Teaching Pack: Lessons

How can educators leverage the COVID-19 pandemic to engage students in active learning? This collection of resources was curated to support high-school and middle-school teachers in bringing timely, high-quality material on the current COVID-19 pandemic into their "classrooms," whether digital or physical.

This online curriculum produced by the COVID-19 Student Response Team at Harvard Medical School (HMS) …

This online curriculum produced by the COVID-19 Student Response Team at Harvard Medical School (HMS) is a resource portal containing information about Coronavirus in three formats tailored to elementary school students, middle school students, and high school and college age students. Modules for elementary students include a guided series of printable coloring pages. Middle school students can learn the science behind viruses and the timeline of COVID-19 via a series of videos, readings, and interactive…

The purpose of this protocol is to design an art assignment that communicates public health …

The purpose of this protocol is to design an art assignment that communicates public health information. This is inspired by the United Nations Global Call Out to Creatives, a campaign to marshal creative efforts in translating critical public health message to different communities. A provocative or eye-catching piece of art, video, or audio can transform evidence into a format that is both attractive and memorable. Resources Students may want to refer to the following resources…

This collection of resources from The New York Times is designed to help students and …

This collection of resources from The New York Times is designed to help students and educators stay updated on the COVID-19 outbreak, think critically about information, consider the “essential” questions the pandemic raises about our world today. Popular resources include a lesson on how coronavirus hijacks cell function, weekly data literacy activities, short Film Club documentaries on COVID-related stories, and daily writing prompts for students. The page is regularly updated with new student-centered content from…

This video and facilitator guide from KQED, aimed at students, talks about the importance of …

This video and facilitator guide from KQED, aimed at students, talks about the importance of social distancing, even for young people. The facilitator guide includes prompts for students to practice their writing, specifically about their personal experiences social distancing and their tips for survival. Educators have the option to integrate the resource directly to Google Classroom.

These resources from BrainPOP offer multiple ways to teach about coronavirus that are most appropriate …

These resources from BrainPOP offer multiple ways to teach about coronavirus that are most appropriate for younger students. After watching the anchor video, students can take quizzes or make a visual map of their learning through BrainPOP’s web-based tool. It also includes a worksheet about prevention, graphic organizer on fact vs. fear, and vocabulary flash cards.

This resource collection from Scholastic Classroom Magazines brings together age-appropriate information for teaching about the …

This resource collection from Scholastic Classroom Magazines brings together age-appropriate information for teaching about the coronavirus. Among the resources for middle school and high school students is an interview with a physicist who explains how sneezes (and mucus droplets) spread the disease, as well as an accessible article on pandemic preparedness.

This web portal from the Viswanath Lab at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public …

This web portal from the Viswanath Lab at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health brings together a wide variety of credible Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) related information that is easy to access, digest, and act upon. The rapid spread of COVID-19 has simultaneously led to a rapid spread of information, misinformation, and disinformation related to the pandemic. This portal seeks to aid journalists, non-governmental organizations, and community members in navigating this deluge of…

These activities from Facing History and Ourselves encourage students to grapple with the ethics around …

These activities from Facing History and Ourselves encourage students to grapple with the ethics around social distancing, a new social norm with the spread of COVID-19. In particular, the activities in this resource help students explore the meaning of “common good” and consider its implications for collective action. Each activity includes reflection questions, which students can respond to through text, virtual discussion, or multimedia. This resource also includes student-facing Google Slides that can be integrated…

This resource library from National Geographic includes photos, videos, maps, and activities related to infectious …

This resource library from National Geographic includes photos, videos, maps, and activities related to infectious diseases. The resources within the collection focus on bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. The resources within the collection would be useful to educators seeking to contextualize COVID-19 within the context of other infectious disease prevention and treatment efforts. Educators can filter by content type (e.g., video, infographic, activity) or by subject (e.g., biology, social studies, geography). Most resources are suitable…

This case vignette will be most useful to high-school educators looking to introduce COVID-19 to …

This case vignette will be most useful to high-school educators looking to introduce COVID-19 to their classroom. The case focuses on understanding why local and federal governments need to "implement guidelines for social distancing". Students will learn what "social distancing" means, and how it can involve population-based measures such as canceling group events and closing public spaces as well as individual-level behavior change such as staying home, working remotely, and avoiding of crowds. Students will…

This documentary uncovers the history of the 1918 flu epidemic—the worst epidemic in American history, …

This documentary uncovers the history of the 1918 flu epidemic—the worst epidemic in American history, which killed over 600,000 people. Since 2018 represents the centenary of this deadly epidemic, many are drawing parallels to the current, deadly flu season. The film is accompanied by a teacher’s guide, a timeline tracking the disease’s spread, and a photo gallery of the medical investigation of influenza.

This article in the Biomedical Science Journal for Teens compares two non-pharmaceutical approaches for addressing …

This article in the Biomedical Science Journal for Teens compares two non-pharmaceutical approaches for addressing COVID-19: mitigation approaches, which emphasize protecting the most vulnerable in the population, and suppression approaches, which minimize the spread of the disease until treatment is available. This article, written in plain language accessible to middle school and high school audiences, bases this comparison on a computer model for flu pandemic simulations, modified for COVID-19. The authors find that suppression strategies—which…

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Innovative Ways to Make Coronavirus a Teachable Moment

When the world feels dangerous, harnessing learning can provide some measure of clarity and perspective.

The massive public health challenge of Covid-19, in spite of its many unknowns, offers teachers the unique instructional opportunity to tap into students’ innate curiosity about the virus and deliver lessons that are timely, prompt kids to dig deep, and—ideally—provide a modicum of comfort during a time of alarming headlines and copious misinformation.

From simple concepts that work well for younger kids—like why hygiene matters and how germs spread—to more complex topics like ethical decision-making, the science behind how viral infections work, or the mathematics underpinning pandemics—teachers are finding ways to help kids rise above the noise with unique, thoughtful lessons.

THE MATH BEHIND PANDEMICS

Math, often considered a strictly rational discipline, can play an important emotional and psychological role during uncertain times, giving students productive tools to battle fear and misinformation.

Frank Wang, a math teacher and the president of Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, began teaching kids the math of epidemics during a summer program he taught in 2010 to students from Clark County, Nevada. At the time, it seemed like a lively way to make math more compelling to the middle school students enrolled in the program. Now, he’s showcasing some of that content on Facebook  and providing resources for middle and high school students to grapple with the mathematics behind how an epidemic grows and spreads.

“What’s unfolding is a catastrophe, but it’s also a time to share rich math and teach about the concepts of calculus—the mathematics of change. For young people, it can be a way to motivate their learning of mathematics,” says Wang. “Where teaching about exponential growth might have them scratching their heads in the classroom, now we can show that these models are being used in hospitals to calculate things like: how many ventilators, or how many hospital beds, will they need?”

In one scenario, Wang uses the Las Vegas strip as ground zero for a worldwide epidemic. “Forty million people visit that little patch of land. They stay a couple days and then go back home,” says Wang. “Kids can play around with these models and change the parameters —like the incubation period or mortality rate.”

VIROLOGY AND BIOLOGY

Students in anatomy and physiology teacher Scott Johnson’s class at Century High School in Bismarck, North Dakota, already completed a unit on virology, so for an upcoming lesson on the respiratory system, he plans to have his students examine an article about how the coronavirus impacts the body in an effort to provide what the National Science Teaching Association calls 3D Learning —a scaffolding of learning that more closely reflects real-life scientific inquiry.

“Johnson’s goal isn’t to limit the discussion to the unit he’s covering, but rather to find ways to explore a wider lens and encourage deeper learning,” writes Stephen Noonoo for EdSurge . “He asks students to evaluate the sources of information they’re reading and, where possible, gets them to think about how other disciplines, such as biology or the social sciences, are involved. The idea is to get students to think like scientists and consider the sequence of questions that need to be asked and answered in order to make sense of the virus.”

Teaching students to become storytellers—to find and tell the unique stories that exist as a result of living through the pandemic, accurately and compellingly—is a powerful learning experience that not only helps prepare kids to become civically engaged, productive adults, but also to process the extreme changes they’re coping with as a result of coronavirus.

“For teenagers, every day is an entire period in their lives—so much happens in one day, in one moment. So they’re feeling this in ways we don’t understand as adults,” says Leah Clapman, managing editor and founder of PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs. “So what we’re seeing is a real reckoning with that, they’re thinking through it. And being able to express themselves by making videos—not just for their friends, but for people outside of that space—is really powerful and allows them to explain what that feels like."

The PBS unit, which runs labs in 150 schools teaching students video journalism, offers a free curriculum called Making Sense of Coronavirus that helps teachers get started on teaching students to cover the basics of local video journalism from their homes.

MAKERS OF HISTORY

When teachers ask students to journal—in writing, sketches, videos, or other forms of expression—they are harnessing a powerful tool for providing an outlet for kids’ feelings. At the same time, journaling allows students to create a record of their daily lives at a time when the new normal stands in stark contrast to life even just one month ago.

“When future historians look to write the story of life during coronavirus, these first-person accounts may prove useful,” writes Amelia Nierenberg for The New York Times . “History isn’t usually told by the bigwigs of the era, even if they are some of its main characters. Instead, it is often reconstructed from snapshots of ordinary lives.”

Bryan Shaw, a social studies teacher at Ygnacio Valley High School in Concord, California, created a Covid-19 Student Journal assignment—a simple one-pager that provides guidance for students to record changes in their communities, in the country, and the world at large, and then asks them to critically analyze it and develop their own interpretations. The document recently went viral and has been adapted into ten versions in at least four languages, says Shaw.

“I’ve always been interested in rethinking history curriculum: how can we make it interesting?,” says Shaw. “At least 85 percent of my students are on Free and Reduced Lunch and so there are real Wi-Fi access issues, and I’m not a fan of too much learning on a computer. So this is something kids can do without a computer, a way to think about what’s going on in my family, my neighborhood, the world around me.”

ASKING HARD ETHICAL QUESTIONS

Now that students around the world are grappling with the realities of life during a pandemic, there is ample opportunity for teachers to fold current events into lessons and provide opportunities—especially for middle and high school age kids—for debate and critical thinking. When done well, writes Linda Flanagan for KQED , these may open the door for students to experience empathy, self-reflection, and even personal growth.

For example, teachers might take on the news reports from Italy where doctors, facing an overburdened healthcare system in the Northern part of the country, must decide which patients stand a better chance of surviving—and then deny care to the sickest. With this type of sensitive topic, teachers might give students the opportunity to opt out, or pick another subject, such as exploring the digital divide and reflecting on the social justice issues that it raises.

The following framework, used by teachers at the Ethics Institute at Kent Place School in New Jersey, is used with middle and high school students to begin exploring a set of values and applying a framework for ethical decision-making.

Graphic of Ethical Decision-Making Method

MEDIA LITERACY

Teachers can play an important part in improving students’ skills at determining what’s true and what isn’t when it comes to online information, especially now, when online hoaxes abound .

In a 2016 study , Stanford education and history professor Sam Wineburg and a team of researchers surveyed nearly 8,000 students across 12 states and concluded that: “Overall, young people’s ability to reason about the information on the Internet can be summed up in one word: ‘bleak’,” Wineburg wrote.

Students need to learn how to evaluate sources on their own, and the best way to do that is to teach them to think like professional fact-checkers. In a piece for Education Week , Wineburg noted three guiding principles teachers can tap into when teaching media literacy:

Read laterally : While students tend to read vertically, fact-checkers read laterally, Wineburg writes, leaving the original page to open up new tabs and read more deeply from other sources, and dig into other ways to verify a story.

Don’t trust the ‘about’ section : Fact-checkers never evaluate the veracity of a site based solely on that site’s description of itself. Teach students to leave the page, google the name of the organization, or its leadership, read other stories about it, and generally go beyond the “about” section.

Scroll to the bottom of search results : Fact-checkers, Wineburg writes, don’t trust whatever results pop up at the top of, say, a Google search on a topic. Rather, they scroll way down to the bottom of the search results and make up their own mind about what they’ll read and trust.

“None of this is rocket science. But it’s often not taught in school,” Wineburg writes. “In fact, some schools have special filters that direct students to already vetted sites, effectively creating a generation of bubble children who never develop the immunity needed to ward off the toxins that float across their Facebook feed, where students most often get their news.”

Greater Good Science Center • Magazine • In Action • In Education

Education Articles & More

Six online activities to help students cope with covid-19, these well-being practices can help students feel connected and resilient during the pandemic..

At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNESCO estimates that 91.3% of the world’s students were learning remotely, with 194 governments ordering country-wide closures of their schools and more than 1.3 billion students learning in online classrooms.

Now that the building blocks of remote education have been put into place and classroom learning is underway, more and more teachers are turning their attention to the mental health of their students. Youth anxiety about the coronavirus is rising , and our young people are feeling isolated, disconnected, and confused. While social-emotional education has typically taken place in the bricks and mortar of schools, we must now adapt these curriculums for an online setting.

I have created six well-being activities for teachers to deliver online using the research-based SEARCH framework , which stands for Strengths, Emotional management, Attention and awareness, Relationships, Coping, and Habits and goals. Research suggests that students who cultivate these skills have stronger coping capacity , are more adaptable and receptive to change , and are more satisfied with their lives .

school project ideas on coronavirus

The virtual activities can be used for specific well-being lessons or advisory classes , or can be woven into other curricula you are teaching, such as English, Art, Humanities, and Physical Education. You might consider using the activities in three ways:

  • Positive primer: to energize your students at the start of class to kickstart learning, prompt them to think about their well-being in that moment, get them socially connected online, and get their brain focused for learning.
  • Positive pause: to re-energize students at a time when you see class dynamics shifting, energy levels dropping, or students being distracted away from the screen.
  • Positive post-script: to reward students and finish off the class in a positive way before they log off.

Rather than viewing these activities as another thing you have to fit in, use them as a learning tool that helps your students stay focused, connected, and energized.

1. Strengths

Activity: Staying Strong During COVID-19 Learning goal: To help students learn about their own strengths Time: 50 minutes Age: 10+

Prior to the lesson, have students complete the VIA strengths questionnaire to identify their strengths.

Step 1: In the virtual class, explain the VIA strengths framework to students. The VIA framework is a research-based model that outlines 24 universal character strengths (such as kindness, courage, humor, love of learning, and perseverance) that are reflected in a student’s pattern of thoughts, feelings, and actions. You can learn more about the framework and find a description of each character strength from the VIA Institute on Character .

Step 2: Place students in groups of four into chat rooms on your online learning platform and ask them to discuss these reflection questions:

  • What are your top five strengths?
  • How can you use your strengths to stay engaged during remote learning?
  • How can you use your strengths during home lockdown or family quarantine?
  • How do you use your strengths to help your friends during COVID-19?

Step 3: As a whole class, discuss the range of different strengths that can be used to help during COVID times.

Research shows that using a strength-based approach at school can improve student engagement and grades , as well as create more positive social dynamics among students. Strengths also help people to overcome adversity .

2. Emotional management

Activity: Managing Emotions During the Coronavirus Pandemic Learning goal: To normalize negative emotions and to generate ways to promote more positive emotions Time: 50 minutes Age: 8+

Step 1: Show students an “emotion wheel” and lead a discussion with them about the emotions they might be feeling as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. You can use this wheel for elementary school and this wheel for high school.

Step 2: Create an anonymous online poll (with a service like SurveyMonkey ) listing the following 10 emotions: stressed, curious, frustrated, happy, angry, playful, sad, calm, helpless, hopeful.

Step 3: In the survey, ask students to enter the five emotions they are feeling most frequently.

Step 4: Tally the results and show them on your screen for each of the 10 emotions. Discuss the survey results. What emotions are students most often feeling? Talk about the range of emotions experienced. For example, some people will feel sad when others might feel curious; students can feel frustrated but hopeful at the same time.

Step 5: Select the top two positive emotions and the top two negative emotions from the survey. Put students into groups of four in virtual breakout rooms to brainstorm three things they can do to cope with their negative emotions, and three action steps they can take to have more positive emotions.

Supporting Learning and Well-Being During the Coronavirus Crisis

Supporting Learning and Well-Being During the Coronavirus Crisis

Activities, articles, videos, and other resources to address student and adult anxiety and cultivate connection

Research shows that emotional management activities help to boost self-esteem and reduce distress in students. Additionally, students with higher emotional intelligence also have higher academic performance .

