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The Study Hall

Acting on the CARES Act: Guidance for K12 Leaders

We’re now eight weeks into transitioning to online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic and for educators critical questions remain: How do schools determine who graduates? Who advances to the next grade level? Will remote learning assignments be pass/fail or have actual grades? What happens in lieu of end-of-year assessments? What would happen if a state didn’t have a seat-time waiver? What about teacher evaluations? School grades and ratings?

The rapid transition to online learning has been challenging. Working with district leaders across the country, I’ve heard again and again how they’re committed to providing instructional continuity and equitable access for all their students. But how can they catch up next fall?

When students return, whether that is in brick-and-mortar classrooms or online, the first challenge for teachers is determining how much students actually learned and retained from the previous year. There will be no end-of-year test scores, and 25% of the previous year’s content was delivered via remote learning. Many students without devices and connectivity received learning packets, but no regular instruction from a teacher. Teachers face the nearly impossible challenge of covering 125% of the year’s learning in the 2020-21 school year. And there is no doubt that students will have a wide range of learning gaps for all content areas.

For leaders and policymakers, this presents the opportunity to rethink school, investing in initiatives that will support students and help move them forward. As state leaders consider how to invest CARES Act funds, big decisions are required as never before on how to address students’ needs and mitigate learning loss.

To better understand the Education Stabilization Fund under the CARES Act and share insights on using these resources to promote learning in a post-COVID world, we’re hosting an expert panel on May 5, 1:00pm - 2:00pm EDT

Join me for a live webinar “K12 and the CARES Act: What Leaders Need to Know” as I connect with Ji Soo Song, Senior Policy & Advocacy Associate, ISTE; Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN; Reg Leichty, Founding Partner of Foresight Law & Policy; and Candice Dodson, the Executive Director of SETDA to discuss the new education era we find ourselves in and how to best support teachers and students in the challenging year ahead.

Register for the Webinar


In addition to the Webinar, we’ve collected a set of CARES Act resources for you to access, here.