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Aurora Institute

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across the globe, school leaders and education policymakers are grappling with unprecedented decision-making about closings and equitable continuity of learning. This historic event demonstrates the need to orient our school systems toward anytime, anywhere learning — and to modernize our systems to meet students’ individual needs.

While there is no playbook for an event of this scale and magnitude, we aim to support school leaders and educators at the front lines of the crisis.

Planning for student success in the wake of COVID-19 starts by recognizing that some students are particularly vulnerable when schools close. By tending to their needs, we can ensure all students continue their learning journeys, and the disruptions caused by the pandemic don’t exacerbate inequities.

We’ve created this resource page to supply educators, school leaders, and education policymakers at all levels with helpful resources to navigate the challenges presented by the coronavirus outbreak. They are intended to help school communities prepare for change and to focus on the facts to protect public health, mitigate confusion, prevent panic — and continue teaching and learning.

Our team is actively curating resources, reviewing state plans, and monitoring legislative and policy changes related to coronavirus. Please come back regularly for updates to this list.

What Is Continuity of Learning?

Continuity of learning is an emergency response measure to ensure students can stay on their learning pathways during an interruption, such as a prolonged school closure or absence due to illness, natural disasters, conflicts, or weather events. It is also called continuity of education, instructional continuity, academic continuity, among other terms.

Aurora Institute Continuity of Learning and COVID-19 Resources

Continuity of Learning 2020 Presentation

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Learning Continuity Readiness Assessment

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Online Learning Resources

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Additional COVID-19 Resources

Our Recommendations

  • Consider plans for short- and long-term closures.
  • Distribute information about coronavirus, along with prevention, testing, and treatment measures, from local health departments to your community.
  • Review and activate existing infectious disease protocols.
  • Follow the CDC’s Interim Guidance for Administrators of US K-12 Schools and Childcare Programs and monitor for updates.
  • Activate any existing academic continuity plans for remote or distance learning.
  • Prepare self-directed learning activities for learners according to their zone of proximal development.
    • Prepare hard-copy packets and/or digital devices for pick-up with appropriate social distancing protocols.
    • Upload digital content and open access to reference materials to support learning.
    • Enable teacher check-ins with students via phone, email, and the web.
    • Enable teachers to record audio and video of subject matter content.
  • Develop an equity response plan to ensure learning continues for:
    • Students with disabilities and special needs
    • Students who live on low incomes, are homeless, do not have access to technology, and are food insecure (Expect that as the economic consequences of COVID-19 unfold, the number of students in these categories may increase.)
    • Students who are learning English
    • Students who migrate
  • Communicate frequently with educators and staff and enable continued professional learning during self-quarantine.
  • Connect with trusted community partners to support continuity of learning and to connect families with other services they might need during the pandemic.
  • Consult local education agencies or the U.S. Department of Education for guidance or waivers from accountability and assessment mandates, as needed.
  • Convene a task force of educators, community leaders, parents, and students to plan for long-term anytime, anywhere learning innovations.