LABORATORY SCHOOLS.

To Reopen, America Needs Laboratory Schools

BY ERIC TUCKER AND ERIN MOTE

This article originally appeared in Getting Smart on May 7, 2020.

As COVID-19 ravages vulnerable communities and threatens a resurgence later this year, educators are finding meaning in the ingenuity and servant leadership of our peers. Since schools have closed, communities around the country have developed creative solutions for remote learning, engagement, and support.

 

As the summer nears and we start to think about the possibility of schools reopening in the fall, we have so much to take stock of, from enacting public health guidelines to handling the social-emotional impacts on our communities to rebuilding strong operational and financial foundations.

 

But even as we all make plans to respond to the pandemic, we have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to reimagine and improve our school operating systems. Opening our doors will open new opportunities for thinking deeply about how we support all students to thrive and learn. Stacey Childress, CEO of NewSchools Venture Fund, calls this education’s “Apollo 13 moment”:

 

Safeguarding our school systems for re-entry can feel a bit like getting back to Earth with a mismatched box of tools. “We need teachers and system leaders to generate bold solutions and tools to address the challenges presented by the many possible futures we could see later this year,” Childress says.

WHAT PEOPLE SAY

STACEY CHILDRESS

New School Venture Fund

“We need teachers and system leaders to generate bold solutions and tools to address the challenges presented by the many possible futures we could see later this year,” 

 JENNIFER CHARLOT‚Äč

Transcend Education

“Promising practices and novel solutions for equitable re-entry will emerge from planning processes that sensitize us to the lived experiences, constraints, priorities, and insights of the learners, families, and communities most impacted by COVID-19,”

MEREDITH LIU

 The Primary School

“Schools need a holistic approach. A student with a loved one who is ill, has lost a job, or is grieving will need more than just academic supports. Schools must help parents navigate their own financial, educational, and wellness challenges.”

An Iterative Design Project of Brooklyn Laboratory Charter Schools