Reading Rockets–NEA Guide

COVID-19 and the 2021-22 School Year

Third grade student wearing face mask in front of school mural

What does the 2021-22 school year look like for our kids, families, educators, and school communities? Here you'll find timely news headlines, articles, video, and resource collections that focus on returning to school during the ongoing pandemic, the importance of social and emotional supports, and addressing learning loss resulting from missed school days, the challenges of distance learning, and family trauma.

Social and emotional issues

Classroom Time Isn’t the Only Thing Students Have Lost

Students have endured tremendous trauma during the pandemic — and teachers know learning can’t happen without healing. (The Atlantic)

Why we're prioritizing SEL this year

Four educators write that additional supports are a necessity for students and their families this year to proactively address pandemic stress and trauma. (K-12 Dive)

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Addressing learning gaps

The Science of Catching Up (Hechinger Report)

Tens of millions of students may now be months or, in some cases, even a full year behind because they couldn’t attend school in person during the pandemic. Significant setbacks are especially likely for the most vulnerable students — kids with disabilities and those living in poverty, who didn’t have a computer, a reliable internet connection or a workspace to learn at home. Educators will have to do something different for the 2021-22 school year to make up for those losses. No catch-up strategy can possibly benefit all students. But studies do point toward which strategies are most effective, how they can best be implemented — and what approaches might be a waste of time and money. Here’s a rundown of the most relevant research. See report >

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Research and Reports

Reopening schools

What kinds of decisions will schools, educators, and families have to make about how schools work in the 2021-2022 school year? Learn more from these updates.

Returning to School: A Toolkit for Principals

This toolkit from the National Comprehensive Center is designed to help principals organize their approach to reopening and includes tools, tip sheets, and suggestions for action. Topics range from the nuts and bolts of social distancing and cleaning protocols to building the school community by emphasizing what everyone has in common.

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"A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom" —

Robert Frost