Blog

A countywide school district engaged its community and strategized with multiple groups to ensure its schools could safely reopen.

By Cody Patterson Hamilton County Schools (HCS) in Chattanooga, the fourth largest district in Tennessee, was one of thousands of public school districts left grappling with how to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. To maintain the continuity of learning, the district launched a School Reopening Task Force and worked furiously...

New surveys find significant challenges related to technology, ransomware and connectivity as schools reopen and resume operations

Three reports recently shared with the education community found strong support for public education, but schools are facing unprecedented demands in areas of learning loss, use of technology and connectivity, and cybersecurity. One survey that was conducted by the National School Boards Action Center (NSBAC) was designed to provide information...

The K-12 system is failing to educate students about American democracy, civics, and history education

By Ace Parsi and Tom Gentzel The frog in the pot of warming water does not jump until it’s too late. These days, the saying feels particularly applicable to the health of our democracy. Years ago, it would have been shocking to consider arson and insurrection as new norms in...

When the Covid-19 pandemic shuttered movie theaters, the Japanese film industry pivoted. Here are some lessons schools can use from that experience.

By Matthew Woods In the past year, school systems took dramatic measures to maintain students’ continuity of learning. Transitions to digital learning that would have taken months or years happened in weeks. New and improved WiFi networks were created, procedures for feeding remote learners were established, and resources for improving...

Tutoring programs may become a necessity, but must use effective methods to rebuild students' learning loss experienced over the Covid-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has facilitated significant disruptions in student access to and retention of learning in the United States. The realities of decreased instruction time, the remote learning format, and limited opportunities for personalized interactions between teachers and students have created a recipe for “learning loss.” These risk factors are...

A new teacher reflects on the urgent need for getting students and school staff back to school safety and what resources they need for more effective teaching and learning

How do educators address the challenges inherent in teaching during a pandemic? This is a question I repeatedly asked myself as I began my student teaching experience in the fall of 2020. After careful reflection, I came to the conclusion that the following factors, from the policy level, would support...

New federal data shows many families have skipped routine vaccinations needed for school admissions during the Covid-19 pandemic

While schools have been focused on the instructional and safety issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic, a new challenge has emerged: Students have missed getting their regular vaccinations for measles, smallpox, and other diseases. These are mandatory vaccines needed to enroll and attend public and other schools. New data from...

LFA members offer guidance for a wide array of educators and parents who are dealing with students' questions, anxiety, and anger

The political events and images of rioters storming the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 reached schools and homes across the nation and beyond. Several members of the Learning First Alliance are posting statements and resources regarding the riots to help school leaders, teachers and specialists work with their schools...

As states and school districts reopen schools, LFA is compiling pertinent information on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and its impact on their students, staff and families for educators and parents.

Originally published March 2, 2020. See LFA's homepage for any updates. As schools reopen virtually and in person, school offiicals continue to grapple with a sudden and uncharted course to manage COVID-19 (novel Coronavirus) outbreaks. LFA recently published a report, "Managing COVID-19 in School Buildings" with advice from school nurses...

New administration should consider long-term strategies that will grow new leaders and effective programs

Transitions can be technical or aspirational, but they also need to be objective. Ninety percent of all students attend traditional public schools. Currently, many of those schools were underfunded even before the pandemic and current economic turmoil and being impacted by federal requirements that provide little in the way of...