Special Report

Planning for a Pivotal School Year

A K-12 Leader's Guide to Get Ready for 2021-22
April 28, 2021
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Schools across the country are poised to come roaring back to full life this fall.

It’s a hopeful and promise-filled prospect after a year in which district and school leaders shepherded wary communities through virtual learning, socially-distanced classrooms and bus rides, mask-wearing mandates, and contact tracing and quarantines—often in a fog of confusing and contradictory guidance. They’ve learned a lot about how to operate schools in a public health crisis.
 
But plenty of uncertainty lingers ahead of the 2021-22 academic year. The COVID-19 pandemic is not over, and no one knows when it will end.
 
How hard will it be for some students to re-acclimate to full-time, in-person learning? How must teachers adapt instruction for the moment we’re in? How can schools be ready to address the widening social-emotional and mental-health needs of students and employees? And after saving education from complete collapse in the pandemic, how will schools evolve their use of educational technology and remote learning for new realities?
 
In this four-part series, EdWeek journalists tackle those and other big questions to help district and school leaders reset and get ready for another pivotal year.
 
We’ll start with some reporting on how to rethink—and use—the summer months. We'll follow with three other installments in the weeks ahead, with reporting that digs into student well-being, instructional imperatives, and where we go next with virtual learning.
Summer 2021: How Schools Can Make the Most of It
Ways that students, teachers, and school and district leaders can restore and retool this summer and come back charged for the year ahead.
April 27, 2021
May 2021: Helping staff and students bounce back from a disrupted year
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June 2021: Getting clear on instructional priorities
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July 2021: Planning what's next for remote learning
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Series Illustrations: Vanessa Solis
Visuals Series Editor: Emma Patti Harris
Series Editor: Lesli A. Maxwell