New Research on Opening SchoolS Safely in The COVID-19 Era: SSW Experiences & Recommendations
COVID-19 has presented a worldwide challenge for schools. Issues of safety, isolation, mental health, hunger, housing insecurity, and physical health are all amplified. With calls for systemic change by the Black Lives Matter movement, the question of how to reopen and reinvest in schools that serve under-resourced communities and students of color has gained prominence and urgency. Calls for reinvestment shed light on longstanding and significant systemic opportunity gaps, as well as decades of neglected needs within such schools and communities.
School social workers (SSWs) have long been in these schools battling for racial, social, and economic justice — and making sure that families, teachers, and students have the resources and services they need. Our national study of 1,275 SSWs presents their voices and suggestions in connection with COVID-19, the reopening of schools, online services, and how reinvestment in low-income communities and schools should transpire. Thanks to all of you who shared your perspectives with us by taking this survey. Here’s what you told us and what we think should be done to re-open schools safely and rebuild our American community.SCHOOLS-COVID_FINAL
In the coming weeks, we will have a lot more to share from our findings and what we think they tell us about the urgent needs that our students, families, and schools have if we’re going to re-open schools and create a more equitable and humane America. For now, here is our policy brief (above) and our full technical report and appendix for you. Thanks again for being part of this project and watch this space at SSWN and our SSWNetwork for more updates soon.
Michael S. Kelly, Loyola University Chicago • Ron Avi Astor, UCLA • Rami Benbenishty, Hebrew University Gordon Capp, California State University, Fullerton • Kate R. Watson, UCLA