3. Attention and awareness

Activity: Finding Calm During Coronavirus Times Learning goal: To use a mindful breathing practice to calm our heart and clear our mind Time: 10 minutes Age: All

Step 1: Have students rate their levels of stress on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being very calm and 10 being highly stressed. 

Step 2: Do three minutes of square breathing, which goes like this:

  • Image a square in front of you at chest height.
  • Point your index finger away from you and use it to trace the four sides of the imaginary square.
  • As you trace the first side of the square, breathe in for four seconds.
  • As you trace the next side of the square, breathe out for four seconds.
  • Continue this process to complete the next two sides of the square.
  • Repeat the drawing of the square four times.

Step 3: Have students rate their levels of stress on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being very calm and 10 being highly stressed. Discuss if this short breathing activity made a difference to their stress.

Step 4: Debrief on how sometimes we can’t control the big events in life, but we can use small strategies like square breathing to calm us down.

Students who have learned mindfulness skills at school report that it helps to reduce their stress and anxiety .

4. Relationships

Activity: Color conversations Purpose: To get to know each other; to deepen class relationships during remote learning Time: 20 minutes Age: 10+

Step 1: Randomly assign students to one of the following four colors: red, orange, yellow, and purple.

Step 2: Put students into a chat room based on their color group and provide the following instructions to each group:

  • Red group: Share a happy memory.
  • Orange group: Share something new that you have learned recently.
  • Yellow group: Share something unique about you.
  • Purple group: Share what your favorite food is and why.

Step 3: Come back to the main screen and ask three students to share something new they learned about a fellow student as a result of this fun activity.

Three Good Things for Students

Three Good Things for Students

Help students tune in to the positive events in their lives

This is an exercise you can use repeatedly, as long as you ensure that students get mixed up into different groups each time. You can also create new prompts to go with the colors (for example, dream holiday destination, favorite ice cream flavor, best compliment you ever received).

By building up student connections, you are supporting their well-being, as research suggests that a student’s sense of belonging impacts both their grades and their self-esteem .

Activity: Real-Time Resilience During Coronavirus Times Learning goal: To identify opportunities for resilience and promote positive action Time: 30 minutes Age: 10+

Step 1: Have students brainstorm a list of all the changes that have occurred as a result of the coronavirus. As the students are brainstorming, type up their list of responses on your screen.

Step 2: Go through each thing that has changed, and have the students decide if it is something that is within their control (like their study habits at home) or something they cannot control (like not attending school on campus).

Step 3: Choose two things that the students have identified as within their control, and ask students to brainstorm a list of ways to cope with those changes.

You can repeat this exercise multiple times to go through the other points on the list that are within the students’ control.

Developing coping skills during childhood and adolescence has been show to boost students’ hope and stress management skills —both of which are needed at this time.

6. Habits and goals

Activity: Hope Hearts for the Coronavirus Pandemic Learning goal: To help students see the role that hope plays in setting goals during hard times Time: 50 minutes Age: 10+

Step 1: Find a heart image for students to use (with a program like Canva ).

Step 2: Set up an online whiteboard to post the hearts on (with a program like Miro ).

Step 3: Ask students to reflect on what hope means to them.

Step 4: Ask students to write statements on their hearts about what they hope for the world during coronavirus times, and then stick these on the whiteboard. Discuss common themes with the class. Finally, discuss one small action each student can take to create hope for others during this distressing time.

Step 5: Ask students to write statements on their hearts about what they hope for themselves, and then stick these on the whiteboard. Discuss common themes with the class. Finally, discuss one small action each student can take to work toward the goal they’re hoping for.

Helping students to set goals and have hope at this time can support their well-being. Research suggests that goals help to combat student boredom and anxiety , while having hope builds self-worth and life satisfaction .

The six activities above have been designed to help you stay connected with your students during this time of uncertainty—connected beyond the academic content that you are teaching. The intense change we are all facing has triggered heightened levels of stress and anxiety for students and teachers alike. Weaving well-being into online classrooms gives us the opportunity to provide a place of calm and show students they can use adversity to build up their emotional toolkit. In this way, you are giving them a skill set that has the potential to endure beyond the pandemic and lessons that may stay with them for many years to come.

About the Author

Lea Waters

Lea Waters , A.M., Ph.D. , is an academic researcher, psychologist, author, and speaker who specializes in positive education, parenting, and organizations. Professor Waters is the author of the Visible Wellbeing elearning program that is being used by schools across the globe to foster social and emotional elearning. Professor Waters is the founding director and inaugural Gerry Higgins Chair in Positive Psychology at the Centre for Positive Psychology , University of Melbourne, where she has held an academic position for 24 years. Her acclaimed book The Strength Switch: How The New Science of Strength-Based Parenting Can Help Your Child and Your Teen to Flourish was listed as a top read by the Greater Good Science Center in 2017.

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Teaching About Coronavirus: 3 Lesson Plans for Science, Math, and Media Literacy

school project ideas on coronavirus

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school project ideas on coronavirus

As the coronavirus continues to spread across the country, students are coming into class with misconceptions about the outbreak—and teachers are trying to figure out how best to explain the facts and debunk rumors.

Some teachers have made COVID-19 a focus of their lessons.

Discussing the origin and effects of a new virus easily lends itself to science class. But teachers in other subjects—like algebra, statistics, and media literacy—have found ways to address the topic, too.

Designing a lesson around the outbreak could be a helpful way to answer students’ questions and calm fears, said Stephen Brock, a professor and coordinator of the school psychology program at California State University, Sacramento.

And if students have misconceptions about the virus or how it spreads, providing more information could help kids more accurately gauge threat, he said.

Responding to Coronavirus: A Downloadable Guide for Schools

At Fishers Junior High School in Indiana, math teacher Alison Strole had her students compare coronavirus to other viruses that have caused past epidemics, as part of a lesson on COVID-19.

Seeing that coronavirus was less contagious and caused fewer fatalities than some of those diseases was helpful for her students, said Strole, who teaches 7th and 8th graders.

“I felt like they realized, ‘Yes, this is something that we should be taking seriously.’ But also, it shouldn’t be feared as much as some of them do,” she said.

Education Week rounded up three teachers’ lessons on the virus. See what they’re doing below.

Alison Strole, middle school math teacher

Fishers Junior High School, Fishers, Ind.

Every day, Strole’s students watch CNN 10, an educational news show. After the coronavirus story kept coming up on the program for a few weeks, Strole had the idea to bring the topic into a lesson.

She started with an activity from the online lesson provider Mathalicious , which asked students to write an equation that predicts the spread of a fictional pandemic. “It ties perfectly into what we’re doing with exponential growth,” Strole said.

Then, she added her own extension to the lesson: Analyzing real coronavirus data from the World Health Organization . She pulled daily data on confirmed global cases, and then her class loaded the information into a graphing calculator.

Her students compared the pattern of the exponential equation to the coronavirus graph, and discussed why a fictional pandemic might look different from a real outbreak. They also talked about why a virus might grow more quickly at first, when people don’t know it exists and haven’t started containment efforts.

Students drew connections to the news, Strole said. One brought up Li Wenliang , the doctor who tried to raise a warning about the spread of coronavirus in China early on in the outbreak, and then died of the virus last month. After seeing the rapid growth in the graphs, Strole’s students said they could understand much better why early response to the virus would be so important.

William Reed, high school science and math teacher

Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy, Chicago

Reed’s lesson, posted on the National Science Teaching Association’s blog , links coronavirus to the Next Generation Science Standards. Students pose questions about the virus and evaluate sources of scientific information, activities that fall under NGSS Science and Engineering Practices.

But the lesson doesn’t just stick to the science behind the virus. Reed also discusses the racism and xenophobia that’s been directed toward people of Asian descent since the beginning of the outbreak.

Students watch a news video about this targeting, and then are asked to respond to the prompt: “Based on what you know about the novel coronavirus from this lesson, explain why prejudice against people with Chinese or Asian ancestry who live in countries outside of China has no scientific basis.”

When students have questions about the world, it’s an opportunity for teachers to engage them in scientific exploration, Reed wrote, in a separate blog for NSTA . “What better way to drive student interest than by drawing from current news headlines?”

Kathleen Currie Smith, library media specialist and Sean Law, math teacher

Ledyard High School, Ledyard, Conn. Last month, Currie Smith and Law were starting to plan a lesson on how statistics are presented in the news. The library media specialist and the math teacher (who are also cousins) often work together on activities that blend media literacy and data analysis.

Currie Smith saw the opportunity for an engaging lesson when she heard how students were talking about COVID-19. “They were just regurgitating headlines that they saw in the news,” she said. Digging into the data behind the stories “was a way to really evaluate what they were seeing on their social media feeds.”

In the lesson, Currie Smith and Law asked students to share the headlines that they see on their phones, and then asked them what kind of emotions those headlines elicited. They pointed out that while some news sources cited data to back up the information they shared, others didn’t. And they introduced students to resources where they could fact check claims themselves, like the dashboard created by The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University , that tracks global cases, death rates, and recovery rates.

Using Johns Hopkins data, Law asked the students to calculate the probability of infection in different countries. Seeing the math put students’ fears—and the headlines they had just shared—in perspective, Law said.

Students acknowledged that coronavirus posed a real threat, but they also thought some of the news sources they saw had blown the threat out of proportion, Law said. Doing simple things, like washing your hands, could resolve a lot of issues, one student noted (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds ).

“You could see some kids really thinking about the information and the knowledge they consumed,” Law said.

Image: Forest Hills Elementary School Principal Patrick Shuckerow (left) ''air high fives’’ a returning student to Forest Hills Elementary School after the Lake Oswego school district closed the building for several days due to a positive COVID-19 test on a school employee.—Ken Hawkins/ZUMA Wire

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.

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The Futures of Education

Our world is at a unique juncture in history, characterised by increasingly uncertain and complex trajectories shifting at an unprecedented speed. These sociological, ecological and technological trends are changing education systems, which need to adapt. Yet education has the most transformational potential to shape just and sustainable futures. UNESCO generates ideas, initiates public debate, and inspires research and action to renew education. This work aims to build a new social contract for education, grounded on principles of human rights, social justice, human dignity and cultural diversity. It unequivocally affirms education as a public endeavour and a common good.

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No trend is destiny...Multiple alternative futures are possible... A new social contract for education needs to allow us to think differently about learning and the relationships between students, teachers, knowledge, and the world.

Our work is grounded in the principles of the 2021 report “Reimagining Our Futures Together: A New Social Contract for Education” and in the report’s call for action to consolidate global solidarity and international cooperation in education, as well as strengthen the global research agenda to reinforce our capacities to anticipate future change.

The report invites us to rebalance our relationship with:

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In 2019 UNESCO Director–General convened an independent International Commission to work under the leadership of the President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, H.E. President Sahle-Work Zewde, and develop a global report on the Futures of Education. The commission was charged with carefully considering inputs received through the different consultation processes and ensuring that this collective intelligence was reflected in the global report and other knowledge products connected with the initiative.

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Sustainable development challenges and the role of education

Our foresight work, looking towards 2050, envisions possible futures in which education shapes a better world. Our starting point is observation of the multiple, interlocking challenges the world currently faces and how to renew learning and knowledge to steer policies and practices along more sustainable pathways.The challenges are great. But there are reasons for optimism, no trend is destiny.

Our work responds to the call of the International Commission on the Futures of Education to guide a new research agenda for the futures of education. This research agenda is wide-ranging and multifaceted as a future-oriented, planet-wide learning process on our futures together. It draws from diverse forms of knowledge and perspectives, and from a conceptual framework that sees insights from diverse sources as complementary rather than exclusionary and adversarial.

Reimagining cover white background

Linking current trends and the report of the International Commission on the Futures of Education.

  • The global population is projected to reach a peak at around 10.4 billion people during the 2080s , nearly double the global population of 1990 (5.3 billion)
  • There will be an estimated  170 million displaced people by 2050 , equivalent to 2.3% of the global population
  • Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to be home to some 1/3 of the global population  by 2050

"A new social contract for education requires renewed commitment to global collaboration in support of education as a common good, premised on more just and equitable cooperation among state and non-state actors. Beyond North-South flows of aid to education, the generation of knowledge and evidence through South-South and triangular cooperation must be strengthened."

No trends is destiny population FoE

  • The number of persons aged 65 years or older worldwide is expected to double over the next three decades, reaching 1.6 billion in 2050 (16% of global population)

"Human longevity may also increase and perhaps with it, at least for some, the extension of the work period of life. If older people can remain active and engaged, they will enrich society and the economy through their skills and experience."

Aging population FoE

  • Global temperatures are expected to increase  2.7 degrees by 2100 , leading to devastating global consequences
  • Humans currently use as as many ecological resources as is we lived on 1.75 Earths

"The planet is in peril (...) Here children and youth already lead the way, calling for meaningful action and delivering a harsh rebuke to those who refuse to face the urgency of the situation. (...) One  of  the  best  strategies  to  prepare  for  green  economies  and  a  carbon-neutral  future  is  to  ensure  qualifications, programmes and curricula deliver ‘green skills’, be they for newly emerging occupations and sectors or for those sectors undergoing transformation for the low-carbon economy."

No trend is destiny

  • Global freedom has been declining for more than 15 years  

"There has been a flourishing of increasingly active citizen participation and activism that is challenging discrimination and injustice worldwide (...) In educational content, methods and policy, we should promote active citizenship and democratic participation."

No trend is destiny freedom FoE

  • There will be an estimated 380 million higher education students by 2030, up from roughly 220 million students were enrolled in formal post-secondary education in 2021

"Future policy agendas for higher education will need to embrace all levels of education and better account for non-traditional educational trajectories and pathways. Recognizing the interconnectedness of different levels and types of education, speaks to the need for a sector-wide, lifelong learning approach towards the future development of higher education."

Lifelong learning needs

  • Less than 10% of school and universities have guidance on educational uses of AI

"The challenge of creating decent human-centered work is about to get much harder as Artificial Intelligence (AI), automation and structural transformations remake employment landscapes around the globe. At the same time, more people and communities are recognizing the value of care work and the multiple ways that economic security needs to be provisioned.”

technology no trend is destiny FoE

  • Fake news travel 6 times faster than true stories via Twitter - such disinformation undermines a shared perception of truth and reality

"Digital technologies, tools and platforms can be bent in the direction of supporting human rights, enhancing human capabilities, and facilitating collective action in the directions of peace, justice, and sustainability (...) A primary educational challenge is to equip people with tools for making sense of the oceans of information that are just a few swipes or keystrokes away."

No trend is destiny disinformation FoE

  • Employers anticipate a structural “labour market churn” (or disruption) of 23% of jobs in the next five years, resulting in a net decrease of 2% of current employment due to environmental, technological and economic trends.

"Underemployment, the inability to find work that matches one’s aspirations, skillset and capabilities, is a persistent and growing global problem, even among university graduates in many of the world’s wealthiest countries. This mismatch is combustible: social scientists have shown that a highly educated population unable to apply its skills and competencies in decent work, leads to discontent, agitation and sometime sparks political and civil strife... Learning must be relevant to the world of work. Young people need strong support upon educational completion to be integrated into labour markets and contribute to their communities and societies according to their potential."

No trend is destiny work FoE

  • CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS: Global population in 2080s: 10.4 billion ( UNDESA  World Population Prospects, 2022) /Africa 1/3 population ( UNDESA  World Population Prospects, 2022)
  • AGING POPULATIONS: 1.6 billion people over 65 in 2050 (UNDESA World Social Report , 2023)
  • PLANETARY CRISIS: Humans use 1.75 Earths ( Global Footprint Network ) / Global temperatures to increase 2.7 degrees by 2100   ( UNFCCC  Synthesis Report, 2021)
  • DEMOCRATIC BACKSLIDING: Global freedom has been declining for more than 15 years ( Freedom House  Freedom in the World report, 2023)

*  All figures correct as of 2023.

No trends is destiny

  • TECHNOLOGY: Less that 10% of school and universities have guidance on educational uses of AI ( UNESCO study, 2023)
  • DISINFORMATION: Fake news travel 6 times faster than true stories via Twitter ( MIT  study, 2018)
  • UNCERTAIN FUTURE OF WORK: Net decrease of 2% of employment over next 5 years ( WEF  Futures of Work report, 2023) 
  • CHANGING LIFELONG EDUCATION APPROACHES: 320 million students by 2030 ( World Bank  blog, 2022)

The third in a series of major visioning exercises for education

Reimagining our future together: a new social contract for education  is the third in a series of UNESCO-led once-a-generation foresight and visioning exercises, conducted at key moments of historical transition. 

