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Contributing Editor: Karen Poplawski, Director of Programs at CRS

On Sunday, March 8, I flew home from the Center for Responsive Schools office in Turners Falls, Massachusetts, where I had just attended a training session for the release of our new four-day Elementary Core Course. My team had spent well over a year developing the course, and everyone in attendance was noticeably enthusiastic about the changes. We couldn’t wait to see it delivered live throughout the country in the summer.

On Tuesday, March 10, we realized those plans were going to be disrupted. Given the public gathering restrictions and general uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, we knew we were going to need to develop an alternative to the in-person course we had prepared. Keeping in mind the thousands of educators and students counting on us to support safe, joyful, and engaging learning in their classrooms, the team here at Center for Responsive Schools rolled up our sleeves and got to work on a solution. At one point a team member said, “We’re educators, we’re used to adapting to change, we’ve got this!” Through perseverance and determination, we believe we’ve risen to the challenge and figured out a way to provide great professional development in a virtual format. 

We know educators everywhere are experiencing their own array of emotions and challenges surrounding the sudden changes presented by immediate school closures. We also know these challenges are being met with hope, ingenuity, and compassion. In this special edition issue, you will hear from a variety of educators about the ways they are coping, adjusting, and finding ways to continue creating hope and joy for their students.

Articles in this Issue:

“We Need to Keep Being the Cheerleaders but Also the Calm in the Storm”: One Principal’s Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic

“Just remember, this is new for all of us,” principal Tina Miller reminds her students in her first video morning announcement, a virtual edition of a daily staple at Howe Elementary School in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. With a warm smile, she assures her student body, “Your teachers have been working hard, and everybody in the…

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Remote Learning for Active Kindergartners

At the time of this article, her school was on spring break. When their break ends, in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, like many schools across the country and the world, all teaching will be remote. “I have never done remote teaching before,” she told us. “Never, never, never. This is it….

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Middle School Students Make the Move to Online Learning

Emily Parrelli is a middle school teacher in Nashville, Tennessee, who has been working with her colleagues to develop an online teaching curriculum that will keep students engaged and maintain their classroom community. They want to do their best to continue the level of interaction online that they had in the classroom, and to ensure…

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