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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.


June 14, 2022
Michelle Croft, Juliet Squire, Alex Spurrier, Andrew J. Rotherham
Click HERE to download.  Cover Image.png Parents across the country continue to be concerned about their children’s...
May 4, 2022
Alex Spurrier, Michelle Croft, Juliet Squire, Andrew J. Rotherham
January 25, 2022
Alex Spurrier, Lynne Graziano, Brian Robinson, Juliet Squire
Click HERE to download the report, or read it in the viewer below. January 2022 Release.png The COVID-19 pandemic...
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...


January 14, 2022
Virtual learning is not going away, but it must improve, especially for students of color and those facing economic insecurity. We cannot repeat the...
December 9, 2021
In New York City, microschools and learning pods grew in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic in the 2020-21 school year due to frequent school...
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...

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

June 14, 2022
Michelle Croft and Alex Spurrier
As another challenging school year winds down, parents are starting to reflect on what worked well for their child, what didn’t work well,...
May 12, 2022
Michelle Croft
In statistics, it’s often said that “all models are wrong, but some are useful.” When it comes to polling parents on K-12 schooling, it’s...
May 10, 2022
Paul Beach
Bellwether Education Partners, in partnership with the Walton Family Foundation, is excited to announce the Filling the Gap Fund. This new...