In 1972, the  Learning to Be: the world of education today and tomorrow  report already warned of the risks of inequalities, and emphasized the need for the continued expansion of education, for education throughout life and for building a learning society.

This was followed by the 1996 Learning: The treasure within report that proposed an integrated vision of education around four pillars: learning to be, learning to know, learning to do, and learning to live together in a lifelong perspective.

Publications FoE

News and stories

Global Network of Learning Cities webinar ‘Countering climate disinformation: strengthening global citizenship education and media literacy’

Please feel free to contact us here if you have any questions or requests. 

Innovation That Matters

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school project ideas on coronavirus

Innovation Snapshot

7 Innovative Ideas for Safer Schools in the COVID Era

We've been tracking the most promising proposed solutions to helping keep schools open amidst the global pandemic.

The status of schools across the globe varies greatly as each region deals with its own challenges stemming from the ongoing health crisis. Even within specific states in countries like the United States, there is not a consistent approach — mixing virtual learning with in-person classes.

For educators, the task of keeping our children safe from the coronavirus is an ongoing fight, but potential help could be found in the innovative ideas coming in response to COVID. We’ve been tracking the most promising proposed solutions to helping keep schools open amidst the global pandemic, and have curated the best ones below.

school project ideas on coronavirus

1. ‘TREE-HOUSE SCHOOL’ DESIGNED FOR THE COVID ERA

US-based designer Valentino Gareri has come up with a modular educational centre concept featuring two ring-shaped structures that blend outdoor and indoor spaces. The “Tree-House School” addresses health concerns stemming from COVID-19 while incorporating sustainable features and a modular design that allows for future expansion based on capacity needs.

Classrooms would be well-ventilated, and social distancing would be easier to achieve due to the extra spaces incorporated in the design. Rooms can also be repurposed for different functions, including temporary medical centres or short-term residential units.

Read more about “Tree-House School” concept. 

school project ideas on coronavirus

2. CUSTOMISABLE FACE SHIELDS FOR SCHOOL CHILDREN

As schools in Luxembourg prepared to reopen earlier this year, Metaform Architects re-adapted a medical face shield that could be used by young children in the classroom. Educators and parents can collaborate with their kids in the making of the masks by downloading a kit featuring printable templates. “The main goal is to reduce the frequency a child touches his/her face, outside the classroom, in the school hallway, courtyard, from school to home. To dedramatize this new situation and to reduce the potential anxiety in kids and parents, we introduce a creative add-on, which kids can personalize, and wear and exhibit proudly,” the firm says. 

Read more about these face shields for kids. 

school project ideas on coronavirus

3. TENT CLASSROOM OFFERS COVID-SAFE ALTERNATIVE 

British studio Curl la Tourelle Head believes its concept tent classrooms could enable students to return to school while respecting social distancing guidelines. Pop-up teaching spaces would be assembled on the school’s playing fields or other nearby outdoor spaces and used alongside the school’s existing buildings. Inside, the tents would be arranged so that pupils are separated from each other by two metres.

The concept was inspired by tents being used by nurseries in Denmark. While the concept is currently designed for coronavirus social distancing, Curl la Tourelle Head hopes it could lead to a wider rethinking of the classroom and school design, or even inspire the concept of outdoor schooling.

Read more about the tent classrooms.

school project ideas on coronavirus

4. COLOURFUL SCREENS ENCOURAGE SOCIAL DISTANCING IN CLASSROOMS

UK furniture design and fabrication firm UNIT Fabrications developed a series of colourful, mobile screens to help school children with social distancing in classrooms. The screens were initially created as a special request by a local primary school, which needed a way to divide its existing space without making the school feel like a prison. UNIT came up with the idea for colourful plywood screens. The screens are low enough to allow teachers to see over them and are mounted on castors to make them easy to move around.

Read more about these mobile screens.

school project ideas on coronavirus

5. PROTECTIVE CLASSROOM DESK DIVIDERS

Concerned about her 11-year-old son returning to the classroom, a Sunderland-based mother and designer developed an affordable and colourful desk divider. Louise Stephenson, who runs a local printing business, wants to work with schools to create bespoke designs for the dividers, allowing them to be personalised with a child’s name, school logo and other information. 

Read more about the desk dividers. 

school project ideas on coronavirus

6. HANDS-FREE DOOR HANDLE TO PREVENT COVID SPREAD

London-based architectural designers, Ivo Tedbury and Freddie Hong, created a 3D-printed device that adapts door handles to be opened without the use of hands, with the aim to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The design consists of a curved plastic device that can be attached to fire escape-style pull door handles with cable ties. Instead of using hands to open a door, users can loop their arm through the adaptor and pull the door open.

Read more about the hands-free door handle. 

school project ideas on coronavirus

7. SANITISING TUNNELS AND BOOTHS

Mumbai-based retail décor firm, Surreal Design Studio, created sanitising tunnels and booths that can be used at the entrance of high-density public hotspots. While they were developed with bricks-and-mortar stores in mind, these walk-in systems could also provide students with a touch-free experience and can sanitise them within a five-second time frame. They are fitted with an integrated supply and drainage system to ensure no spillage or maintenance issues.

Read more about the sanitising tunnels. 

Written and Curated By: Justin Sablich Follow on Twitter: @JustinSablich

23rd September 2020

school project ideas on coronavirus

School-Based Interventions to Increase Student COVID-19 Vaccination Coverage in Public School Populations with Low Coverage — Seattle, Washington, December 2021–June 2022

Weekly / March 17, 2023 / 72(11);283–287

Tarayn Fairlie, MD 1 ; Brian Chu 2 ; Ebony S. Thomas, MPH 1 ; Audrey K. Querns 2 ; Andie Lyons, MTS 3 ; Melissa Koziol 3 ; Janet A. Englund, MD 4 ; Eric M. Anderson, PhD 2 ; Katherine Graff 5 ; Sara Rigel, MPH 3 ; Teal R. Bell, MPH 5 ; Sharon Saydah, PhD 1 ; Kevin Chatham-Stephens, MD 1 ; Tara M. Vogt, PhD 1 ; Samara Hoag, MN 2, *; Melissa Briggs-Hagen, MD 1, * ( View author affiliations )

What is already known about this topic?

Vaccination decreases risk for COVID-19 illness, severe disease, and death. U.S. pediatric COVID-19 vaccination coverage remains low.

What is added by this report?

Seattle Public Schools implemented a COVID-19 vaccination program through multiple community engagements. During December 2021–June 2022, completion of the primary COVID-19 vaccination series among Seattle Public Schools students aged 5–18 years increased from 56.5% to 80.3%.

What are the implications for public health practice?

School health programs can provide critical information about and access to vaccinations. School health providers might also be able to leverage community partners and relationships with families to increase vaccination coverage.

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COVID-19 can lead to severe outcomes in children ( 1 ). Vaccination decreases risk for COVID-19 illness, severe disease, and death ( 2 ). On December 13, 2020, CDC recommended COVID-19 vaccination for persons aged ≥16 years, with expansion on May 12, 2021, to children and adolescents (children) aged 12–15 years, and on November 2, 2021, to children aged 5–11 years ( 3 ). As of March 8, 2023, COVID-19 vaccination coverage among school-aged children remained low nationwide, with 61.7% of children aged 12–17 years and approximately one third (32.7%) of those aged 5–11 years having completed the primary series ( 3 ). Intention to receive COVID-19 vaccine and vaccination coverage vary by demographic characteristics, including race and ethnicity and socioeconomic status ( 4 – 6 ). Seattle Public Schools (SPS) implemented a program to increase COVID-19 vaccination coverage during the 2021–22 school year, focusing on children aged 5–11 years during November 2021–June 2022, with an added focus on populations with low vaccine coverage during January 2022–June 2022. † The program included strategic messaging, school-located vaccination clinics, and school-led community engagement. Vaccination data from the Washington State Immunization Information System (WAIIS) were analyzed to examine disparities in COVID-19 vaccination by demographic and school characteristics and trends over time. In December 2021, 56.5% of all SPS students, 33.7% of children aged 5–11 years, and 81.3% of children aged 12–18 years had completed a COVID-19 primary vaccination series. By June 2022, overall series completion had increased to 80.3% and was 74.0% and 86.6% among children aged 5–11 years and 12–18 years, respectively. School-led vaccination programs can leverage community partnerships and relationships with families to improve COVID-19 vaccine access and coverage.

With support from local and state public health officials, SPS conducted school-located vaccination clinics at 54 schools during November 2021–June 2022. WAIIS provides monthly reports on school-required and COVID-19 vaccination coverage to SPS; these data are then linked to school system data. WAIIS data were analyzed to ascertain the monthly proportion of kindergarten through grade 12 students completing the primary COVID-19 vaccination § series during December 2021–June 2022. The proportions of students completing the primary series were examined by age, race and ethnicity, ¶ language status (monolingual versus multilingual),** use of special education services, †† school equity tier, §§ and school baseline vaccination coverage, ¶¶ with January 2022 serving as a baseline for assessing subsequent activities to engage groups with low vaccination coverage. Qualitative and descriptive data regarding efforts by SPS to increase primary COVID-19 vaccination series completion during November 2021–June 2022 were also informally collected from approximately 10 SPS staff members and representatives of the Washington Department of Health and Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) via virtual meetings and e-mail. This activity was reviewed by CDC and was conducted consistent with applicable federal law and CDC policy.***

SPS serves approximately 50,000 students in 106 schools ( Table 1 ). In December 2021, primary COVID-19 vaccination series completion among SPS students aged 5–18 years was 56.5% overall ( Figure ) and was lowest among students who were non-Hispanic Black or African American (Black) (27.9%) and multilingual (30.0%). During November–December 2021, 55 school-located vaccination clinics were held, with planning led by SPS and supported by PHSKC. These clinics included school day clinics, where children received immunizations with written parental consent but without requiring that a parent be present, and school-located regional clinics during evening or weekend hours. School-day clinics were strategically located at 41 schools selected because of size or known barriers to care. ††† COVID-19 vaccines were also readily available at 29 PHSKC-supported school-based health centers that provide comprehensive primary care to their students.

By January 2022, primary COVID-19 vaccination series completion among SPS students aged 5–18 years had increased from 56.5% to 71.5%. After receipt of school-level student vaccination data in early January 2022, efforts during January–June 2022 focused on schools with continued low (baseline) vaccination coverage. Overall, 26 school-located vaccination clinics were conducted, including 19 during January–March 2022 that were in or near low-coverage schools (i.e., those with primary COVID-19 vaccine series completion rates of ≤50%). These clinics took place after school hours or on the weekend and were open to all SPS students and their family members. SPS administered 12,245 COVID-19 vaccine doses during November 2021–June 2022.

School-located vaccination clinics were complemented by strategies implemented to overcome cultural and linguistic barriers with families. For example, SPS conducted weekly communication with families, including email, telephone calls delivering prerecorded messages, and text messaging using TalkingPoints, a two-way communication platform that provided messaging in six languages. §§§ SPS also provided communications toolkits created by PHSKC in multiple languages to parent-teacher-student associations and community-based organizations to amplify messaging. Vaccine providers were selected based on their cultural competency (e.g., an independent, Black-owned pharmacy with vaccinators with facility in several African languages).

Tailored school-specific engagements were also conducted. One school used multilingual staff members from its school-based health center to administer vaccines at students’ homes or workplaces if necessary, thereby extending vaccination access beyond the school day. This school increased COVID-19 primary series completion among persons aged 11–21 years from 45% in January 2022 to 93% by June 2022. Another worked with a community health organization to organize health-related events focused on the Somali community and cohosted a school-located vaccination clinic with a local mosque. Each school used different approaches; however, all relied on school health staff members for direct family outreach.

During the period in which SPS specifically focused on students and schools with low baseline vaccination coverage, primary COVID-19 vaccination series completion among SPS students increased 12.3%, from 71.5% in January 2022, to 80.3% by June 2022; among children aged 5–11 years and 12–18 years, coverage increased 21.3% and 3.6%, respectively ( Table 2 ). Primary series completion increased 37.8% among Black students (from 33.3% to 45.9%), 121.8% (from 13.5% to 29.9%) among those aged 5–11 years, and 14.8% (from 53.6% to 61.5%) among those aged 12–18 years. During the same period among multilingual students, overall primary series completion increased 38.7% (from 42.6% to 59.1%), 74.6% (from 28.9% to 50.4%) and 10.6% (from 65.7% to 72.3%) among those aged 5–11 and 12–18 years, respectively. Primary series completion among students at schools with low baseline vaccination coverage also increased, from 36.0% to 51.7% (43.4% increase) overall, from 34.8% to 51.1% (46.9% increase) among students aged 5–11 years, and from 51.9% to 58.5% (11.5% increase) among those aged 12–18 years.

These data illustrate the potential impact of active school-based engagement on COVID-19 primary vaccination coverage among students. During the evaluation period, primary series completion in Washington among children aged 5–17 years (42.6%) was similar to national coverage in June 2022 (43.4%) ( 3 , 6 ). Primary series completion among children aged 5–17 years was higher in Seattle and King County (62.2%) than state-wide (42.6%); however, vaccination coverage among children aged 5–18 years in SPS (80.3%) exceeded this completion rate as well ( 7 ). Focused engagements during January–June 2022 to improve vaccination coverage might have contributed to high primary series completion among children attending SPS schools. Approaches included improved access via school-located vaccination clinics, outreach by school health professionals, and multimodal, multilingual communication from SPS. Coverage among all subgroups with low coverage in January 2022 significantly increased by June 2022, although overall completion remained lowest among Black and multilingual students.

Schools have the potential to play a critical role in the health of children, and can enhance access to health care services, including preventive care, particularly among those without a traditional medical home. Other studies have described the role of school-located vaccination clinics in increasing human papillomavirus and influenza vaccination coverage among students ( 8 , 9 ). School-located vaccination clinics can increase vaccination coverage by providing equitable access to vaccines but might be more effective when complemented with school-based messaging and other engagements to improve vaccine confidence.

The findings in this report are subject to at least six limitations. First, the intervention did not include a comparison group; thus, it is not possible to assess the relative contribution of these school-based activities to the changes in primary series completion described. Second, place of vaccination was not reported, and students might have been vaccinated at non-SPS vaccination sites. Third, monthly primary series completion data are cross-sectional, reflecting primary series completion for each subgroup at a single point in time; thus, the change in primary series completion for each subgroup cannot be attributed to individual change in behavior. Fourth, primary series completion data might be inaccurate or missing if students were vaccinated out of state. Fifth, caregivers of children in SPS might be more vaccine-confident compared with those in other U.S. populations, as suggested by high COVID-19 vaccination coverage in Seattle and King County ( 6 ). Finally, other interventions that affected vaccine confidence or access to care might not have been considered.

These findings illustrate and highlight the critical role that school health can play within the community. School health professionals are likely to be trusted by families ( 10 ). In this report, school health professionals collaborated with community and public health partners to implement strategic engagements and to facilitate opportunities for COVID-19 vaccination. School-led promotion of vaccination might improve vaccine confidence and provide support and readiness for current and future pandemics.

Corresponding author: Tarayn Fairlie, [email protected] .

1 CDC COVID-19 Emergency Response Team; 2 Seattle Public Schools, Seattle, Washington; 3 Public Health – Seattle & King County, Seattle, Washington; 4 Seattle Children’s Hospital, Seattle, Washington; 5 Washington State Department of Health.

All authors have completed and submitted the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors form for disclosure of potential conflicts of interest. Janet A. Englund reports institutional support from Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, and Merck; consulting fees from Pfizer, Moderna, Abbvie, Merck, and AstraZeneca; and travel support to attend the 2022 European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases meeting from AstraZeneca. No other potential conflicts of interest were disclosed.

* These senior authors contributed equally to this report.

† CDC recommended COVID-19 vaccination for persons aged ≥16 years on December 13, 2020, for children aged 12–15 years on May 12, 2021, and for children aged 5–11 years on November 2, 2021. Booster doses for children aged 12–17 years were recommended in October 2021, and booster doses for children aged 5–11 years were recommended on May 19, 2022. During the period described, SPS focused efforts on children aged 5–11 years to maximize primary series vaccination coverage in that age group, although booster doses were available, advertised, and encouraged as well.

§ Defined as having completed the primary series of a COVID-19 vaccine approved or authorized by the Food and Drug Administration or listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization.

¶ Defined by student self-report or caregiver report at time of school registration.

** Language status as monolingual or multilingual learner; multilingual learners were defined as those using English language learning (ELL) services during the 2021–22 school year. Students using ELL services spoke a variety of other languages at home or as a first language, including Amharic, Arabic, Cantonese, Japanese, Mandarin, Oromo, Russian, Somali, Soninke, Spanish, Tigrinya, Toishanese, and Vietnamese.

†† Having an individual education plan during the 2021–22 school year.

§§ School equity tier defined using established SPS methodology. Tier 1 and Tier 2 schools represent higher levels of inequity and are designated for additional support from the state; Tier 3 and Tier 4 schools have lower levels of inequity and do not qualify for additional support. https://www.seattleschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/tier_methodology23.pdf

¶¶ The proportion of a school’s students who had completed the primary series by the first week of January 2022. SPS school health staff members defined schools with low vaccination coverage as those with a student primary COVID-19 vaccination series completion rate of ≤50%; high-coverage schools were those with a completion rate of >50%.

*** 45 C.F.R. part 46, 21 C.F.R. part 56; 42 U.S.C. Sect. 241(d); 5 U.S.C. Sect. 552a; 44 U.S.C. Sect. 3501 et seq.

††† Prioritized schools included those with >500 students, Equity Tier 1–3 schools, schools with programs for medically fragile students and with deaf and hard of hearing students, and schools whose students had less access to other large-scale vaccination opportunities.

§§§ TalkingPoints is a two-way multilingual communication platform for schools and families. SPS uses this platform to engage with families in multiple languages (Amharic, English, Mandarin, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese) about school-related issues, including school-located vaccination clinics for COVID-19 vaccine. https://talkingpts.org/schools

  • Marks KJ, Whitaker M, Anglin O, et al.; COVID-NET Surveillance Team. Hospitalizations of children and adolescents with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19—COVID-NET, 14 states, July 2021–January 2022. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2022;71:271–8. https://doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm7107e4 PMID:35176003
  • Higdon MM, Wahl B, Jones CB, et al. A systematic review of coronavirus disease 2019 vaccine efficacy and effectiveness against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection and disease. Open Forum Inf Dis 2022 ; 9:ofac138. https://doi.org/10.1093/ofid/ofac138 PMID:35611346
  • CDC. COVID-19 vaccine ACIP vaccine recommendations. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2022. Accessed January 3, 2023. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/acip-recs/vacc-specific/covid-19.html
  • CDC. COVID data tracker: trends in demographic characteristics of people receiving COVID-19 vaccinations in the United States. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2022. Accessed March 8, 2023. https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccination-demographics-trends
  • CDC. COVID data tracker: trends in COVID-19 vaccine confidence in the US. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2022. Accessed August 25, 2022. https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccine-confidence
  • Galanis P, Vraka I, Siskou O, Konstantakopoulou O, Katsiroumpa A, Kaitelidou D. Willingness, refusal and influential factors of parents to vaccinate their children against the COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Prev Med 2022;157:106994. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2022.106994 PMID:35183597
  • Washington State Department of Health. COVID-19 vaccination progress dashboard and data. Olympia, WA: Washington State Department of Health; 2022. Accessed July 22, 2022. https://doh.wa.gov/emergencies/covid-19/vaccine-information/dashboards-and-data
  • Underwood NL, Gargano LM, Sales J, Vogt TM, Seib K, Hughes JM. Evaluation of educational interventions to enhance adolescent specific vaccination coverage. J Sch Health 2019;89:603–11. https://doi.org/10.1111/josh.12786 PMID:31161606
  • Szilagyi PG, Schaffer S, Rand CM, et al. School-located influenza vaccination: do vaccine clinics at school raise vaccination rates? J Sch Health 2019;89:1004–12. https://doi.org/10.1111/josh.12840 PMID:31612491
  • Albright K, Barnard J, O’Leary S, et al. School-based health centers as medical homes: parents’ and adolescents’ perspectives. Acad Pediatr 2016;16:381–6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acap.2015.06.004 PMID:26329018

Abbreviations : ELL = English language learner; SPS = Seattle Public Schools. * Race and ethnicity were based on U.S. Department of Education descriptors. Final guidance on maintaining, collecting, and reporting racial and ethnic data to the U.S. Department of Education is available at https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2007-10-19/pdf/E7-20613.pdf . If the ethnicity aggregate is Hispanic or Latino, race and ethnicity is listed as Hispanic or Latino. If the ethnicity aggregate is non-Hispanic and one race category is selected, student is listed as that race. If two or more race categories are selected, student is listed as multiracial. † Language status was either multilingual, defined as student use of ELL services during the 2021–22 school year, or monolingual, with no use of ELL services in 2021–22. § Use of special education services was defined as use of an individual education plan during the 2021–22 school year. ¶ Defined as the proportion of a school’s students who had completed the primary COVID-19 vaccine series by the first week of January 2022. SPS school health staff members determined in January 2022 that low-coverage schools were those with a student completion rate of ≤50%, and high vaccination coverage schools were those with a completion rate of >50%. ** School equity tiers were defined as either high levels of inequity (Tier 1 or Tier 2) or low levels of inequity (Tier 3 and Tier 4), based on established SPS methodology. https://www.seattleschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/tier_methodology23.pdf

FIGURE . Completion of the primary COVID-19 vaccination series by students aged 5–18 years, by race and ethnicity* (A) and school coverage status, † student language status, and equity tier § (B) — Seattle Public Schools, December 2021–June 2022

Abbreviations: ET = equity tier; SLVC = school-located vaccination clinic.

* Hispanic or Latino students could be of any race; other racial groups were non-Hispanic. American Indian or Alaska Native students (215), Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander students (197), and students with missing race and ethnicity data (18) are excluded from figure.

† Low- and high-coverage schools have primary COVID-19 series completion rates of ≤50% and >50%, respectively.

§ Tier 1 and Tier 2 schools represent higher levels of inequity and are designated for additional support from the state; Tier 3 and Tier 4 schools have lower levels of inequity and do not qualify for additional support. https://www.seattleschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/tier_methodology23.pdf

* Equity Tier 1 and Tier 2 schools represent higher levels of inequity and are designated for additional support from the state; Tier 3 and Tier 4 schools have lower levels of inequity and do not qualify for support. https://www.seattleschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/tier_methodology23.pdf † During January–June 2022. Categories are not mutually exclusive. § Absolute percent change from January to June 2022 for each group was compared with the hypothesized mean increase in completion of 5% for all persons aged 5–18 years, 10% for children aged 5–11 years, and 3% for persons aged 12–18 years based on COVID tracker data showing completion rate changes seen nationally during the study period using a paired t-test. The absolute change was statistically significant (p<0.05) for each group. Comparison across groups was not completed because many of the groups are not mutually exclusive. ¶ Percent change was calculated as follows: (proportion June 2022 − proportion January 2022) / proportion January 2022.

Suggested citation for this article: Fairlie T, Chu B, Thomas ES, et al. School-Based Interventions to Increase Student COVID-19 Vaccination Coverage in Public School Populations with Low Coverage — Seattle, Washington, December 2021–June 2022. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2023;72:283–287. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm7211a3 .

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The Big List: Make These Projects to Fight COVID-19 Right Now

The Big List: Make These Projects to Fight COVID-19 Right Now

By Keith Hammond

Keith hammond.

I'm projects editor of MAKE magazine.

This list is a live document, so check back often — we’re adding new projects as they become available, emphasizing those that emerge as advantageous, and deleting those that become obsolete or superseded. Updated June 17

Moonshots take precious time. How can makers fight Covid-19 right now?

school project ideas on coronavirus

Here’s a list of projects anyone can make at home or at a makerspace (if it’s open) to help loved ones and health workers who need protective gear during the coronavirus crisis.

But before you print, cut, build, or sew these, take a minute to find out what’s needed in your local area. First read OSMS’ Guide to Effective Local Response and check with Get Us PPE and your local medical society. For sewing masks, check with Relief Crafters of America , Asks for Masks , and this list of Hospitals Requesting Homemade Masks . 3D printer jockeys, check the NIH 3D Print Exchange and Asks for Masks’ Calls for Help . To learn more about all these projects, spend time reading the FAQ at OSMS (that’s the Open Source Medical Supplies group).

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HAND SANITIZING AND WASHING

WHO-recommended hand rub — It’s just glycerol, hydrogen peroxide, and lots of ethanol or isopropyl alcohol. Download the PDF recipe here. To mix up a home-sized batch, you can follow this nice tutorial on YouTube (above).

school project ideas on coronavirus

Scrubber, a Spotify Hand-Wash Timer ( website ) — Scrubber is a soap dispenser that doubles as a timer, by playing 20 seconds of your favorite Spotify tunes. A fun DIY “Cabin Fever” project from by Deeplocal in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

DIY Mobile Handwashing Station ( website ) — Bring the clean wherever it’s needed, with this 32-gallon foot-pumped sink made from trash bins, a dishpan, and common hardware. Developed by the community hygiene nonprofit LavaMaeX in Los Angeles and the SF Bay Area.

PROTEIN FOLDING COMPUTING

Be a citizen scientist while you sleep or play games! You can volunteer your spare computer or smartphone time, or hook up a dedicated Raspberry Pi, to help researchers crunch numbers and discover proteins that will fight the coronavirus.

Rosetta@Home ( website ) — Original project from University of Washington. “R@h is being used to predict the structure of proteins important to Covid as well as to produce new, stable mini-proteins to be used as potential therapeutics and diagnostics.”

Fold for Covid ( website ) — An engineer at Balena ported Rosetta@Home to the Raspberry Pi and other Linux/ARM single-board computers, so now your Pi’s, Jetsons, and other SBCs can join the army of computers running protein simulations. How-to video below, presented live at Virtually Maker Faire on May 23.

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Foldit — Solve Puzzles for Science ( website ) — Gamified version, have fun while helping. Currently testing 100 designed proteins to see if they’ll have anti-inflammatory effects to fight Covid.

Folding@home ( website ) — is a long-standing distributed computing project for simulating the folding and movements of proteins implicated in diseases. Download the F@h software so your computer can run simulations and join the hunt for Covid-killers.

Splash-resistant surgical masks are requested by many health workers. Elastic straps may be unwelcome in clinical settings (latex allergies).

school project ideas on coronavirus

Plain fabric masks are CDC-recommended for everyone to contain coughs and sneezes. They can also protect respirator masks. 100% cotton T-shirt or pillowcase fabrics work well, or surgical mesh if you can find it. Other fabrics can filter better but restrict breathing; see a complete comparison here .

MakerMask Surge ( website ) — Pleated, three layer, uses nonwoven polypropylene (NWPP) from reusable grocery bags for waterproof outer layer.

Freesewing.org Fu Mask ( website ) — Simple surgical mask, any fabric, suitable for personal use when out grocery shopping etc.

Providence Community Mask ( website ) — Pleated style surgical mask requested by hospitals, use surgical mesh (ask your hospital) or other fabric.

Kaiser Permanente Face Mask ( website ) — Pleated style for nonclinical and personal use; PDF sewing instructions here .

Joann’s Make to Give Mask ( website ) — Simple, all cotton fabric recommended, drop off at Joann’s Fabrics store.

No-Sew T-Shirt Face Mask ( website ) — Masks4All advocates mandatory mask laws in all countries to stop the virus; they’re sharing an easy DIY mask cut from an old T-shirt.

Car Cover Face Masks ( website ) — Car covers are also made with nonwoven splashproof fabric, and you can sew 150 masks from one cover.

FACE MASK ACCESSORIES

FixTheMask DIY Surgical Mask Brace ( website ) — Hospital surgical masks could filter as well as N95s, except they don’t fit your face as well. Use rubber bands to make a surgical mask fit snug like an N95 (shown above); ex-Apple engineers at have confirmed it works. Voilà, instant respirator mask! Now there’s a permanent V2 design cut from rubber sheet.

Bias Tape Creation Tool ( website ) — A quick 3D print that can help people sewing masks. Elastic is not preferred right now, and having the ability to make your own “bias tape” will greatly speed up the process of making fabric ties for your masks. One maker is using a laminator to heat-press and feed the fabric through automatically. Another modified the tool so it mounts on the sewing machine to feed and sew at the same time. Lots more versions on Thingiverse .

“Ear Savers” Mask Comfort Straps — Long hours are painful in surgical masks that strap to your ears. Print a simple back strap that takes the elastic stress off your ears. There are medically approved designs at the NIH’s 3D Print Exchange and another from HP and Peak Sport .

Face Mask Protective Shield ( website ) — Health workers are wearing fabric masks as shields over their N95 respirators to keep them cleaner and extend their lives. Here’s a 3D printed shield instead.

FACE SHIELDS

Protect the eyes and entire face from splashes/droplets. Versions that are all-cut (by laser, by hand, or by die) are faster to make than 3D printed versions. Versions that are closed at the top are safer for workers. Versions with foam can’t be sanitized for reuse.

CUTTING ONLY:

Wisconsin “Badger Shield” ( website ) — Medically approved by OSMS reviewers, vinyl with foam forehead pad (shown above), all McMaster materials. Developed by University of Wisconsin-Madison Makerspace with Delve and Midwest Prototyping; now they’re teaming with UCLA on Shield-Net.org to pair hospitals with manufacturers.

Proto Shield ( website ) — Medically approved by OSMS, compatible with the Prusa shield (see below) but 100x faster to make because it’s all laser cut (photo above, left). No foam pad, disassembles for sterilization. Developed at Protohaven makerspace in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Kansas City Open Source Face Shield ( website ) — all vinyl, fast for laser cutting or CNC, plastic “ladder lock” headband can be replaced with elastic, developed at University of Kansas with local firms.

school project ideas on coronavirus

Origami Face Shield ( website ) — Another single-material shield; unique design folds to make a top cover as well. The first project launched by Helpful Engineering , a 3,000+ volunteer incubator of ideas for fighting Covid-19. OSMS approved.

Providence Face Shield ( website , Powerpoint ) — Vinyl with foam forehead pad, endorsed by Providence Health.

ABV4 Laser Cut Face Shield — Andrew Blackstock’s update of Konrad Klepacki and Mateusz Dyrda’s design, both on Hackaday .

Wilbert Yuque’s Laser Cut Shield ( full files on Google Drive ) — Update of Rui Costa Ruimestre’s design from OSMS community; acrylic visor spaces the shield away from your face.

Hammerspace Face Shield ( website) — Laser cut, no 3D printing, elastic back.

HowToons Soda Bottle Face Shield ( website ) — Blast from the past, let the kids make this one for the home emergency kit. Medically approved, says OSCMS, but it is “catastrophe grade.”

school project ideas on coronavirus

Prusa Protective Face Shield RC3 ( website ) — 3D printed parts and vinyl shield (shown at top right), dual headband spaces the shield away from your face. When printed in PETG, it can be sanitized chemically, with hot air, or UV-C.

Design that Matters Face Shield 3.0 — Remix of Prusa shield extends visor upward to protect against aerosol and splatter from above, and improves washability and reuse (shown at bottom right). Approved and shared on NIH’s website .

school project ideas on coronavirus

IC3D/Budmen Face Shield ( website ) — 3D printed parts and vinyl, initially produced for New York hospitals, now updated with the help of IC3D, approved, and shared on NIH’s website as well.

3DVerkstan Face Shield ( website ) — Not the most deluxe, but in demand because it’s fast to print and flat to ship. Also NIH approved .

INJECTION MOLDED:

Injection Molded Prusa Face Shield ( website ) — Charlotte Latin School’s Fab Lab in North Carolina has modified Prusa’s 3DP face shield parts for injection molding in polypropylene plastic. Files are shared at Github and there’s a Gofundme if you’d like to donate. “We are going from 150 face shields a day to thousands a day,” said Fab Lab director Thomas Dubick.

RESPIRATORS

A respirator is a face mask that seals to the face and filters fine particles from the air.

school project ideas on coronavirus

Swim Mask HEPA PAPR ( Instructable ) — A PAPR (powered air purifying respirator) forces air through a filter into a sealed mask to protect workers; here’s a DIY version designed by physician Randell Vallero MD using a 5V computer fan, HEPA filter from a vacuum cleaner, and a full face swim mask.

