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New Database to Map Schools’ COVID-19 Responses

NASSP partners with superintendents, Brown University professor, and Qualtrics to launch dashboard for school leaders

National education organizations, researchers, and technology experts have joined together to create the first nationwide database that systematically maps schools’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic across the United States. The data will assist school leaders in assessing the current conditions in their buildings, districts, and neighboring communities so they can make informed health and learning decisions. To build the database, we need all school leaders to fill out this important survey.

Along with NASSP, the organizations leading this groundbreaking work are AASA, The School Superintendents Association; the National Association of Elementary School Principals; Brown University Professor of Economics Emily Oster; and Qualtrics, the experience management company.

Uncertainty and challenges remain ever-present as the 2020–21 school year begins—whether in person or online. The ambiguity is largely due to several factors: the number of COVID-19 cases, disparate response efforts, how these impact school planning, and how leaders should continue monitoring and responding to students, staff, parents, and the broader community. District leaders and school principals still have important questions to answer: How many cases are in their communities? How many students and staff have contracted COVID-19? How are schools in their surrounding communities reopening? What resources are available?

Once the survey data has been collected, principals will be able to access a dashboard to see the information they submitted as well as from neighboring schools and districts. Access to the dashboard will help close gaps with a living hub of information that helps district and school leaders understand where COVID-19 cases are surging, how the spread of cases is impacting schools, what it means for opening and staying open, and how they can pivot and respond quickly. Education leaders will be able to understand and take action based on data and trends across the country, creating a blueprint and action plan as the academic year progresses. Data will also be analyzed with Qualtrics to allow education leaders and researchers to uncover trends and relationships, such as which early indicators could potentially predict an outbreak. Check out this FAQ page for additional details.

Data collection for the database has begun, and the dashboard is only as useful as the information provided by school leaders across the country. We need your help to build this project. Use the link below to complete the survey now. Fill out your school’s information, and join the fight against the spread of COVID-19 in schools.

 

Complete the Survey Now

 

 

THIS MONTH’S TOP ADVOCACY ISSUES

Congress Reaches Impasse on COVID-19 Relief Package

Despite negotiations beginning in July on a fourth COVID-19 pandemic relief package, Congress is still no closer to reaching an agreement. Democrats and Republicans are still far apart on a number of key issues, including overall spending, funding to bolster state and local government revenues, and tying funding for education to school reopenings. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is currently exploring the possibility of introducing a smaller, more piecemeal package in the hopes it will pass the Senate and place pressure on House Democrats. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has already derided this approach, as Democrats are demanding a full package funded at a minimum of $2.2 trillion. One possibility was to tie any potential COVID-19 relief onto must-pass budget legislation to circumvent FY 2020 funding set to expire on September 30. Congress must pass some sort of budget legislation before this date to avoid a potential government shutdown, something both Democrats and Republicans want to avoid in a pivotal election year. Originally, many saw this as an avenue to help secure the passage of additional COVID-19 relief, but Speaker Pelosi and Secretary Mnunchin both agreed that any sort of continuing resolution should be passed in a “clean” manner, meaning no additional legislation would be tied to budget legislation. This diminishes the possibility of a future COVID-19 relief package, but NASSP will continue to advocate for additional relief for our nation’s principals and the schools they lead.

TWITTER TALK

@akarhuse
Millions of kids are doing their schoolwork on their phones, in parking lots, or not at all. @olgakhazan reports on why so many Americans still don't have internet: https://theatlantic.com/technology/arc… #homeworkgap

 

@zachscott33
The Pandemic May Drive Principals to Quit http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/Distr… via @educationweek

 

@GWaples
Learning during COVID-19 can be especially challenging for ELL students and their families. Lydia Breisith of @ColorinColorado offers some helpful considerations and a list of resources for principals and educators in this @NASSP School of Thought blog:

 

@NASSP
State of American Education: Issues of equity, reopenings, budgets loom large. Via @EdDiveK12. Thank you @EdDiveRoger for covering our event. https://bit.ly/3aHZpNh

 

Take Action

Congress is currently debating another COVID-19 aid package, and we need to send them a clear message: significant emergency relief funding for K–12 schools must be included. Use the NASSP Action Center to send your senators and representative a message NOW. With just a few clicks, you can make a difference.

 

Other News

National Principals Month (NPM) is right around the corner! This October, consider inviting a lawmaker or other community leader to your school for an in-person or virtual “shadowing visit”. Watch this webinar to learn more about conducting a shadowing visit.


Last month, NASSP hosted the annual State of American Education event. Normally held in person at the National Principals Conference, the virtual event explored the trending policy issues that are impacting schools right now, including the pandemic, race relations, and educator shortages. Watch the recording now of this powerful free event.


NASSP conducted a new survey of school leaders where 45 percent of principal respondents said that COVID-19 was accelerating their plans to leave the profession. For more on this alarming statistic, read this coverage in Education Week.


NASSP has partnered with the American School Counselors Association to convene a panel of principals and counselors working together to address systemic oppression and racism in schools. Register now for this free event on September 30 at 3:00 p.m. (ET).


NASSP has officially partnered with DoSomething.org to empower the civic voice of students and encourage them to register to vote. We encourage all school leaders to share our new Online Voter Registration Drive tool with teachers, counselors, Honor Society and student council advisers, and their students. By sharing this tool and helping their friends register to vote online, students will be entered into drawings for scholarships!


NASSP launched a new national network for LGBTQ+ school leaders. Principals and assistant principals interested in joining the network can do so by filling out this form.

 

In This Month’s Principal Leadership

In the September “Advocacy Agenda,” Sasha Pudelski, advocacy director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, outlines the new Title IX regulations. Read the column to find out steps school leaders can take to comply with the new rules.

For more advocacy tweets, follow NASSP and the advocacy staff on Twitter:

 

NASSP
@nassp

 

 

Amanda Karhuse
@akarhuse

 

 

Zachary Scott
@zachscott33

 

 

Greg Waples
@GWaples

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