NEW YORK, April 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Opportunity Labs announced today the launch of a roadmap for the re-opening of the nation's schools. The guidance, funded by some of the country's foremost philanthropists and business leaders, covers all areas that local education leaders should consider in planning a return to school in the fall. It was created through the collaborative efforts of public health leaders and education experts.
The roadmap provides detailed guidance on a broad range of topics, from instruction and postsecondary success, to student and staff wellness and school operations. The approach is supported by a range of local education leaders and other prominent supporters, including former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, Jeff Colyer, M.D., former Governor of Kansas, and John White, former Lousiana Superintendent of Education.
"As any teacher, school principal or district superintendent can tell you, returning to school in periods of normalcy is hard. Doing so in the face of COVID-19, a public health epidemic with extreme uncertainties, will be monumentally difficult," said Andrew Buher, Founder of Opportunity Labs and a former Chief Operating Officer of the NYC Department of Education, the nation's largest school district. "The Return to School Roadmap provides a framework to make this historically challenging process of returning to school a bit easier."
"Local education leaders are doing heroic work to support students during the pandemic, but schools must immediately begin preparing to re-open their doors for the next school year," said Dr. Mario Ramirez, former acting director of the Office of Pandemic and Emerging Threats under President Obama, an active emergency room physician, and Managing Director of Opportunity Labs. "Parents, students, and school staff have to be assured that schools will open safely and that there are appropriate protocols in place to do so."
"Millions of families are counting on a safe and effective return to school when the time comes," said Secretary Duncan. "To deliver on these expectations, we must confront hard truths, raise the bar and try new things. And we must start now. Superintendents and school leaders can begin to implement Opportunity Lab's Return to School Roadmap tomorrow."
Opportunity Labs works across healthcare, education, housing, and workforce to catalyze improved outcomes for low-income Americans.
The guidance can be found at www.returntoschoolroadmap.org
Support for Opportunity Labs' Return to School Roadmap:
"Millions of families are counting on a safe and effective return to school when the time comes. To deliver on these expectations, we must confront hard truths, raise the bar and try new things. And we must start now. Superintendents and school leaders can begin to implement Opportunity Lab's Return to School Roadmap tomorrow."
-- Former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
"COVID-19 has already disrupted the education of millions of students, and may exacerbate gaps in opportunity and achievement for disadvantaged, disabled, and vulnerable students. The Return to School Roadmap will help prepare educators and administrators across the country to reopen their classrooms safely and ensure underserved students get the quality education they need to thrive in a post-COVID-19 America."
-- Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro
"In this moment, leaders of states, school districts, and schools need practical advice that can be implemented quickly. This roadmap provides clear guidance informed by the realities of operating schools. State and local leadership across the country can use this blueprint as they plan for a safe return to school, whenever that time comes."
-- John White, Former Louisiana Superintendent of Education
"The Return to School Roadmap is an essential tool for guiding any education leader and their communities through and beyond the impact of COVID-19."
-- Dr. Nancy B. Gutierrez, President & CEO, NYC Leadership Academy
"States need to start planning how to reopen schools now. The Roadmap makes tangible both how difficult and how critical this work will be."
-- Jeff Colyer, M.D., Former Governor of Kansas
"With luck and this roadmap, schools will walk into the next school year as safer, more resilient, and more compelling parts of the community."
-- John Katzman, CEO, Noodle Partners
"Next school year will be the most challenging and important one in recent memory. Schools will need to help students cope with the trauma they've experienced and make up for the learning they've missed—to ensure that all students, and especially traditionally underserved students, have the opportunities they deserve after they graduate. The Roadmap is a great resource for system leaders as they start planning to make that happen."
-- Dan Weisberg, CEO, TNTP
"The Return to School Roadmap is exactly the resource that is needed to consider what school will look like in the fall. We will use it to frame and inform thinking, discussion, and planning in West Orange Public Schools."
-- Scott Cascone, Superintendent, West Orange Public Schools, New Jersey
"As we work to ensure a smooth and trauma free return to bricks and mortar schooling, the Roadmap will be a crucial resource at a time when school leaders need it most."
-- Melissa Silberman, Head of School, Broome Street Academy Charter High School
Interview Requests: David Weiner (646-491-0574)
Email: [email protected]
SOURCE Opportunity Labs