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Moving Beyond COVID: Lessons Learned and Opportunities Gained for 2021-2022

When I was a principal, I faced numerous challenges to make sure students received a quality education: poverty, bullying, common core and mandated testing, lack of parent involvement, student health, funding, school shootings and safety, socio-emotional and cognitive skills, and teacher shortage. During this season, school leaders now have to address the pandemic, whether in-person, hybrid, or remote learning environments, another challenge had to be addressed.



When I was a principal, I faced numerous challenges to make sure students received a quality education: poverty, bullying, common core and mandated testing, lack of parent involvement, student health, funding, school shootings and safety, social emotional and cognitive skills, and teacher shortage. During this season, school leaders now have to address the pandemic, whether in-person, hybrid, or remote learning environments, another challenge had to be addressed.

This challenge was addressed by the Learning 2025 National Commission on Student-Centered, Equity-Focused Education (2021). a group of education leaders, organized by AASA, The School Superintendents Association. Some of the questions addressed were the following:

· Were there bumps in the road during the pandemic that you were unable to overcome?

· What were the tools/systems/technology you used to overcome the speed bumps?

· How did students perform during the pandemic? Learning gap(s)? Teaching gap(s)?

· What were accelerators that worked especially well for you? How do you keep this up?

The National Commission identified three core values of systemic school redesign:


1. Culture: Systemic redesign must happen within an intentional, relationships-based culture that is:


a. Whole Learner Focused

b. No Learner Marginalized

c. Future-Driven


2. Social, Emotional, and Cognitive Growth Model: Learning must entirely reorient around the learner.

3. Resources: Panels of school, association, state, and federal leaders must convene to determine how to unlock resources to meet ALL children’s Whole Learner needs in the following categories:

a. Learning Accelerators

b. Aligned Community Resources

c. High-Quality Early Learning for ALL Children

d. Diverse Educator Pipeline

If schools and school districts follow these three components and the next steps listed in the appendices, they will be well prepared for students to be successful for career and college of their choice.

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