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Serving Those With the Greatest Needs Will Benefit All Students: Results From a COVID-19 Education Survey

Max Marchitello
Hailly T.N. Korman
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The coronavirus pandemic will have a profound, lasting impact on students, particularly those who are already marginalized. This includes students in foster care, those in juvenile detention facilities, or those experiencing homelessness. Schools, districts, nonprofit organizations, and other partners play a critical role in ensuring that systems of care support young people who need our help the most.

Cover of August 2020 Bellwether brief "Serving Those With the Greatest Needs Will Benefit All Students:  Results from a COVID-19 Education Survey"To better understand how these systems have responded to the current crisis, Bellwether Education Partners surveyed leaders in education, social service agencies, nonprofits, and the juvenile justice system over the spring. Leaders were asked to share how they’re using their time differently due to the pandemic, what barriers young people and their families face, and what supports are needed to navigate this crisis.

Findings summarized in a new brief, "Serving Those With the Greatest Needs Will Benefit All Students: Results From a COVID-19 Education Survey," include:

  • Approximately 20% of leaders across systems of care, including those serving the most vulnerable students, had their jobs entirely repurposed in response to the pandemic.
  • Another 42% of respondents expanded the types of services they provide to young people and their families
  • Leaders reported increasing the amount of time spent on ensuring access to technology and school supplies by 60% and fewer hours building relationships with youth and their families
  • Survey respondents cited staff capacity and funding concerns as the greatest barriers to providing high-quality services to young people in their communities

Download the full brief here to learn more about the survey and its key findings or read it in the viewer below.

In May, we also launched a hub for resources to support special populations of students during COVID-19, which is regularly updated and includes national and state-specific resources.