As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, public health officials increasingly agree that “flattening the curve” of infection will likely require months, rather than weeks, of social isolation. Already, 44 million of the nation’s 57 million K-12 students have been affected by school closures. Parents and educators are scrambling to ensure that the essential services schools provide: education, child care, meals, plus the medical and social services that many families rely on–will continue to be available.
For example, with the help of many partners, the Los Angeles Unified School District opened 60 grab-and-go meal centers, 40 child care centers, and launched a distance learning program that involves both interactive computer-based learning and a partnership with public television that includes programming in English and Spanish for every age group with lesson plans and assignments. Take-home packets of reading and writing assignments focus both on traditional content and on students’ written reflections about their experiences during this time.