(R)evolutionize School Reopening

A panel conversation hosted by EdTrust and the New Teacher Center

Recorded July 29th, 2020

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Linda Chen

Chief Academic Officer, New York City Public Schools



Tanji Reed Marshall

Director of P-12 Practice, Ed Trust



Daniel Gohl

Chief Academic Officer, Broward County Public Schools



Crystal Gonzales

Executive Director, English Learners Success Forum


Desmond Blackburn

Desmond Blackburn, Presenter & Panel Interviewer

Chief Executive Officer, New Teacher Center (NTC)



Erica Reese, Host

Vice President, Equity and Learning, New Teacher Center (NTC)


(R)evolutionize School Reopening

A panel conversation hosted by EdTrust and the New Teacher Center

During this (R)evolution Campaign panel discussion we learned how district leaders aim to address inequities experienced by their students and families; accelerate learning for all their students, and revamp professional learning to better meet their educator’s needs during this challenging period. Discovered how education leaders are rethinking systems and structures that have not effectively served their students and families in the past.

We also heard how stakeholders are working together to prepare school leaders and teachers to provide high-quality instruction amidst the unknown and uncertain circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic.Tune into the recording to hear more, including the ways in which districts are staying flexible—from shifting instructional hours, to virtual homework helplines that connect students and teachers beyond the bounds of a typical classroom. 

Some key themes are included below:

Mindsets and Beliefs—We all need to be explicit and intentional in our plans to serve families and every student. When holding educators accountable for the mindset shifts necessary to believe that every child can achieve—remember, we can not police belief, but we can examine and navigate key conversations by focusing on outcomes. 

Families and Students—Having become teachers themselves during the pandemic, parent and caregiver input is more critical than ever. We need direct engagement with families, and need to hold space for student voice and feedback. Students have new and increased agency in their own learning that we must intentionally cultivate and support. 

Equitable Instruction—While operational and safety concerns are a central focus, equitable instruction for kids is also essential as a focus. To do this, we must build on the identities that students bring into school; do not ask them to leave those identities at the door. We must be willing to be a learner, be willing to make adjustments, be accountable for students’ outcomes, and be ready to push for improved resources and environments that all learners need.

English Learner Perspective—The pandemic adds an additional layer of trauma for English Learner students, from a lack of internet connectivity, to a lack of language support. We need to take an assets based approach for English Learner students, such as encouraging at-home instruction to happen in the language spoken at home.