Another school year is underway, and many of you may be feeling an overwhelming sense of déjà vu. Pandemic preparedness, mask mandates, quarantines–it’s starting to sound a lot like where we were last fall. But, luckily, it’s not.
Our public schools are not where they were at the start of the last school year. In fact, in terms of investment in new teaching and learning capabilities and student supports, we are currently leaps ahead of where we were in fall 2019, too–a not-so-distant past. Pushed by the pandemic, school systems and learners acquired new skills at a rapid pace. If we help them learn from each other and keep building upon these innovations, we will be in a new and better place this time next year.
This is the lesson of our recent white paper, “Launching Forward: Leveraging Pandemic Innovations to Advance School Systems.” In our research, we looked across U.S. school systems and found that through the hardship has come considerable growth. We didn’t want those lessons learned and innovations made to be lost; we didn’t want the hardship to be for naught.
So, we collected the stories and surfaced innovations. We talked to the experts. From that work, we identified patterns across schools and systems, and we collected those ideas to offer K-12 education leaders concrete actions in a broader Hop, Skip, Leapfrog toolkit for advancing excellence and equity for all students moving forward.