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COVID-19

By Elizabeth Cryan Photography with permission from Donnell-Kay Foundation at Rocky Mountain Prep school

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The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted American education in myriad ways: Nearly every school system across the country shut down, school leaders and districts tried to quickly pivot to online instruction, and organizations grappled with how to support students’ and families’ basic needs. Looking forward, nearly every aspect of education faces uncertainty: School operations and instruction are being fundamentally reconsidered, an unfolding recession will have a profound impact on state budgets, and policies on everything from school accountability to student grades must adapt to the consequences of the novel coronavirus. Schools must also be attentive to students’ general health and well-being.

The pandemic is exposing the deep inequities in every corner of the American education system. The painful consequences of COVID-19 will be felt most acutely by the students and families furthest from opportunity — the same students who were chronically underserved by public education even before the crisis took hold, due to race, socioeconomic status, or geography. At Bellwether, our goal throughout this uncertain time is to find solutions, amplify best practices and successful models, and work with the partners who will help rebuild a better system in the long run.

Since the crisis began, Bellwether has consistently worked to understand what is happening, what is coming, and what is needed across the education system. Within days of school doors shutting, we made our time available pro bono to school districts and charter school networks and published resources and analyses to support those in the field. As the education system resets and rebuilds — a process we anticipate taking several months — we’ll be defining solutions on content delivery, distance learning, quality child care, and school operations, among others.

The content below reflects the resources and research we’ve put out in response to the novel coronavirus. We’ll be updating this regularly.

Publications

October 21, 2021
In October 2020, “Missing in the Margins: Estimating the Scale of the COVID-19 Attendance Crisis” estimated that as many as 3 million K-12 students...
August 31, 2021
Alex Spurrier, Juliet Squire, Andrew J. Rotherham
Families continue to struggle navigating a fluid    K-12 education space since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and emergence of the Delta variant...
July 20, 2021
Andrew J. Rotherham, Thomas Gold
With a historic pool of federal education funds now available to help address the effects of the pandemic, school districts and states have a unique...
June 14, 2021
Nate Geller, Stephanie Spangler, Monique Payton
The COVID-19 pandemic and its disproportionate impact on students from historically marginalized communities underscores the value of continuous...
April 28, 2021
Tresha Ward, Nate Geller, Stephanie Spangler
Educators and students across the country are wrapping up one of the most challenging and exhausting years of their academic careers. The ongoing...

Op-Eds

November 12, 2020
Asking our educators to return to school buildings at this moment is not just wrong—it has wasted time and diverted attention from the real task at...
November 10, 2020
Seven school districts are participating in a national cohort that has been planning more equitable and resilient approaches to teaching and learning...
November 10, 2020
Schools need help bringing special-needs kids back to class. But if they can't, here are 3 paths for supporting learning online. Virtual learning, by...

Issue Experts

To speak to one of our teammates with expertise on running a school or organization in light of COVID-19, contact us here.

Blog Posts

October 26, 2021
Bonnie O'Keefe
In October 2020, Missing in the Margins: Estimating the Scale of the COVID-19 Attendance Crisis estimated that as many as 3 million K-12...
October 25, 2021
Indira Dammu
In October 2020, Missing in the Margins: Estimating the Scale of the COVID-19 Attendance Crisis estimated that as many as 3 million K-12...
October 25, 2021
Indira Dammu and Anson Jackson
In October 2020, Missing in the Margins: Estimating the Scale of the COVID-19 Attendance Crisis estimated that as many as 3 million K-12...