It’s the first week of school in Salt Lake City School District. Most classes are online, and in-person classes are under severe social distancing guidelines. School has never looked like this before. Meanwhile, coronavirus has made the inequities in our city more obvious than ever. Many families are facing multiple crises — illness, unemployment, hunger, housing insecurity, lack of technology access.
How is this new situation impacting families and students? How is it changing teachers’ practice? How can families and schools stay connected in these challenging times? How can COVID-19 challenge us to rethink schooling?
This summer, we asked these questions to west side families and teachers. They reflected on their experiences homeschooling during the spring and shared ideas for ensuring equitable schooling in the fall. Listen close: there is a lot that we can learn from these families and teachers, and from everyone out there navigating this new terrain.
These videos were created by the Family-School Collaboration Design Research Project, an effort by families, educators, and academics to support family leadership in west side Salt Lake City schools. We’ve also published an article in Education Week called “Family-School Relationships Are the Missing Link in COVID-19 Era Education”. The project is supported by University Neighborhood Partners and includes the Community Advocate Network, the Salt Lake City School District, the College of Education at the University of Utah, and the College of Education at Michigan State University. The project is also a part of the national Family Leadership Design Collaborative.