An interview with SEL expert Elizabeth Englander on preserving social-emotional learning during the pandemic, the key to managing screen time — and why families should eat dinner together
Elizabeth Englander As schools continue to grapple with coronavirus outbreaks, displaced students and classroom reopening decisions, much of the focus has been on how educators can help students catch up academically after months of virtual learning and, in many cases, limited interactions with their teachers. But what about students’ social-emotional growth, which could be stunted...
By Laura Fay | January 11, 2021
Drive-thru Thanksgiving: CA district offers immunizations, groceries and turkeys to more than 200 students
More than 200 students in one California district received turkeys, groceries and their required school immunizations at a drive-thru clinic last week. With Thanksgiving looming, the event for West Contra Costa Unified School District families in Richmond, California, on Thursday attempted to solve two problems at once — many families in the district are vulnerable to...
By Laura Fay | November 23, 2020
After a costly campaign, charter- and union-backed candidates each win seat on L.A. Unified school board
Updated Nov. 9 Charter school supporters and teachers union backers each won a seat on Los Angeles Unified School District’s school board Tuesday after a campaign that again set records for spending. Incumbent Scott Schmerelson, who was endorsed by United Teachers Los Angeles, is expected to hold on to his seat representing District 3 despite...
By Laura Fay | November 5, 2020
LA school officials cheer passage of $7B bond to improve facilities and tech
Voters in Los Angeles passed Measure RR, a $7 billion bond to update and improve school infrastructure and technology, according to projections by the Los Angeles Times and others. The measure had about 71 percent voter support in “semiofficial” results posted Wednesday. The measure will raise property taxes on residents of Los Angeles Unified School...
By Laura Fay | November 5, 2020
New data suggest pandemic may not just be leaving low-income students behind, it may be propelling wealthier ones even further ahead
The pandemic may be exacerbating achievement gaps not only by leaving some students behind but by propelling more privileged children even farther ahead academically, new data suggest. Participation and mastery rates in Zearn Math, an online math program for students in kindergarten through fifth grade, offer a glimpse into the crisis: When schools shut down...
By Laura Fay | September 10, 2020
Will ‘free college’ survive COVID-19? How the pandemic could devastate college promise programs — and why the November election might be their only hope
Timari Ray, who recently finished her first year at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee, says she probably wouldn’t be able to afford higher education without the Tennessee Promise, which in 2014 made community college free for most students in the state. Thanks to the Promise, she’s planning to transfer to the University of...
By Laura Fay | August 4, 2020
Ambitious research project — to review how every school in America responded to COVID-19 — aims to deliver its first findings in early July
A new research effort underway at Tulane University aims to track how every K-12 school in the United States — district, charter and private — responded to the coronavirus pandemic and the abrupt shift to remote learning that came with it. Led by economist and education researcher Douglas Harris, the project is part of REACH, the National...
By Laura Fay | June 29, 2020
More than half of students are not tuning in to online classes, informal teacher survey shows
As remote learning ramps up and more states announce that school closures will last through the end of the academic year, a new teacher survey suggests many students are still missing from their virtual classrooms during the coronavirus pandemic. Fifty-five percent of teachers said more than half of their students have not been tuning in...
By Laura Fay | April 20, 2020
‘We’re doing school in a different way’: One non-profit took early lead in preparing districts for distance learning during pandemic
When she read in late February that the coronavirus could infect as many as 70 percent of Americans, Emily Freitag was “primed” to prepare for its effect on schools. She grew up near New Rochelle, New York, one of the first U.S. hotspots of the virus, and her husband, who analyzes international hotel data, saw...
By Laura Fay | April 2, 2020
For the first time EPA could order schools to test water for lead, but experts warn that doesn’t mean it will be safe to drink — or that lead will be removed
As Newark, New Jersey, Flint, Michigan, and other cities continue to grapple with lead in their water supplies, the Environmental Protection Agency is mulling changes to the decades-old regulation meant to protect Americans from the highly damaging contaminant. Among the proposed changes to the Lead and Copper Rule are a first-time national requirement to test...
By Laura Fay | February 3, 2020