Swim Mask Respirator ( Instructable ) — Dr. Vallero and his son also developed a non-powered swim mask respirator using common filters like 3M’s P100, HEPA vacuum cleaner bags, and hospital standard Iso-Guard in-line air filters.

school project ideas on coronavirus

MakerMask 3D Printed Respirator ( website ) — Rory Larson in Seattle designed this more complex, dual-filter respirator in consultation with his local hospital and VA; it’s meant for community use and “non-patient facing jobs” — not for health providers dealing directly with patients. Read the MakerMask story here .

DIY “N95” Respirator Mask ( website) — Home HVAC filters can provide filtration similar to a respirator, and OSMS notes that “MERV 13 or higher FILTRETE filters can be used to make DIY N95 masks.” Here’s a DIY version. Hospitals may not accept it, but you’d probably feel OK providing it to your family.

PROTECTIVE SUITS/GOWNS

Full body protection for workers at the front lines.

school project ideas on coronavirus

PS-1 Open Source Protective Suit ( files in google drive ) — Michelle Dulce in Manila reverse engineered an existing isolation suit, turned it into a pattern, and created an instructional PDF for home sewers. Alex Crease from Boston created DXF files for machine cutting. OSCMS recommends using Tyvek and following DuPont’s method of heat-sealing the seams. – Maker Faire Rome’s discussion about Covid

HANDS-FREE ACCESSORIES

school project ideas on coronavirus

No-Touchy Hand Sanitizer Dispenser ( video ) — Foot-operated lever squeezes your standard pump bottle; adjustable shelf for different bottle sizes. From Ace Makerspace (aka Ace Monster Toys) in Oakland, California.

Hands-Free Door Opener (Foot Operated) ( website ) — Simple bracket lets you open unlatched doors by pulling with with your foot. (Bare feet and flip-flops not recommended.) From Seattle Makers.

Hands-Free Shopping Cart Handles ( website ) — 3D printed, push your cart with your elbows not your hands. Designed and shared by Materialise.

Hands-Free Door Handles — 3D printed, install on lever door handles to open with your elbows. Materialise has one here and MatterHackers has one here .

school project ideas on coronavirus

  • https://www.prusaprinters.org/prints/26461-door-opener-fight-coronavirus-covid-19
  • https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4242313
  • https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4243593
  • https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4192643

school project ideas on coronavirus

STERILIZATION

Reuse protective gear so it lasts longer.

YouVee — A DIY UV-C Irradiation Cabinet ( website ) — For $50 of parts from the home improvement store, you can build a simple UV-C cabinet (shown above) to zap the virus and sterilize masks and other gear. Easy project uses a germicidal bulb, an ordinary work lamp, and aluminum foil tape. Developed by Deeplocal in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, inspired by Mike Dubrovsky ‘s crude UV-C chamber how-to. Full YouVee project instructions here on Make: .

school project ideas on coronavirus

“Easy Bake” Heat Sterilization Oven ( website ) — Like an Easy-Bake Oven, this chamber uses a 100W incandescent light bulb for heat, plus a cheap styrofoam cooler and an Arduino circuit (or plain vanilla temperature controller) to keep the interior at 70°C/158°F for as long as you say. Also from Akiba.

Hybrid Heat/UV-C Face Mask Disinfection Chamber ( website ) — Double trouble for viruses: hackers at Needlab in Barcelona engineered a  disinfection box for surgical and fabric masks, using both dry heat and UV-C light controlled by an Arduino. More complicated than the two above.

How to Reuse N95 Masks — From a Stanford Medicine study : To sterilize, heat in an oven 70°C/158°F for 30 minutes, or steam over boiling water for 10 minutes. But they warn: Don’t do this in your kitchen or you could contaminate your house! Don’t use alcohol or chlorine — these degrade the N95 filter. UV-C also works but can degrade plastic parts so don’t overexpose them. NOTE: The FDA recently approved hydrogen peroxide vapor , but we haven’t seen a DIY version of that yet.

school project ideas on coronavirus

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4460945/
  • https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0208769
  • https://instantpot.com/who-knew-that-instant-pot-can-provides-scientific-grade-sterilization-actually-we-did/

VIRUS TESTING

We’re cooped up until widespread testing is available. Can DIYers help solve the testing shortage?

3D Printed Nasopharyngeal Swabs ( website ) — Don’t do this. Your FDM printer cannot make these right, and you don’t want swabs breaking off in people’s noses, sending them to the emergency room with coronavirus. A consortium of hospitals, universities, and resin 3D printing companies (Formlabs, Origin, Carbon, and EnvisionTec) is working hard to solve the shortage at printedswabs.org and they’re taking orders now for immediate fulfillment. BUT — If your hospital is desperate, and you have a professional-grade resin printer, and you’re willing to follow insanely rigorous specifications for materials, production, post-processing, and sterilization, visit the Github repo , read everything, then scroll to “Self-printing” to find an STL for printing — not yet clinically tested — and instructions shared by University of South Florida and Formlabs. Desperate measures.

EMERGENCY VENTILATORS

A ventilator inflates/deflates the lungs of patients unable to breathe on their own. It’s a complex machine involving hardware and software. Don’t expect to build a real ventilator. But it is possible to build an emergency ventilator that can keep a non-critical patient alive until the real thing becomes available.

AmboVent Emergency Ventilation System ( website ) — Designed by volunteers from Israel’s national emergency medical service, leading hospitals, and military innovation centers, the AmboVent (shown above) was open sourced on Github on April 1 and immediately rated the best open source option by Robert Read . It compresses a manual bag valve mask (BVM) automatically using an Arduino Nano, SparkFun pressure sensor, and snowblower motor and can be built in a typical makerspace for about $500.

school project ideas on coronavirus

Medtronic Puritan Bennett 560 (PB 560) ( website ) — Medtronic released  plans for this commercial ventilator but it’s more complex to manufacture than the average makerspace can tackle. Better suited to bigger manufacturing firms, but makers are helping to update the schematics ( Make: has the story here ).

COMING SOON

The following projects aren’t quite ready to build, but we expect them soon:

school project ideas on coronavirus

Minnesota CoVentor Emergency Ventilator ( website ) — The first emergency ventilator design to get FDA approval, it’s a plunger-based BVM type developed by University of Minnesota researchers with help from Proto Labs, Digi-Key, and others. “Will be open sourced” soon — we’ll let you know.

MIT E-Vent Emergency Ventilator ( website ) — Automated BVM manual resuscitator, open source, waiting FDA approval…

UV-C Sterilizing Grill — UV-C light is dangerous to your eyes/skin and rapidly degrades most materials; on N95 masks the harder plastics can become brittle and snap after a single sterilization. This is one reason hospitals don’t regularly mass sterilize with UV-C in the rooms; it can destroy tubing and other plastics. However, it can be effective for sterilization when properly timed. Building Momentum built a UV-C Sterilizing “Grill” in three hours; we’re looking forward to a BOM.

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The novel coronavirus, first detected at the end of 2019, has caused a global pandemic.

The Coronavirus Crisis

5 radical schooling ideas for an uncertain fall and beyond.

Anya Kamenetz

teacher and student connecting through a phone

There is no one answer for what the coming school year will look like, but it won't resemble the fall of 2019. Wherever classrooms are open, there will likely be some form of social distancing and other hygiene measures in place that challenge traditional teaching and learning. Future outbreaks will make for unpredictable waves of closures. Virtual learning will continue. And all this will happen amid a historic funding crunch.

American education has long been full of innovators practicing alternatives to the mainstream. When the giant, uncontrolled experiment of the pandemic rolled across the country, certain approaches proved their mettle in new ways. Here are some ideas that seem newly relevant given the constraints of 2020 and beyond.

9 Ways Schools Will Look Different When (And If) They Reopen

9 Ways Schools Will Look Different When (And If) They Reopen

1. Support families to help teach children.

Recently, parents told the U.S. Census Bureau that teachers were spending about four hours a week in online contact with their children, while they, the parents, spent an average of 13 hours a week helping children with schoolwork themselves.

The debate over equity in emergency remote learning during the pandemic has centered on the lack of equipment like computers and hot spots. But access to home support is arguably even more important. A national survey by the advocacy group ParentsTogether found big gaps by income in the ability to access emergency learning. When asked about barriers to children's participation, lower-income families who took the survey were more likely to name issues such as "school resources are too complicated" or "it's hard to get my child to focus" than they were to cite a lack of equipment.

"Never in the modern history of our education system has the importance of family engagement been more apparent," says Alejandro Gibes de Gac, the founder of Springboard Collaborative.

What If You Could Change Your Child's Future In One Hour Every Week?

Social Entrepreneurs: Taking On World Problems

What if you could change your child's future in one hour every week.

Springboard is a social enterprise that looks at families as the "single greatest resource" for helping struggling readers. In pre-pandemic times, it offered a series of hourlong workshops to family members, mostly in low-income communities, coaching them to set goals and practice specific reading concepts with elementary school-age children. In just five weeks, on average, 3 out of 4 of their participants get to the next reading level or even further. And these strategies work even though one-third of Springboard's parents, grandparents and other relatives are unable to access the text their child is holding, because of language differences, their own literacy gaps, or both.

parent and child reading with teacher support

Now that parent-assisted learning has become the default across the country, Springboard has created an app for the 10,000 families they already work with. They've offered professional development webinars for teachers, through unions and other organizations, on engaging families. And they've recently announced a partnership with Teach For America. This summer, 3,000 fresh TFA recruits will offer a remote version of Springboard's reading strategies workshop for up to 9,000 pre-K through fourth-graders nationwide.

Gibes de Gac is excited about the impact this experience will have, not only on families, but on the pre-service teachers themselves: "I expect to look back on this as a turning point in how America prepares teachers to partner with families not as a peripheral responsibility, but as the very essence of teaching."

2. Give teens one-on-one support.

In this time, as in previous educational disruptions, teenagers are most at risk for being knocked off course. One April survey found 4 in 10 U.S. teens weren't logging on to classes at all.

But not Christian Perez, 15, a sophomore at South Fort Myers High School in Fort Myers, Fla. He stuck with his schoolwork online even though his father, a plumber, sent him to stay with his family in Puerto Rico. "I want to keep up my grades so I can stay on the baseball team," Perez tells NPR, in Spanish.

A Looming Financial Meltdown For America's Schools

A Looming Financial Meltdown For America's Schools

His ESL teacher, Nelson Aguedo Concepcion, is the one who really kept him on track. "I'm in touch with my students two, three times a week," by text, phone, Google classroom and Zoom meetings, Concepcion says.

There are devoted teachers everywhere, but the relationship between Concepcion and Perez didn't come about by chance. South Fort Myers High School follows a dropout prevention program called BARR, which stands for Building Assets, Reducing Risks. The program, which is supported by randomized controlled trial evidence, focuses on building strong positive relationships between students and the adults in a building. It groups teachers and other professionals like counselors for weekly meetings where they compare notes and make plans to help students in trouble. Costs associated with the model are relatively small, related to scheduling and staffing. At South Fort Myers and other schools using the BARR method around the country, these regular meetings have continued over Zoom during the pandemic.

How More Meetings Might Be The Secret To Fixing High School

How More Meetings Might Be The Secret To Fixing High School

It's unusual for faculty in a high school to meet regularly to discuss student success, rather than curricula or administrative details. South Fort Myers High School Principal Ed Mathews credits BARR's "team approach" with helping his faculty keep the vast majority of his high school students engaged. "The first week that we did virtual education, we missed 350 students," Mathews says. "And then the following week we got it down to 125. And then the following week we got it down to two. And then out of the two we were able to get a hold of the one. And then unfortunately the other young lady was a runaway."

BARR is not the only education success model that prioritizes relationships. Marquise Pierre, 20, is finishing his degree at a small public "transfer" high school in Coney Island, N.Y., called Liberation Diploma Plus. Pierre tells NPR that on lockdown he hears from one of the faculty members every single day: "The school is more like a family than staff and students."

Why Foster Care Students In Seattle Are Beating The Odds

Why Foster Care Students In Seattle Are Beating The Odds

And in King County, Wash., 15-year-old Osvaldo Riva Santiago is staying motivated with the help of an incentive plan created by his education specialist, Dani Erickson. Erickson works for Treehouse, a nonprofit with a successful track record of helping foster youth like Santiago graduate from high school. Through Erickson's incentive plan, Santiago earns prizes, such as Amazon gift cards, for keeping up with his schoolwork and doing self-care activities, such as jigsaw puzzles. "She's been helping me emotionally," says Santiago.

3. Use online systems to assess, remediate and individualize learning.

One study of the "COVID-19 slide" estimates that children will be returning to school this fall with 70% of a typical year's reading gains and only half a year's gains in math. But those are averages; most experts believe we can expect to see much wider variations in progress than usual, because of equity gaps.

"Obviously going into this back-to-school, if you already had some variance pre-COVID, the variance is going to be that much larger," Sal Khan, the founder of Khan Academy, the free automated learning site, tells NPR. "And we're going into a world where there's been no standardized testing this past spring. So there's even less information to go on in terms of where kids are and what they need."

Khan Academy has seen traffic nearly triple since the pandemic began. In a typical week, says Khan, 30 million students are now spending 80 to 90 million minutes practicing everything from multiplication to AP U.S. History. As students answer questions, the site tracks their progress, which allows teachers or parents to easily see what areas they need to work on.

Khan says his team is working on preparing what he calls "getting ready for grade level" courses for this coming fall. For students beginning sixth grade math, for example, the course moves quickly from basic arithmetic onward, in a combination of review and assessment. "The kids are learning, hopefully, while they're doing it, they're getting practice. But then over a few hours you can actually form, in some ways, a more granular view than you would in a traditional assessment."

Barry Sommer is director of advancement for Lindsay Unified School District, which serves Spanish-speaking migrant agricultural workers in California's Central Valley. The district has been lauded for its technology-driven approach where every student follows an individualized learning plan. Starting in 2016 it created a community Wi-Fi project, which meant when school buildings closed for the pandemic, there was little interruption in learning. Sommer says that what worked well wasn't just the technology but the social and emotional competencies that come when you create a culture of putting students in charge. "Our learners have agency. They're taught to set goals, be responsible and resilient. They transitioned really, really well."

4. Form microschools and home-school co-ops.

A recent USA Today/Ipsos poll found that 60% of parents are "likely" to continue with home-based education through next year, and 30% said they would be "very likely" do so even if schools reopen. By contrast, about 3% of children have been home-schooled in previous years.

Some of these families will team up to share the work and allow children some safe company, or if budgets allow, even hire a teacher to help. Enter the coronavirus home-school co-op or microschool.

families share school resources

Matt Candler is the principal of NOLA Micro Schools in New Orleans, which currently plans to reopen in the fall as a one-room schoolhouse, with about 25 K-12 students, in a former cider house that allows ample space for social distancing. Candler says what defines a microschool from his perspective is not size alone, but a focus on empowering the learner to pursue their own interests, which made his school's transition to remote learning unusually smooth. For example, his high schoolers organized their own morning "huddles" online, where they share progress and goals for the day. "[Microschool parents] have greater trust in the child's ability to self-direct and the school's ability to adapt," he says.

The Return Of The One-Room Schoolhouse

The Return Of The One-Room Schoolhouse

Krystal Dillard is the co-director of Natural Creativity, a center for self-directed learning that supports home-schoolers, who generally attend between one and four days a week. She serves a diverse community in Philadelphia. She says the interest in the alternative they offer has exploded since the pandemic: "I can't tell you how many [traditional school] parents who have reached out to me to say, 'This isn't working. I don't feel that my young person is being served through this virtual learning world that they're sort of being forced into.'"

Parents are also forming networks and pooling resources to keep their kids happy, occupied and, hopefully, learning.

Homeschoolcoop2020.com is a site where children ages 6 and older can tune in to live video classes. It's volunteer-run and free. Karen Miller, a historian at LaGuardia Community College, started the project to help occupy her 12-year-old son. "What I found is that the things that were most helpful for me were the things that were synchronous because the asynchronous stuff required a lot of my attention and support." On Homeschool Co-op 2020, you can learn about the solar system, DNA or poetry, usually from practitioners in the field. But the most popular session — led by Miller's partner, Emily Drabinski, five mornings a week — is Cat Chat.

5. Take education outdoors.

Evidence suggests that coronavirus transmission is much less common outdoors.

A forest kindergarten is generally a group of eight to 10 children between the ages of 2 and 6 who spend the majority of their time outside. "We always trot out this phrase:, There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing," says Kimberly Worthington, president of the American Forest Kindergarten Association.

Worthington says there are currently about 60 forest kindergartens all over the country, most having formed since the early 2000s, based on a Northern European model. But interest in the idea is way up during the pandemic, says Worthington. "This pandemic has us all separated and in our homes. And just walking outdoors and getting a little bit of nature is so beneficial," she says. Plus, it's safer.

"There's more physical space for children to be together and learn together at a safe distance. And have less shared materials, because most of the materials for learning are natural objects. And I can safely say that there's no shortage of sticks."

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The School is maintaining a searchable log of self-reported research and practice efforts Bloomberg School faculty are participating in and the current status of that work. Filters provide a means to identify projects targeting specific populations, departments, or subject areas.

Bloomberg School faculty are invited to complete this survey to report their work.

Questions? Please email Katherine Frey with any questions.

Filter Initiatives

Enter a few letters on a topic to filter list, results are filtered as you type.

Clear Filters / Show All Initiatives

Precision Prenatal Home Visiting to Promote School Readiness via Good Birth Outcomes

LED BY Anne Duggan

FOCUS To examine health equity differences in home visitors and prenatal care impacted by COVID-19

TARGET POPULATION pregnant women

Population, Family and Reproductive Health; community; US-based; health services

Development of Viral Domain as treatment of COVID-19

LED BY Anthony Leung

FOCUS To establish a method to screen compounds against a viral domain in order to identify inhibitors for treatment of COVID-19 and other coronavirus infections

TARGET POPULATION N/A: Study does not involve human subjects

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; laboratory

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on stocking, pricing, sales, and purchasing in a low-income community grocery store

LED BY Antonio Trujillo

FOCUS To study the impact of COVID-19 on prices, stocks and food consumption among low income households

TARGET POPULATION Community members, Vulnerable populations

International Health; observational study; Baltimore; US-based; policy

JHSPH Policy Advisory Board COVID-19 Colombia

FOCUS To provide policy advise to the Secretary of Health and the COVID-19 Taskforce in Colombia

TARGET POPULATION Hospitalized patients, Discharged patients, Community members, Healthcare workers, Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, Vulnerable populations

International Health; observational study; serology; international; population; health services; modeling; policy

An Implementation Science Approach to Distribute Treatment Fairly and Assess Efficacy under Expanded Access during the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic

LED BY Bryan Lau

FOCUS To conduct a study of the process by which experimental treatments are allocated under expanded access or emergency use authorization (EA/EUA), with the goal of proposing a fair allocation procedure for these experimental treatments when the demand exceeds the supply, and capitalizing on the allocation process to provide rigorous evidence for efficacy and safety

TARGET POPULATION Hospitalized patients, Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19

Epidemiology; observational study; US-based; Implementation science; observational study in which estimation of efficacy of treatment is protected from unmeasured confounding

Modeling donor plasma in the larger epidemic: examining strategies of targeting specific populations and supply of convalescent plasma versus development of hyperimmune globulin in order to shift the epidemic curve

FOCUS To evaluate strategies of allocation of donor plasma during the COVID-19 pandemic

Epidemiology; US-based; population; modeling

Economic Impact Model for COVID-19

LED BY Bryan Patenaude

FOCUS To develop and test a model designed to estimate the health system economic impact due to COVID-19

International Health; US-based; international; modeling; policy; economics

Economic Impact of Forgone Immunization due to COVID-19 in Gavi-Supported Countries

FOCUS To estimate the economic impact of immunizations that have not been delivered in Gavi-supported countries due to disruptions in delivery and campaigns stemming from COVID-19

International Health; international; modeling; economics

COVID prevention in Vietnam

LED BY Bach Tran

FOCUS To study COVID-19 preparedness activities in Vietnam

TARGET POPULATION Community members, Healthcare workers

Health Behavior and Society; international

COVID-19 and well-being of substance users

LED BY Carl Latkin

FOCUS To conduct a mixed-methods phone survey of the physical and mental health among people who use drugs

Health Behavior and Society; observational study

Impact of COVID-19 on MSM

FOCUS To study the impact of COVID-19 on MSM in Baltimore

TARGET POPULATION Vulnerable populations

Rapid assessment of COVID-19

FOCUS To conduct an Mturk longitudinal study of the impact of the pandemic

TARGET POPULATION General public

B cell responses to SARS-CoV-2

LED BY Diane Griffin

FOCUS To examine the development, maturation, durability and specificity of the antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 over time among COVID-19 patients with mild and severe disease

TARGET POPULATION Hospitalized patients, Discharged patients, Healthcare workers, Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, Vulnerable populations

Molecular Microbiology and Immunology; serology host-pathogenesis; laboratory

COVID-19 and mental health measurement working group

LED BY Elizabeth Stuart

FOCUS To obtain measures of mental health though large-scale national and international surveys. There is curently varrious survey data in house (from Pew, USC, Texas, etc.) that will assist with creating research papers related to mental health during the pandemic.

Mental Health; observational study; epidemiology; US-based; international; population

International Facebook COVID symptom survey

FOCUS To engage in a collaborative relationship with Facebook and faculty at the University of Maryland to conduct a large scale national and international survey of COVID symptoms, including 2 core mental health measures will provide access to the data on millions of Facebook users over time, and work with the COVID map team to possibly put some of those measures on the JHU COVID map page.

COVID-19 Control – A Johns Hopkins University Study

LED BY Frank Curriero

FOCUS To use an app designed for individual users to record their temperature and any associated symptoms, which will be used to maps temperature and symptom data geographically and use app-based analytics to identify regional anomalies representing emerging disease outbreaks

Epidemiology; observational study; epidemiology; US-based; population; Geography

Effect of chronic immunosuppression on severity of illness among individuals hospitalized with COVID-19

LED BY G. Caleb Alexander

FOCUS To conduct a retrospective cohort study using electronic health records from a large health system, to be followed by similar analysis using national, multicenter data

Epidemiology; observational study; epidemiology; population; health services

Effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on access and affordability of prescription medicines in the United States

FOCUS To conduct an analysis of monthly data from a pharmacy supply chain characterizing national sales, pricing and distribution, by molecule, from manufacturers to end users

TARGET POPULATION National audit of pharmacy supply chain

Epidemiology; observational study; US-based; health services; policy

Registered Clinical Trials Assessing Treatments for COVID-19

FOCUS To complete a cross-sectional analysis of clinical trials for the treatment of COVID-19 that were registered in the United States or contributing to the World Health Organization’s Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTR)

Epidemiology; randomized trial; observational study; drug trial; international; policy

Safety and efficacy of hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of individuals hospitalized with COVID-19

FOCUS To analyze the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients using electronic health records from across the country

Epidemiology; observational study; US-based; population

Utilization and Quality of Telehealth During the COVID-19 Pandemic

FOCUS To analyze the effectiveness of telehealth as compared with face-to-face ambulatory encounters

TARGET POPULATION Nationally representative sample

Virus-vectored monoclonal antibody gene delivery for immunization against SARS-CoV-2; Rapid creation of mouse models for SARS-CoV-2 research

LED BY Gary Ketner

FOCUS To use virus-vectored hACE2 gene delivery to generate mice of diverse genetic backgrounds that can be infected by SARS-CoV-2 for use in immunological studies of pathogenesis, treatment, and prophylaxis

Molecular Microbiology and Immunology; genetics/omics; host-pathogenesis; immunotherapy; laboratory; Animal models

An Autism Spectrum Disorder Enriched Risk ECHO Cohort

LED BY Heather Volk

FOCUS To assess the impact of COVID-19 on health as part of the Early Childhood Hearing Outreach (ECHO) initiative using a COVID-19 related questionnaire

TARGET POPULATION This study follows up members of the EARLI cohort

Mental Health; epidemiology; US-based

Host lipid uptake by microbes

LED BY Isabelle Coppens

FOCUS To conduct a study of the host cell lipids required by enveloped viruses like Cov-2 egress, and how virus salvages would interfere with the virus lifecycle

Molecular Microbiology and Immunology; laboratory; host-Cov2 interactions at the cellular level

Assessing Physical Activity and Sleeping Patterns During the COVID-19 Pandemic in PASOS

LED BY Jennifer Schrack , Kunihiro Matsushita

FOCUS To collect wrist-worn accelerometry data on several hundred participants of the Study of Latinos/PASOS study in NY and SD to understand the effects of COVID-19 and social distancing measures on physical activity, sleep and stress/fatigue levels

TARGET POPULATION Participants of the Study of Latinos will be contacted for enrollment

Epidemiology; observational study; population

NA-ACCORD Supplement: Supporting the establishment of clinic-based COVID-19 cohort studies

LED BY Keri Althoff

FOCUS To support the establishment of COVID-19 cohort studies using electronic health record data and survey data.

TARGET POPULATION Hospitalized patients, Discharged patients, Community members, Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19

Epidemiology; observational study; Baltimore; US-based; laboratory; population; health services

SARS-Cov-2 antibodies in specimens from people in motor vehicle crashes and victims of other trauma in five US cities from October 2019 to March 2020

FOCUS To identify SARS-CoV-2 IgG and IgM antibodies in blood specimens from those sustaining serious injuries in 5 cities (4 states) from October 2019-March 2020

TARGET POPULATION Biospecimens are from a study population recruited for non-COVID-19 aims

Epidemiology; observational study; serology; Baltimore; US-based; laboratory; population

Cytokine Storm and Severe COVID-19 Disease Progression: Identification of Vulnerable Subgroups from Baseline Biomarker Data

LED BY Karen Bandeen-Roche

FOCUS To characterize inflammatory trajectories among patients treated for COVID-19 in outpatient, inpatient and ICU settings in the JHH health system, characterize subgroups of patients by their biomarker profiles upon first COVID-19-driven contact with the health system, and evaluate whether disease course varies by baseline biomarker profile subgroups

TARGET POPULATION Hospitalized patients

Biostatistics; observational study; Baltimore; US-based; population

Assessing COVID-19 knowledge and practices among formal and informal primary care providers in India

LED BY Krishna Rao

FOCUS To study the experience and capacity of primary care providers in Bihar, India with the goal of understanding how well primary care providers are informed about COVID-19 and management practices. The research will be used to inform government action in Bihar.

TARGET POPULATION Healthcare workers

International Health; observational study; international; health services; policy

Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) Grant for in vitro methods for research on COVID-19

LED BY Thomas Hartung

FOCUS To restructure the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) grant to be responsive to the COVID-19 challenge

Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing; international; laboratory; modeling

COVID-19 case fatality ratio: curation, variation and homogeneity

LED BY Li Liu

FOCUS To study and describe the COVID-19 Case Fatality Rate

TARGET POPULATION Secondary data

Population, Family and Reproductive Health; epidemiology; community; US-based; international; population; modeling

COVID-19 CFR among institutionalized populations

FOCUS To study and describe the COVID-19 Case Fatality Rate among institutionalized populations

COVID-19 Antibody Testing of Patients with ESRD

LED BY Mara McAdams DeMarco

FOCUS To use a test developed to detect COVID-19 antibodies in human blood within 15 minutes in a population of patients with End Stage Renal Disease. A questionnaire will be sent assessing COVID-19 symptoms, risk factors, treatments, and the psychosocial impact of COVID-19 that will help compare rates of antibody positivitiy between older and younger patients as well as frail and nonfrail patients.

TARGET POPULATION Patients undergoing dialysis

Epidemiology; observational study

Public health evaluation of an online social connection and crisis intervention program for veterans

LED BY Alain Labrique

FOCUS To examine the efficacy of a community-developed online crisis intervention program for veterans

International Health; observational study; epidemiology; community; population; health services; Internet; video games; veterans; military; digital health; online communities; suicide prevention; mental health stigma

COVID-19 Action Info Guide

LED BY Youseph Yazdi

FOCUS To create a COVID-19 action guide based upon reliable and actionable information, updating regularly based upon user feedback

Center for Bioengineering, Innovation and Design; international; health services; Digital health practice; evidence development

Transit in a Time of COVID-19

LED BY Tara Sell

FOCUS To determine best practices around maintaining public transit during the COVID-19 epidemic

Environmental Health and Engineering; Center for Health Security; community; Baltimore; US-based; international; population; policy

A Multicenter, Adaptive, Randomized Controlled Trial of the Safety and Efficacy of Investigational Therapeutics for the Treatment of COVID-19 in Hospitalized Adults

LED BY Noreen Hynes

FOCUS To conduct a randomized controlled trial designed to identify safe and effective therapeutic agents for the treatment of COVID-19 patients

International Health; School of Medicine (Infectious Diseases); randomized trial; drug trial; international

COVID-19 & Humanitarian

LED BY Paul Spiegel

FOCUS To use a website developed with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Center for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action to document and share context-specific field experiences in humanitarian settings

International Health; community; international; health services

COVID-19: Projecting the impact in Rohingya refugee camps and beyond

LED BY Shaun Truelove

FOCUS To provide expertise and assistance in the conduct of the analysis and planning pertinent to the current nCoV outbreak in order to assist public health officials in decision making, preparedness, and response

Epidemiology; International Health; modeling

Host Genetics and COVID-19

LED BY Priya Duggal

FOCUS To evaluate the role of host genetics on the pathogenesis of COVID-19 to understand differences in severity of disease, and correlations with immune and inflammatory markers

TARGET POPULATION Hospitalized patients Discharged patients, Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, Household members of positive cases

Epidemiology; School of Medicine; serology; genetics/omics; host-pathogenesis; population

Understanding and mitigating real-time differential gendered effects of the COVID-19 outbreak

LED BY Kelley Lee

FOCUS To document and analyze gender impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak

TARGET POPULATION Community members, Healthcare workers, Vulnerable populations

Simon Fraser University; international; Gender and sex differences; social science

Comparative assessment of digital platforms for COVID-19 response in LMICs

LED BY Smisha Agarwal

FOCUS To conduct an assessment of existing digital platforms that can be rapidly scaled up to support contact tracing and surveillance for COVID-19. The assessment will support decisions of donors and policymakers in low- and middle-income countries for developing an effective response to COVID-19

International Health; community; international; health services; policy

COVID-19 Informational Bot

FOCUS To collaborate with Whiting School of Engineering on the development of a chatbot that can be hosted on a variety of websites and social media portals to answer COVID-19 related questions, counter misinformation, and reinforce facts

International Health; US-based; international; modeling

Support for Health Care Workers and Direct Services Staff

LED BY Tener Veneema

FOCUS To understand the current mental health and social support needs of Johns Hopkins Health Care and Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI) employees

TARGET POPULATION Healthcare workers, family members of healthcare workers

School of Nursing; Baltimore; health services

Panel study of behaviors and mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic in Malawi

LED BY Stephane Helleringer

FOCUS To conduct a 6-month follow-up of approximately 800 men and women previously enrolled in a mortality survey in Northern Malawi to assess the impact of COVID-19 on health behavior and mortality

TARGET POPULATION Community members

Population, Family and Reproductive Health; observational study; international; population

Deployment of convalescent plasma for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19

LED BY Arturo Casadevall

FOCUS To contribute to broader serology efforts by setting up ELISAs for testing sera for IgM, IgG, and IgA responses specific to the full-length spike (S) protein and soluble receptor binding domain (sRBD) of S and to provide antibody titer information

TARGET POPULATION Hospitalized patients, Discharged patients, Community members, Healthcare workers, Vulnerable populations

Molecular Microbiology and Immunology; observational study; serology; genetics/omics; diagnostics; laboratory

Johns Hopkins Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance

LED BY Andrew Pekosz , Richard Rothman

FOCUS To analyze data generated by the Klein Lab using antigen, monoclonal antibodies, and sera as part of surveillance efforts lead by the Johns Hopkins Center of Excellence in Influenza Research and Surveillance. Analyses of ELISA data will be correlated with neutralizing antibody titers from assays performed by Professor Andrew Pekosz.

Specialized Center of Research Excellence on Sex Differences

LED BY Sabra Klein

FOCUS To study the immunological, virological, and transcriptional factors associated with greater severity of COVID-19 in men than women in an elderly, residential population as an administrative supplement to the Specialized Center of Research Excellence on Sex Differences (SADII SCORE)

Neurotropy of SARS-2-CoV

FOCUS To study the impact of COVID-19 infection on mini-brains, submitting applications to NIAID for a 3D tissue virus research center and to NIEHS to study neurotoxicants as cofactors

Environmental Health and Engineering; Molecular Microbiology and Immunology; host-pathogenesis; laboratory; modeling

Susceptibility of cigarette-smoke exposed and COPD epithelia to SARS-CoV-2

LED BY Venkataramana Sidhaye

FOCUS To conduct a study to determine if the disruption in epithelial integrity increases susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 among people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

School of Medicine (Medicine); host-pathogenesis; laboratory

Impacts of Urban Rats and Rodent Control on Public Health and Urban Wildlife Conservation

LED BY Maureen Murray

FOCUS To add a survey to a planned research study evaluating human-rat interactions in urban environments which will test the hypothesis that rat encounters within neighborhoods and households may increase as a result of the COVID stay at home orders and that perceptions of the potential of infectious disease transmission via human-animal interactions may increase use of poisons or have a negative impact on mental health or wildlife attitudes.

Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago; observational study; community; US-based

RAPID‐Baltimore: A mobile application for rapid access to infectious disease information for Baltimore

LED BY Daniela Rodriguez

FOCUS To develop a human‐centered web‐based platform that bridges the gap between online resources and marginalized communities, Rapid Access to Infections Disease Information for Baltimore (RAPID-Baltimore), by linking Spanish‐speaking residents of Baltimore City with a one‐stop shop featuring the most up‐to‐date information on COVID‐19, including health, school closures, and food distribution.

TARGET POPULATION Community members, General public

International Health; community; Baltimore; US-based; population; health services; technology

Estimating the size of high-risk individuals for COVID-19 mortality and serious illness across 500 US cities

LED BY Nilanjan Chatterjee

FOCUS To estimate number of individuals who are at elevated and high risks for COVID-19 serious illness and mortality across a large number of US cities using data from a large variety of sources and to expand these efforts through work with PAHO/WHO to provide similar estimates for other countries

Biostatistics; observational study; epidemiology; US-based; international; modeling; policy

Community Collaboration to Combat COVID-19 (C-FORWARD)

LED BY Shruti Metha , Jason Farley, Jacky Jennings

FOCUS To enroll a population-based cohort study of Baltimore City households to characterize the prevalence and incidence of COVID-19 in the community and the associated clinical, social, and economic consequences. The target population will include English- and Spanish-speaking families residing in Baltimore City households (N=238,436). We propose to enroll ~1,300 households in Baltimore City recruited through a household index member. We will use a multi-stage approach with 1) systematic selection of 105 of 486 census block groups (CBGs) with probabilities proportional to the estimated number of occupied households; 2) stratification of CBGs into six strata defined by socioeconomic status and race/ethnicity with oversampling of CBGs with harder-to-reach populations (e.g., low-income whites, Latinos); 3) random selection of residential addresses within each of the strata; and finally 4) screening of households selected for eligibility (e.g., occupied vs. not, English/Spanish speaking). All household participants will be asked to complete surveys and in-person visits for biospecimen collection at baseline and 12 months. Participants will also receive automated calls/texts with weekly symptom checks and monthly assessment surveys; reporting of a specific profile of symptoms may trigger an additional unplanned study visit.

TARGET POPULATION Community Members

observational study; serology; epidemiology; community; Baltimore

COVID-19-Related Youth Mentoring– An Examination of How Mentors are Interacting with Youth Mentees during the Pandemic

LED BY Michelle Kaufman

FOCUS To better understand youth mentoring practice and health communication during an acute health emergency. The findings of this study will provide valuable data regarding how supportive adults (i.e., “mentors”) communicate with youth about emerging health concerns, particularly during social isolation.

TARGET POPULATION General Public

observational study; epidemiology; US-based; international; modeling; policy

eCR Now - Electronic Case Reporting for COVID-19

LED BY John Loonsk

FOCUS To operationalize the automated identification of reportable health events in electronic health records and their transmission to state and local public health authorities for review and action nationwide

epidemiology; public health informatics

Gender and social, economic, and safety impact of COVID-19 among youth in LMICs

LED BY Michele Decker

FOCUS To perform mixed methods research with young men and women as well as key stakeholders to understand social, economic, and safety impacts of COVID-19 mitigation measures, risk perception, and gender differences therein

TARGET POPULATION Community members, general public

observational study; epidemiology; international

National Health and Aging Trends Study COVID-19 Supplement

LED BY Judith Kasper

FOCUS To conduct a survey by mail of NHATS participants (65+) on effects of COVID on daily life and follow-up survey to persons who helped most during COVID. Covers COVID symptoms and behaviors; effects of stay-at-home; comparisons before and during COVID for activities, finances, health care, well-being. Helper survey covers similar topics. Linkable to NHATS annual interviews. De-identified data will be available to researchers on NHATS website in 2021. Instruments can be viewed at https://micda.isr.umich.edu/research/covid-19/

TARGET POPULATION Community members, Pregnant and recently pregnant women

observational study; epidemiology; community; international; population

Quantifying the Digital Disparities in Youth Telemental Health Need, Access and Impact

LED BY Holly Wilcox

FOCUS To link data from multiple sources in Maryland to 1) identify predictors of youth suicide by race/ethnicity and 2) study access to and continuity of mental health services before and during COVID-19 among youth by race/ethnicity

TARGET POPULATION Hospitalized patients, Discharged patients, Community members, Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, Vulnerable populations, General public

observational study; epidemiology; community; Baltimore; population; health services; modeling; policy; telemedicine; telemental health

Regulation of cell death by SARS-CoV-2 proteins

LED BY J. Marie Hardwick

FOCUS To understand virus-host cell interactions modulated by SARS-CoV-2 proteins that inhibit and/or promote induction of cell death pathways

Responsible Science Communication in Times of a Global Pandemic

LED BY Gundula Bosch

FOCUS To collaborate with community partners to produce a series of online (mobile-device compatible) modules that will provide accessible tools and training units to help champion challenging communications in the context of COVID19-related topics. Project participants will work together to develop and apply competencies that help explain ambiguities in COVID-19 related news, rationally yet compassionately correct misconceptions, and dismantle logical fallacies, conspiracy theories or even intentional falsehoods. This educational community engagement project includes a significant research component as we will develop an evaluation scheme for assessing the effectiveness of advanced communication practices in a community setting and look into long-term outcomes in terms of ethical standards in science communication.

TARGET POPULATION Community members, Students, The human subject research- related component of this work will only take place at a later stage of this study (earliest in late 2021). The development and internal testing of the training modules mentioned above will not require IRB approval.

observational study; community; Baltimore; US-based; international; effective communication; ethics; community engagement; educational research

RISE network survey during COVID-19

LED BY Albert Wu

FOCUS To survey a network of hospitals that have implemented the JHU RISE peer support program to investigate adaption related to COVID response

TARGET POPULATION Directors of hospital staff support programs

Sex differences and the cytokine storm associated with COVID-19 mortality

LED BY Fenna Sillé

FOCUS To determine the molecular drivers of the sex differences observed in SARS-CoV-2 disease pathogenesis, with a special emphasis on X-linked gene expression and the innate cytokine storm driven by respiratory epithelial cells and to assess the value of immunosuppressant use to mitigate the cytokine storm during SARS-CoV-2 infection across the sexes. We hypothesize that the upregulation of sex-linked genes contributes to a more protective antiviral response in females during the early phases of SARS-CoV-2 infection, compared to males who rather develop a lethal cytokine storm. We further hypothesize that this sex-specific detrimental cytokine storm can be mitigated with immunostimulants targeting the early phases of epithelial-driven antiviral response and immunotherapies targeting instrumental proteins and pathways that trigger the cytokine storm. To test these hypotheses, we will pursue the following aims: Aim 1: Determine the sex-specific differences in gene expression and cytokine/chemokine responses in vitro in broncho-epithelial cells upon SARS-CoV-2 infection. Aim 2: Establish the relative efficacy of a variety of immune-suppressive therapies to reduce SARS-CoV-2 infection severity in male vs. female broncho-epithelial cells in vitro

TARGET POPULATION Study includes uninfected de-identified cells from commercial sources

host-pathogenesis; immunotherapy; laboratory

COVID Among Prisoners, Detainees, and Undocumented Migrants

LED BY Chris Beyrer

PROJECT TEAM Leonard Rubenstein , Gabe Eber, Kathleen Page

FOCUS To conduct policy work and advocacy on COVID-19 among prisoners, detainees, and undocumented migrants

TARGET POPULATION Vulnerable populations, Prisoners and detainees

PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS ACLU of Maryland, Federal Defenders, Refugees International, Physicians for Human Rights

International Health; Epidemiology; School of Medicine; epidemiology; community; Baltimore; US-based; policy

COVID in Jails and Prisons

LED BY Leonard Rubenstein

PROJECT TEAM Carolyn Sufrin , Chris Beyer , Gabe Eber

FOCUS To address issues related to COVID-19 in jails and prisons

TARGET POPULATION Community members, Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, Policy makers, Community based organizations, General public, Vulnerable populations

PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS ACLU, State's Attorney Baltimore

Epidemiology; Health Behavior and Society; community; Baltimore; population; policy; prisoners

COVID and UV Light

LED BY David H. Sliney

PROJECT TEAM N/A

FOCUS To organize the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists webinar on Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation to control COVID-19 and other biological aerosols

TARGET POPULATION Healthcare workers, Industrial Hygienists and Infection Control Audience

PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH)

Environmental Health and Engineering; US-based; PPE; hospital infection control

Reopening Baltimore

LED BY Keshia Pollack Porter

PROJECT TEAM Aisha Dickerson , Yeeli Mui , Shima Hamidi , Megan Latshaw , Josh Sharfstein

FOCUS To work with the Mayor's Neighborhood Commercial District Reopening Initiative to develop and implement designs to reconfigure public right of way and public spaces to maximize outdoor seating and other business needs, as Baltimore begins to re-open

TARGET POPULATION Community members, General public, workers

PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS Baltimore Development Corporation

Health Policy and Management; Epidemiology; International Health; Environmental Health and Engineering; Health Policy and Management; community; Baltimore; population; policy; built environment

COVID Modeling

PROJECT TEAM David Bishai

FOCUS To support/advise CARE-India in COVID-19 modeling

TARGET POPULATION Policy makers

PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS CARE-India, BMGF

Population, Family and Reproductive Health; modeling

Health Communication and Education

PROJECT TEAM Lauren Dayton

FOCUS To develop health communication and education materials for Baltimore

PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS City Health Dept, community organizations

Health Behavior and Society; Baltimore

FOCUS To organize a webinar and a report on Germicidal Ultraviolet

TARGET POPULATION Hospitalized patients, Healthcare workers, Policy makers, Hospital engineering community

PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS Illuminating Engineering Society, New York, NY

Environmental Health and Engineering; US-based; international; health services; PPE; aerosol disinfection

Attacks against Health Workers

PROJECT TEAM Andrea Wirtz

FOCUS To track violence against health workers in connection with COVID-19

TARGET POPULATION Healthcare workers, Policy makers, General public

PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS Insecurity Insight, IntraHealth International

Epidemiology; international; population; health services; policy; violence

Humanitarian Aid

FOCUS To create/host weekly COVID-19 humanitarian webinars in conjunction with READY project, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Center for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action

PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS LSTMH, CERAH (Geneva)

International Health; population

Epidemiology

LED BY Tolbert Nyenswah

PROJECT TEAM Brandon Howard

FOCUS To examine what the Ebola outbreak in West Africa can teach about COVID-19

TARGET POPULATION Students, Policy makers, General public

PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS N/A

International Health; Baltimore; US-based; international; population; policy

FOCUS To communicate COVID-19 modeling efforts to the general public and to encourage collaboration between academic fields

TARGET POPULATION Policy makers, General public, Non public health researchers

Mental Health; health services; modeling; policy

Mental Health

LED BY Michelle Colder Carras

FOCUS To develop a weekly stream on Twitch about topics related to COVID-19 and mental health

TARGET POPULATION Community based organizations, General public, Vulnerable populations, Veteran and military members of the Stack Up online community, their supporters, and the general public

PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS Stack Up

International Health; community; international; Digital health; mental health; Internet; online communities; evidence development; misinformation; infodemic; live streaming

Curating COVID-related Publications

LED BY Emily Gurley

PROJECT TEAM Kate Grabowski

FOCUS To rapidly curate and assess emerging research on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, we prioritize original, high-quality research for public health action and papers receiving significant attention, regardless of quality

TARGET POPULATION Health care workers, Policymakers, Community-based organizations, General public

PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS Imperial College of London, Boston University, University of Florida, Harvard University, USN ONR Global Singapore, Epidemiology, Pathology

Diagnostics; Epidemiology; US-based; International; Laboratory; Population; Health services; Modeling; Policy; Ecology and spillover; Pharmaceutical Interventions; non-pharmaceutical interventions; Vaccine; Clinical presentation; Prognostic risk factors

Automated Reporting

FOCUS To operationalize the automated identification of reportable health events in electronic health records and their transmission to state and local public health authorities for review and action.

TARGET POPULATION Hospitalized patients, Healthcare workers, Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, Policy makers, Community based organizations

PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS CDC, CSTE, APHL, Health Policy and Management, Center for Population Health Information Technology

Epidemiology; Population; Public heath informatics

Healthcare Worker Peer Support

PROJECT TEAM Cheryl Connors , David Norvell

FOCUS To provide peer support to health workers experiencing emotional distress during COVID-19 at JHM

PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS Health Policy and Management,  Armstrong Institute, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Spiritual Care, Johns Hopkins Hospital

Staff support; Peer support

Accessing Home Care Services in Spain

LED BY Vicente Navarro

FOCUS To advise the Vice Presidency for Social Affairs of the Spanish Government on: (1) Universalizing the right of access of Spanish families to child care centers (0-3 years) and home care services for persons with dependencies, in the pandemic and post-pandemic period. The advising includes analyzing the needs, the resources, the management and the funding of such services. (2) The adaptation of the Spanish development of the UN 2030 Agenda to the new social situation created by the pandemic (objective by objective).

TARGET POPULATION Policy makers, General public

PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS Vice Presidency for Social Affairs of the Spanish Government, Health Policy and Management, The JHU-UPF Public Policy Center in Barcelona, Spain

Community; International; Population; Policy; Post-pandemic

Community Education

PROJECT TEAM Brian Klaas , Brian Simpson , Ilinca Ciubotariu

FOCUS To collaborate with community partners to produce a series of online (mobile-device compatible) modules that will provide accessible tools and training units to help champion challenging communications in the context of COVID19-related topics. Project participants will work together to develop and apply competencies that help explain ambiguities in COVID-19 related news, rationally yet compassionately correct misconceptions, and dismantle logical fallacies, conspiracy theories or even intentional falsehoods. This educational community engagement project includes a significant research component as we will develop an evaluation scheme for assessing the effectiveness of advanced communication practices in a community setting and look into long-term outcomes in terms of ethical standards in science communication. 

TARGET POPULATION Community members, Students

PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Department of Communications

Observational study; Community; Baltimore; US-based; International; Effective communication; Ethics; Community engagement; Educational research

Distribution of Supplies through  Community Based Organizations

PROJECT TEAM Christine Weston , Lee Boone, Romsai Boonyasai , Vadim Dukhanin , Lindsay Hebert

FOCUS To provide food, personal protective equipment, household goods to people in East Baltimore through local Community Based Organizations, Church and Neighborhood Association that are members of Baltimore CONNECT

TARGET POPULATION Community members, Community based organizations, Vulnerable populations

PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS Baltimore CONNECT Inc (501c3), Health Policy and Management, Health Behavior and Society, General Internal Medicine

Community; Baltimore; PPE; Food

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Stanford scholar offers ideas to upgrade lessons for kids at home during coronavirus school closures

With schools across the country closing temporarily to contain the spread of the coronavirus, Stanford education scholar Denise Pope suggests ways to get K-12 students excited about learning at home.

As K-12 schools across the country announce temporary closures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, how can teachers and parents keep students interested in learning at home?

school project ideas on coronavirus

“I hope that, in addition to whatever worksheets they assign, teachers will tell kids, ‘I want you to pick one project that you’re really excited about and go deep,’ ” says Stanford education scholar Denise Pope. (Image credit: Courtesy Stanford Graduate School of Education)

Here, Denise Pope , a senior lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Education and a founder of the education nonprofit Challenge Success , shares what home-based lessons could look like, the challenges some families may face and why a little downtime – even playing videogames or watching TV – isn’t such a bad idea.

