucial interface between technology, teacher, and child. TheU.S. Changing circumstances and competing concerns indicate a fluid and uncertain landscape moving into the spring semester. As case counts have risen in rural communities, more rural districts have considered or moved to remote or hybrid instruction, prompting concerns that a lack of broadband access may affect students’ ability to learn. Who can help you to do this? Denver, CO 80230
Parents and siblings can also support simple learning exercises (for example UNICEF’s “child-to-child” programs). CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. Waiving attendance requirements and using the previous year attendance figures for accreditation and funding allocation (. Many education systems are organized around high-stakes examinations and credentialing. Our events convene the top thinkers and doers in global development. This homework gap extends to the devices to which students have access: Black, Hispanic, and low-income students are more likely to try to complete schoolwork on a cell phone rather than a desktop or laptop computer. The question of assessments and accountability during the pandemic is made more urgent by student learning loss data. Most governments around the world have temporarily closed educational institutions in an attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19. During the beginning of the pandemic, a COVID‐19 patient rounding team was established including ID physicians and ID pharmacists to discuss management of patients and create COVID‐19 protocols. t. e. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected educational systems worldwide, leading to the near-total closures of schools, universities and colleges. Clearly define the role of school leaders in crisis response. COVID-19 presents a number of new challenges compared to other kinds of emergencies. Analysis by the Center for Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) found that fewer than half of districts were operating fully in-person in fall of 2020, with a significant rural-urban divide in mode of operation. Remote and hybrid learning have become commonplace across the U.S. during the pandemic, and with high case counts throughout the country, these instructional models will likely be a part of students’ lives through the spring semester and perhaps into the next school year. Pew Research has found that as many as 15% of school-age children lack in-home connectivity, and this number doubles for students in families with income below $30,000. The effects of a pandemic can be lessened if preparations are made ahead of time. As of March 23, more than 124 countries have closed their education systems either in full or in specific regions, and closures now affect more than 1.25 billion learners worldwide. Operating schools in-person presents logistical dilemmas in containing the spread of COVID-19, such as universal mask use, screening for symptoms, and social distancing in the classroom and on school transportation. In addition, state accountability systems use student attendance rates as a key performance metric for establishing school ratings and determining sanctions. To build out testing infrastructure in local communities, the Rockefeller Foundation has worked with state leaders to form the State and Territory Alliance for Testing (STAT). The right-leaning American Enterprise Institute suggested that the proliferation of pandemic learning pods indicates an appetite for school choice programs like hybrid homeschooling and education savings accounts. NCSL tracks current research and state and federal action to assist our members in making decisions that support each child’s educational growth. As we face an unknown future, we reflect more critically about how to succeed in life and public education during changing and challenging times, through a global pandemic that came without warning. This is close to 80% of the world’s enrolled students. Another study found inconclusive effects of school reopening on COVID-19 in communities with high rates of transmission. In spring of 2020, public health orders closed schools around the country to in-person instruction. Ministries of education are typically among the largest employers in their countries’ public sector or even entire economy. Crisis leadership also means listening carefully to your people, to their concerns, and to their ideas and solutions, however small. Bills include: The CARES Act provided billions of dollars to states to support K-12 education. Examples of state action include: We are the nation's most respected bipartisan organization providing states support, ideas, connections and a strong voice on Capitol Hill. Duty of care to your employees. One silver liner that evolved during these uncertain times was the implementation of education technologies by institutions to revive and survive this pandemic. With students learning from home or assigned to cohorts that come to school less frequently, districts cannot use typical measures to track attendance and instructional time. Adhering to ACIP guidelines, prioritizing frontline workers, including school staff, along with individuals 75 and over for phase 1B vaccination. Harvard’s Matt Andrews suggests a few simple guidelines: be calm, clear, factual, and frank. Such exams heighten stress among learners, and are risky during COVID-19 because they rely on face-to-face proctoring. In an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, many cities have temporarily housed people experiencing homelessness in hotels for the first time ever. The American Academy of Pediatrics urged a safe return to school this fall, citing negative impacts on students’ academic performance, physical and mental health, and social and emotional development