One of Our “COVID Keepers”: Putting Communities First in Public Charter Schools

This blog post was written by Joanna Hightower and Shira Woolf Cohen, Founding Partners, Innovageous.

In March 2020, brick and mortar public charter schools were suddenly forced to operate as virtual schools.

Despite the incredible challenges, educators embraced their “new normal” by aligning to new virtual learning platforms, integrating asynchronous learning, and finding unique ways to meet their students not only academically, but emotionally and physically. With grace as a mantra, educators, alongside families and students, have spent the year redefining what it means to educate and meet students “where they are” — all during a global pandemic.

The concurrent pandemics of COVID-19 and our ongoing racial reckonings have spotlighted the overwhelming inequities in our schools and how we systemically educate our children. While public charter schools have been working overtime to address the many adversities that have surfaced, they now must also confront an incredibly thick residue of trauma and rising social and emotional needs in students and families.

As schools head back to in-person learning, many are grappling with how to reimagine teaching and learning to meet the exasperated academic needs of each student. Leaders and staff are searching for the best ways to integrate purposeful and sustainable frameworks to support students socially and emotionally. Schools are also seeking ways to tap into the agency students have learned during the pandemic, to help them apply this agency to their learning experiences in school and in life.

Read the complete #WithCommunities blog post and learn more about community-centered charter schooling on the NACSA website.

We’re NACSA and we believe that we can create the best education systems for our students by collaborating #WithCommunities. Join us: