Crisis

How an unprecedented, indefinite crisis forced education leaders to change the ways school districts operate

Snowstorms. Hurricanes. Shootings. Educators and the students they serve have long been at the mercy of crises; most have some sort of plan for disasters.

But with coronavirus, a new national emergency forced districts to rewrite their playbooks. While it’s obvious how COVID-19 changed the structure of school, what’s less known is how districts had to overhaul their operations.

To continue working safely, they had to change, and fast: Lengthy in-person meetings went online, where districts had more control over interactions and public input. Transparency laws changed. Some districts, like Seattle Public Schools, enabled superintendents to spend large sums of money without bureaucracy through the end of the 2019-2020 school year. And many local districts did not let reporters observe their first days of classes, citing privacy concerns and technical issues.

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Schooling solutions amid COVID-19

This story was produced with support from the Education Writers Association

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Schools weigh outdoor learning as education crisis solution during coronavirus

Children sitting under a shade tree learning their ABCs and multiplication tables might sound like a scene from a long-lost era, but it also might be the answer for some school systems desperately seeking ways to resume operations.

With school buildings shuttered and complaints surging about the shortcomings of online instruction, some administrators are going back to the future by taking advantage of balmy fall climates and the relative safety of the great outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Utah, teachers at the Salt Lake Center for Science Education are selecting spots that offer plentiful shade and good Wi-Fi access for students returning to the physical classroom next month.

In Bend, Oregon, preschool children at Bend Forest School will forge ahead with another year — with boots, mittens and scarfs at the ready — to learn and play in the woods. Bend is one of hundreds of “forest schools” across

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Ohio University’s identity crisis shows the struggles of regional public universities

This article about higher education in Ohio was produced in partnership with The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education. This is part 5 of the Colleges in Crisis series.

Given current circumstances, Richard Vedder, an economics professor emeritus at Ohio University, is teaching his fall course, “Economic History of Europe,” for a salary of $1. Plus, a parking sticker.

“It will take a little bit of burden off the university,” said Vedder, a national expert on higher education finances. His career — he began teaching at O.U. in 1965 — spans the robust rise of public higher education and, now, its shakiest chapter.

The coronavirus crisis has hurt colleges everywhere. But for schools like O.U. — nonflagship public campuses in Ohio and across the Midwest that were already struggling — it has hastened a reckoning. The campuses have become heavily reliant on

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How one school’s identity crisis reflects a growing problem among public universities

This article about higher education in Ohio was produced in partnership with The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education. This is part 5 of the Colleges in Crisis series.

Given current circumstances, Richard Vedder, an economics professor emeritus at Ohio University, is teaching his fall course, “Economic History of Europe,” for a salary of $1. Plus, a parking sticker.

“It will take a little bit of burden off the university,” said Vedder, a national expert on higher education finances. His career — he began teaching at O.U. in 1965 — spans the robust rise of public higher education and, now, its shakiest chapter.

The coronavirus crisis has hurt colleges everywhere. But for schools like O.U. — nonflagship public campuses in Ohio and across the Midwest that were already struggling — it has hastened a reckoning. The campuses have become heavily reliant on

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My Daughter And I Just Became ‘Unhoused’ During The COVID-19 Crisis

"My fear, and I know it is shared by many, is that the chasm between socioeconomic classes will irreparably grow through this economic downturn." (Photo: Morsa Images via Getty Images)
“My fear, and I know it is shared by many, is that the chasm between socioeconomic classes will irreparably grow through this economic downturn.” (Photo: Morsa Images via Getty Images)

The new phrase is unhoused. Homeless is out. I didn’t have to look it up. Having volunteered at a day shelter for the last nine years, I already knew the answer.

I did so anyway, because my sweet friends keep trying to convince me that we are not, in fact, either homeless or unhoused. They resist the label because they love me, and because being homeless, or unhoused, is an unpleasant, socially awkward situation; it is vulnerable and unstable and none of the things you want for a friend.

Except that we are. Unhoused. Our belongings are packed in a garage in central Virginia, and I no longer have employment. The question of where my daughter and I will lay

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Your Grocery Store Shopping Strategy During the Coronavirus Crisis

Almost every state now has an order for its residents to stay at home to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. One of the only reasons Americans can leave the house during this time is to stock up on essentials at the grocery store — but the thought of shopping for groceries can be anxiety-inducing.

GOBankingRates spoke to health experts about the best ways to minimize risks while stocking up on what you need at the grocery store.

Last updated: July 31, 2020

Opt For Delivery If You Can

If it’s possible for you to buy groceries online via Instacart, Amazon Fresh or another delivery service, that’s probably your safest bet.

“Grocery shopping could be challenging in times of viral outbreak as it exposes people to potential pathogens on surfaces and other shoppers that may be carriers,” said Tatiana Larionova, MS, LDN, CNS, a medical advisor for eMediHealth. “Online

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‘I see a disaster in the making.’ Professors slam reopening plans at Illinois colleges amid COVID-19 crisis, prompting some schools to reverse course.

Illinois State University’s first attempt to articulate its vision for reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic this fall didn’t sit well with everyone.

The plan, dubbed “Redbirds Return” after the central Illinois college’s mascot, drew swift criticism from faculty after it was shared in early June, prompting instructors to draft their own proposals and call for greater precautions when scores of students are expected to descend on campus next month. The faculty’s letter objecting to plan has been signed by more than 500 employees, students, parents and other community members.

“Since releasing the plan, we’ve received a great deal of feedback,” ISU President Larry Dietz said earlier this month. “Many faculty and staff members have also made it clear they would like a greater voice formulating plans.”

At the same time, Dietz announced modifications the faculty had been seeking: increased flexibility to work from home, through at least December, and to

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22 Tips for Landing a Job During the Health Crisis

The coronavirus pandemic rocked the job market seemingly overnight, with businesses laying off workers and instituting hiring freezes. For the week ending April 4, about 6.6 million people filed for unemployment, according to the Department of Labor. Economists at the Federal Reserve’s St. Louis district predict that 47 million Americans could lose their jobs as a result of the health crisis.

So what does this mean for job seekers? Those who had been actively looking before the crisis might wonder if they should put their job search on hold, while others have no choice but to look for work after being let go from their jobs. Although it’s certainly a tough job market right now, it’s not impossible to land a new gig. Here are what career and hiring experts say to do to land a job amid the coronavirus crisis.

Last updated: April 10, 2020

Take the Time To

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Greta Thunberg launches open letter demanding world leaders take immediate action on climate crisis

Greta Thunberg launches open letter demanding world leaders take immediate action on climate crisis
Greta Thunberg launches open letter demanding world leaders take immediate action on climate crisis

Greta Thunberg has launched an open letter signed by thousands of activists and celebrities, and hundreds of scientists demanding global leaders take measurable, immediate action to genuinely tackle the climate crisis.

“The race to safeguard future living conditions for life on Earth as we know it needs to start today,” reads the letter, sent to all EU leaders and heads of state on Thursday. “Not in a few years, but now.” Signatories include Malala Yousafzai, Leonardo DiCaprio, Priyanka Chopra, Opal Tometi, Jane Fonda, Shawn Mendes, Coldplay, Mark Ruffalo, Margaret Atwood, and many others.

The Swedish teen climate activist teased something big on Twitter on Thursday, then tweeted out the link to the letter, noting the campaign hashtag #FaceTheClimateEmergency.

Written by Thunberg alongside fellow climate activists and School Strike 4 Climate organisers Luisa Neubauer, Anuna de Wever

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I’m from Florida. Our coronavirus crisis doesn’t surprise me

I have spent the past three months in my home state of Florida, during which time I’ve watched it become the hottest of coronavirus hotspots on the planet. This week began with the announcement that the state registered over 15,000 new infections in a single day, which was almost 3,000 more daily cases than any state previously had recorded since the pandemic began. If Florida was a country, according to Reuters, it would have the world’s fourth-highest tally of new Covid-19 cases over that 24-hour span, trailing only the US, Brazil and India.

Florida has a well-deserved reputation as America’s weirdest state, so perhaps the pandemic punishment being meted out to us right now shouldn’t come as a shock. A 1948 Fortune magazine study observed: “Florida is a study in abnormal psychology, useful in signaling the … hidden derangements of the national mood.” A lot of bad trends in American

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