resulting from closed campuses. State approaches to instructional time include: State approaches to attendance collection and requirements for accountability systems include: State legislatures have also addressed attendance and instructional time through legislation. The reasons behind that spike are varied, but there’s no denying that more applications mean more competition.. Even in high-resource systems, the use of online technological platforms for teaching is in its infancy. EdTech businesses have flourished, and educational institutions have embraced B2B EdTech tools to deliver instruction through online learning. This fall, and continuing into the spring semester, school leaders have grappled with how, whether, and when to safely reopen schools. CDC – When Vaccines Are Limited, Who Gets Vaccinated First? In addition, concerns about absenteeism and “lost” students have been rising. Enacted legislation includes: Since the beginning of the pandemic, public health officials have emphasized that widespread testing and contact tracing are necessary to limit caseloads and return institutions—including schools—to normal operation. For girls in particular, what kind of communication and protection can be provided? During a recent episode of the AMA COVID-19 Video Update, well-being experts from three health systems shared how they are supporting physician wellness during the COVID-19 pandemic.They were: Nigel Girgrah, MD, PhD, chief wellness officer at Ochsner Health, an AMA Health System Program Partner. Independent research for global prosperity. They will want and need information. Washington, D.C. 20001
COVID-19 and the advent of widespread remote learning have upended traditional practices and metrics. A key insight from our survey was that … NCSL Magazine – Will the Pandemic Change the Way We Deliver K-12 Education? In California, the State Board of Education. Managing Children’s Education During COVID-19 Pandemic ... the real physical classroom teaching/learning process. Reports of districts, schools or student cohorts moving from in-person to remote learning due to cases of COVID-19 have been widespread, and with cases rising in much of the country such changes are likely to continue. The craft program was part of a strategic plan to make the library available to the public during the pandemic, she added. Crucially, the public, your staff, and your partners also need to know about your continued commitment to key educational principles and goals. Minister, you have a challenging but vital job during this crisis: to protect, plan, motivate, and continue to deliver on your mandate. The Council of Chief State School Officers released a statement in support of administering tests in the spring, aiming to engage parents and classroom teachers in designing assessments that effectively measure student learning in unprecedented circumstances. highlights common characteristics of successful leadership in contexts of crisis. Some state legislatures have included additional funds for K-12 schools in order to support safer in-person instruction. “It’s not a haphazard thing. This brief note offers pragmatic guidance to teachers, institutional heads and state officials who must manage the educational consequences of this crisis. The Building State Capability program at Harvard highlights common characteristics of successful leadership in contexts of crisis. This page houses a wide variety of resources created by NCSC and the CCJ-COSCA Rapid Response Team (RRT) to help state courts deal with challenges presented by the pandemic. Minister, you may want to be wary of the rapid, aggressive upswing in marketing of educational software by commercial vendors—as is presently happening in the United States. Consider asking them to staff phone lines, text community members, or engage local media to support the psycho-social needs of children. Educators and policymakers face daunting challenges to ensure that U.S. students receive a quality education in an unprecedented environment. This is an anxious time for students, who have been required to vacate schools and do not know when or if they might return to earn their leaving credentials. The USDA has issued waivers to exempt states … However, fully remote instruction has raised concerns that students without broadband access, students of color, low-performing students, and low-income students may fall behind their peers. And because transmission of the virus is both new and global, its pathway is hard to predict. As this school year began, major news reports documented the struggles low-income students faced when trying to complete remote work or even attend class. Training and education adjust during pandemic. As you learn from the experience of others, also consider how you are learning from this crisis: What evidence can you collect that will help others now and in the future? While you won’t be able to deliver your planned policies and interventions in the coming period, senior education leaders during past crises suggest that you need to ask carefully: What you can do, now, in this context, with your resources, to keep your country moving towards these goals? Generous inputs were also provided by Luis Crouch, Barbara Bruns, Ben Piper, staff at Room to Read, and Professors Scott Davies and Janice Aurini. Tying the method of learning that schools may use to specific case levels or positivity rates at the state or local level (e.g. Everything changed the week of March 16 for corporate leaders. However, remote learning has not been deployed uniformly. ; Amy Locke, MD, co-director of the Resiliency Center at the University of Utah Health in Salt … Maintaining standard attendance requirements in remote learning (e.g. Second: focus on things that are within your control, and make sure education has space within the government’s crisis planning. Explore our core themes and topics to learn more about our work. Later analysis showed that through the fall, urban districts with larger populations of students of color were significantly more likely to continue remote instruction. Can schools remain open for specific services, as is the case in recent UK guidance? Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced flexibilities to ensure that students receive meal service during school closures while minimizing potential exposure to the novel coronavirus. many different guidelines related to education in emergencies, in Los Angeles for example, a majority of children rely on school meal programs, in New York, homeless children rely on schools for bathing and laundry, Can they be used as crisis hubs for the community, aggressive upswing in marketing of educational software, technological solutions often exacerbate existing inequalities, even the best solutions require careful attention to the crucial interface between technology, teacher, and child, radio broadcast have been used effectively in many countries, research suggests that relying on parents will not be enough, COVID: School Closures and Education Systems. Exams across West Africa were cancelled last week in response to the pandemic. The process typically starts with a reading assignment from Modern Cabinetmaking, the … Khan Academy, the most successful provider of free online learning resources, has launched new tutoring programs to improve the quality of learning for students using its product. Many governments have ordered institutions to cease face-to-face instruction for most of their students, requiring them to switch, almost overnight, to online teaching and virtual education. Risk and risk management is something that we all face and all deal with every day, whether we own a business, whether we are part of government, or whether or not we even think about it in our daily lives. With more than 50 million school age children in the U.S, K-12 education policy has rarely been more pertinent and contentious. Public broadcasting and social media can help amplify your messages. If states move forward with testing, officials face steep challenges in administering tests safely as COVID-19 case counts continue to grow, including secure remote testing of students with unequal access to broadband. Explain what you do know—and what you do not. NCSL Blog – Leveraging Afterschool and Summer to Help Students Catch Up, Keep Up, NCSL Webinar – Pandemic Learning Loss and Approaches to Summer Learning, Northwest Evaluation Association – Learning During COVID-19: Initial Findings on Students’ Reading and Math Achievement and Growth, National Center for the Improvement of Education Assessment – Rethinking School Accountability for the 2020-2021 School Year, McKinsey & Co. – COVID-19 and Student Learning: The Hurt Could Last a Lifetime, McKinsey & Co. – COVID-19 and Learning Loss: Disparities Grow and Students Need Help, Center for Reinventing Public Education – Learning As We Go: Principles for Effective Assessment During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Attendance Works – Attendance Policy During the COVID-19 Pandemic, National Governor’s Association – State Reopening Plan Database, Education Commission of the States – Instructional Time Requirements (50-state comparison), Education Week – Five Things You Need To Know About Student Absences During COVID-19, NCSL Database: State Action on Coronavirus Relief Funds, NCSL Database: State Education Legislation Addressing COVID-19, Higher Education Responses to Coronavirus, Education Finance in the Time of COVID-19, NCSL Blog: How States Are Using CARES Act Funds to Support K-12 Education, NCSL Policy Brief: Addressing Social and Emotional Needs During COVID-19: Emerging Themes in School Reopening Guides. Can they be used as crisis hubs for the community? Thus far, most testing and quarantine protocols have focused on identified and symptomatic cases in the school community and their close contacts. Prioritizing individuals 65 and over with high-risk medical conditions prior to frontline workers, including school staff, for phase 1B vaccination (e.g. One recent study found that in communities with low rates of COVID-19 infection, risks of spread in schools remained rare; however, in communities with higher rates of transmission—including most of the U.S.—opening schools contributed to increased spread. NCSL Magazine: Will the Pandemic Change the Way We Deliver K-12 Education? Fall studies suggest substantial variations, but clear losses across states: most students are behind where students stood last year, particularly in math, and student performance in schools with a majority of students of color may lag other schools by at least ten percentage points. Absenteeism is associated with other negative consequences for students, including worse performance in coursework and on standardized tests, lower college attendance rates, reduced lifetime earnings, and increased incarceration rates. Allowing schools to use hybrid or in-person learning models based on the phase of the state’s economic reopening (e.g. Experts in student attendance and absenteeism argue that effective data collection and early intervention are crucial to combating the negative impacts of student absenteeism. Low-tech solutions are often more viable in low-resource contexts. What’s important is to focus on what you already have that can support structured distance learning in your context. A protective response is to allow for automatic promotion (in K-12 education) while ensuring earmarked places and remediation for disadvantaged populations in future admissions processes. 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