The COVID-19 pandemic has led to massive disruptions in schooling across the country. Educators suddenly had to shift their entire curriculum online. Meanwhile, families were thrown into an unexpected new role: homeschooling their children while simultaneously navigating challenges like unemployment, illness, new technologies, and a lack of basic necessities. Disconnects between families and schools — particularly in communities of color and of immigrant and refugee background — have only widened. 30,000 students in Utah were never reengaged by schools after the shutdown.
The families in this video, members of the Community Advocate Network, step forward to share their experiences supporting learning at home. Their message to schools is a complex one, full of gratitude and frustration, questions and provocations, advice for teachers and requests for support. There is a lot that we can learn from these parents, and from all the other families out there navigating this new terrain.
This video was 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. 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.