How are schools likely to carry out lessons during a closure?

Some districts might have sophisticated online capabilities, but many schools aren’t set up to do much more than have kids read something from a textbook or online and answer questions online or on a worksheet. For students who don’t have their own devices or internet access at home, the school needs to accommodate that, which they might just do by sending kids home with textbooks and a stack of printed worksheets.

But no matter how the materials are provided, I can’t imagine that schools will assign an amount of work equivalent to the hours in the normal school day and homework load. Once you take out the commute to and from school, recess, lunch and all of the interruptions, there’s going to be extra time. My hope is that we can use this time to get kids excited about learning things they aren’t able to do while they’re at school, rather than having them fill out worksheet after worksheet.

What kinds of assignments would you recommend?

When I work with teachers and in the curriculum classes that I teach, we’re always trying to come up with ideas to get students more engaged in a way that also makes the lessons more rigorous. Project-based learning is a good way to do that. It will depend on the age, the kid and their interest, but there are lots of ways to encourage a deep dive into something students are really excited about.

If you’re a physics teacher, for example, instead of having students read a chapter from a textbook and answer a problem set, you can give them something real to explore, like skateboarding or throwing a baseball. They can run some experiments on their own to try to figure out the physics behind it, about balance or friction or how distance equals rate multiplied by time.

Students may want to create their own video tutorials on something they love to do and include some background research. They could research the process for making chocolate or other favorite foods. They might want to interview an older relative or neighbor to explore their life history or their family tree.

There are so many resources online for project-based learning, free lesson plans that teachers and parents can use for inspiration. I hope that, in addition to whatever worksheets they assign, teachers will tell kids, “I want you to pick one project that you’re really excited about and go deep.” Because then it’s part of school and they’re getting credit for it and some guidance from the teacher on how to do it, but it’s also fun and there’s choice involved.

How much of a role do you see parents and families playing, especially if they’re not able to be home with their kids?

I know these closures are going to be inconvenient and have parents scrambling to find childcare, not to mention all of the food-insecure households that rely on school for meals. This is a huge issue.

But in the grand scheme of things – especially at a time like this, which can be stressful and scary for kids – this can be an opportunity. Teenagers in particular are so overscheduled, going straight from school to extracurricular activities or work obligations to dinner to homework to bed. This is a time where they can get more playtime, downtime and family time , which are critical to children’s well-being.

Kids need free, unstructured playtime every day and especially if extracurriculars are canceled, they’re going to need exercise. They need downtime, which includes sleep but also time to relax and decompress. That might mean playing videogames or watching TV for short stints, or just sitting and doing nothing so they have time to reflect, which is actually very healthy. And they need family time. That can be challenging, especially if you’ve got working parents with double shifts. We recommend that one parent try to eat a meal or spend some time with their child between shifts if possible.

But as parents and as educators, the opportunity is that we can use this time to help get kids excited about doing things they might not be able to do when they’re at school. There are all kinds of things they can do that can help turn them on to learning during this time.

Denise Pope co-hosts the Stanford GSE podcast and SiriusXM radio program School’s In with Dean Dan Schwartz. The show explores issues in education for parents, teachers and school communities, including the importance of sleep , how to cultivate a math mindset and supporting learning differences .

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Education Briefing

Answers to Your Questions About School and the Pandemic

Dana Goldstein, a Times education reporter, weighs in on questions that she hears frequently from parents.

Amelia Nierenberg

By Amelia Nierenberg and Dana Goldstein

This is the Education Briefing, a weekly update on the most important news in U.S. education. Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox.

school project ideas on coronavirus

The Pandemic Quandary

I’m Dana Goldstein, and for two exhausting and contentious years, I’ve covered K-12 education through the pandemic.

The past month has been a whirlwind. I wrote a series of articles about how the surge of the Omicron variant is affecting schools, families and national politics . At the same time, my daughter’s Brooklyn preschool went remote unexpectedly, because of rising case counts. Then, just as the school was about to reopen classrooms, one of her teachers tested positive — though she heroically read to her students over Zoom while sick.

We’ve met new substitutes, scrambled to source tiny KN95 masks, and once again found ourselves wondering how to amuse (and tolerate!) two exuberant children during a frigid, virus-constrained winter.

All to say, I’m here with you during this pandemic. And I’ve heard many questions from parents during the Omicron surge. Here is what I’ve learned from my reporting.

Is it less safe to attend school in-person now than in previous phases of the pandemic, because Omicron is more contagious?

Research on the coronavirus and schools has been reassuring, with studies showing in-school spread can be contained through masking, sanitation and distancing. It could be months before we have updated, rigorous data on schools and Omicron, specifically. But there are reasons to be hopeful, according to Dr. Sara Bode, the incoming chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on School Health. For one thing, all teachers and school-aged children now have access to vaccines. And in many parts of the Northeast and Midwest, the virus surged over the holiday break, when schools were closed but families and friends were frequently gathering in homes.

Now, with schools largely open, the curve is dipping in many regions. “We don’t see higher spread of Covid with attendance in school in person,” said Dr. Bode, who advises the Columbus, Ohio, public schools on the coronavirus. Where she has investigated potential instances of in-school spread, she has found relatively modestly sized clusters, such as four or five children testing positive within a masked, 25-student class.

Conflict between teachers’ unions and districts has increased, and some teachers want a temporary return to remote learning. What are teachers most worried about and what are they asking for?

In interviews with teachers’ union leaders and frontline educators across the country — in both liberal and conservative states — staff shortages because of sickness, burnout and anxiety were the primary concern. There are too few substitutes, so classes are being combined, sometimes in gyms or cafeterias. In some cases, little formal learning is happening.

Many families want school buildings to remain open, and some are frustrated by union resistance . They have told me they need school buildings to function even in a bare-bones way, because they must go to work and cannot supervise their kids, or their children need meals, disability services and other resources only schools can provide. Parents also want their kids to socialize with peers.

But keeping schools open under these circumstances leaves educators feeling, “We’re being treated like a babysitting service,” said Karla Hernandez-Mats, president of United Teachers of Dade in Miami. I heard that sentiment often from teachers over the past several weeks. Some parents agree that in-person schooling during this surge is less than ideal, and are pushing for remote options.

Unions are also asking for a number of virus safety measures: medical-grade masks for teachers and sometimes students as well, universal access to virus tests and continued ventilation upgrades.

A few union leaders I spoke to mentioned requests that are more unusual during this phase of the pandemic, such as a continuation of outdoor lunches — even in the cold — so staff members do not have to spend time around unmasked students indoors.

Are these steps necessary for safe in-person learning?

According to Dr. Bode, in an ideal world, school staff and students would all be vaccinated; there would be universal masking and contact tracing, as well as isolation and testing of symptomatic people.

But in the real world, the millions of new rapid tests that the Biden administration and states have promised to schools have yet to fully show up. Contact tracing is difficult to do quickly, and many parents have resisted having their children vaccinated and tested for the virus. Across wide swaths of the country, masking in schools is optional.

Even under those circumstances, Dr. Ashish K. Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health and an expert on pandemics, wrote recently on Twitter that he believed schools could stay open. Educators wearing KN95-type masks are reasonably well protected when people around them are unmasked, he wrote, and portable air filters can improve air quality. “Given the value of school,” he said, “that’s enough to get kids back.”

Dr. Bode largely agreed. While lunchtime is higher risk than the rest of the school day, she said it could be done safely with students eating near the same few classmates each day — and with masked adults and portable air filters, even when the weather makes it impossible to go outside or to open windows.

Where is the federal stimulus funding that was supposed to help schools operate during the pandemic?

There have been three rounds of federal pandemic stimulus funding for public schools, totaling about $200 billion. The first two rounds, passed under President Trump in 2020, were largely used for the initial costs associated with the onset of the pandemic, such as devices for remote learning, software licenses, nutrition services while schools were closed, ventilation upgrades, masks and hand-sanitizing stations.

The biggest cash influx to K-12 schools arrived under President Biden last year, with $122 billion from the American Rescue Plan. School districts spent months sketching out how to use the money, and are just beginning to spend it, according to Dennis and Julie Roche, the husband and wife team who founded Burbio, a data company that has tracked how schools are responding to the pandemic.

The primary purpose of the bill was to help students recover academically and emotionally, so many of the dollars will be spent on summer and after-school programs, tutoring, mental health supports and access to technology. About 12 percent of the 2,400 district plans that Burbio has analyzed mention raises or bonuses for educators, which could help address staffing shortages — but a lot of those dollars have yet to be paid out.

About 20 percent of districts plan to spend funds on further Covid mitigation measures, Burbio reports, and 40 percent are planning HVAC upgrades.

Does my child need a heavier-duty mask? When can they unmask?

Two years into the pandemic, the masking of children remains a difficult and emotional issue for many educators and parents. After the holiday break, my daughter’s wonderful pre-K asked parents to track down N95, KN95 or KF94 masks for our kids. I spent over $100 shipping several different styles to our home, looking for one that worked for my small 4-year-old. She found a brand she likes well enough, but I did question whether all this was necessary, given the C.D.C.’s warning that such masks “have not been tested for broad use in children.” What’s more, I’ve noticed that even in Covid-cautious communities like mine, growing numbers of parents and even public health experts are questioning how long-term masking is affecting kids.

Dr. Bode said that with the current surge, “Now is not the time to discontinue masking.” That could be reconsidered when and where test positivity rates are low and vaccination rates are high, she added. As for KN95-type masks for young children, she said her primary concern was finding one small enough and well-fitted — without gaps around the face — that the child could wear for long periods of time. A surgical-type mask may be easier to tolerate and is more effective than a cloth mask .

“It’s really important for kids to feel comfortable in their masks,” she said.

If you have more questions for Dana or other education reporters, please write to us using this form . We’re planning to try to regularly answer questions in upcoming editions of the newsletter.

Public school students in Chicago , Boston , Oakland, Calif., and other districts walked out of class to protest what they said were insufficient Covid-19 protocols.

Las Vegas schools are offering full-time employees bonuses of up to $2,000 if they remain at work during the pandemic.

Some universities are loosening rules in a move from “ containment to management ,” an acknowledgment that the virus is here to stay.

College enrollment dropped again in fall 2021, despite the arrival of vaccines.

Ferris State University, in Michigan, placed a professor on leave after he called students “ vectors of disease ” in a bizarre welcome video.

What else we’re reading

The University of Michigan fired its president for having an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate, the Board of Regents said.

Dartmouth College is adding international students to its need-blind admissions policy.

Culture disputes

The Loudoun County school district in Virginia plans to remove “ Gender Queer: A Memoir ,” a book about a young person’s struggle with gender identity, from library shelves.

The Michigan State Board of Education passed a resolution that supports the teaching of comprehensive history, meant to counter proposed state legislation intended to prohibit the teaching of critical race theory or the 1619 Project.

Clinicians are divided over new proposed guidelines for treating trans teens.

And the rest …

A former adviser to the Obama administration pleaded guilty to charges that he had orchestrated a scheme to steal more than $200,000 from a network of charter schools that he founded, prosecutors said.

The Supreme Court will hear an appeal from a high school football coach who lost his job after defying school administrators by kneeling and praying at the 50-yard line after his team’s games.

A cyberattack in Albuquerque, N.M., forced schools to cancel classes for two days last week.

And a great read: A school for at-risk teens has long faced accusations of using improper methods. Several lawsuits against the school describe physical, emotional and sexual abuse in the 1990s and 2000s that former students said has haunted them well into adulthood.

Tip: Keep cannabis out of reach

Mouthwatering chocolate, soft and chewy cookies, lollipops and fruity gummies: Marijuana edibles often look just like regular foods. For a young child, candies and chocolates are incredibly tempting. And as more states legalize weed, more kids are accidentally ingesting cannabis.

According to data from the American Association of Poison Control Centers, exposures to edibles for children 12 and under have jumped to more than 3,100 in 2020 from 187 in 2016.

Kids can react badly to cannabis edibles , especially adult-size portions.

If your child might have ingested cannabis, call Poison Control. And if they have more severe symptoms — like vomiting, seizing, trouble breathing or not waking up — go straight to the emergency room.

The easiest way to minimize children’s risk is to keep cannabis out of reach — and out of sight.

A final note: If you haven’t responded to a quick survey about the briefing and would like to, I’d be so grateful. Tell us what we can be doing better!

Sign up here to get the briefing by email .

Amelia Nierenberg writes the Education Briefing and regularly reports on schools for the National desk. More about Amelia Nierenberg

Dana Goldstein is a national correspondent, writing about how education policies impact families, students and teachers across the country. She is the author of “The Teacher Wars: A History of America's Most Embattled Profession.” More about Dana Goldstein

Safely back to school after coronavirus closures

Countries around the world remain at very different points of the COVID-19 pandemic, which means they face varying challenges, from overwhelmed healthcare systems to growing economic despair. In geographies beginning to emerge from the first wave of COVID-19 cases, the question of reopening schools is front of mind for many stakeholders. Schools provide not just learning and social support for students but also, crucially, childcare, without which many parents cannot return to work. However, reopening schools carries the public health risk of viral resurgence. Parents and teachers are understandably wary. How can education systems respond?

System leaders around the world—at the federal, state, and district levels—are grappling with three important questions related to getting students safely back into the classroom:

  • When should schools reopen?
  • For which segments of students and teachers (if not everyone) should schools reopen?
  • What health and safety measures should schools adopt on reopening?

Post-pandemic capabilities for school systems

Besides safely reopening schools, education systems will have a daunting task in reenrolling students, helping students recover lost learning, and preparing for viral resurgence. New partnerships may help build capabilities for these tasks.

  • Reenrollment. As schools reopen, some students may not return to class, for instance, because of parental concern about ongoing health risks, student leakage to the workforce to support financially struggling families, or student disengagement after frustrating remote learning experiences. Previous crises suggest that girls in developing countries are especially at risk of not returning to school.
  • Remediation. Students who do return to school may need significant work to catch up on academics, especially in school systems that struggled to roll out effective remote learning. Students who lacked devices, internet access, or parental support—or who were already behind when the crisis began—will likely need the most help.
  • Resurgence. Systems must also plan for local or national viral resurgence. Preparing means being ready for multiple waves of closures and reopening, which will entail blending remote and in-person learning.

These tasks will require resources and capabilities that many systems lack.

Maintaining a crisis nerve center  through the process and beyond can enable a coordinated response through strong leadership, effective operations, and systems for ongoing data-processing and monitoring. New forms of collaboration and communication may also be needed with other government agencies, with nongovernmental organizations, and—importantly—with parents.

There isn’t one right set of answers to these questions. Infection rates fluctuate across communities, as does capacity of healthcare systems; education systems vary in both structure and performance; and different communities have distinct cultural values that inform decision making. Significantly, leaders will be making decisions based on limited and rapidly changing epidemiological evidence and will therefore be forced to make difficult trade-offs to reopen schools. Once schools are deemed safe for in-person instruction, addressing re-enrollment, academic remediation, and possible viral resurgence will require new capabilities (see sidebar, “Post-pandemic capabilities for school systems”).

When to reopen

Although most primary and secondary schools worldwide remain closed, some countries (most notably Sweden) have stayed open as of publication. Others, including China, Denmark, Japan, and Norway, recently reopened their schools, and many European countries have announced plans to reopen in the coming weeks or months. In the United States, 43 states and Washington, DC, have ordered or recommended keeping in-person schooling closed for the rest of the academic year. 1 “Map: Coronavirus and school closures,” Education Week , updated April 24, 2020, edweek.com.

As school-system leaders weigh possible timelines, they can consider four interlocking components of reopening: risks to public health, schools’ importance to economic activity, impacts on students’ learning and thriving, and safeguarding readiness.

Risks to public health

The most critical question is whether reopening schools will lead to a resurgence of infection among students, staff, and the broader community. The evidence here is still nascent. Children’s risk of contracting COVID-19 appears to be lower than that of adults. In China and the United States, the countries with the largest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, children represent 2 percent of cases. 2 Jennifer M. McGoogan and Zunyou Wu, “Characteristics of and important lessons from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in China: Summary of a report of 72 314 cases from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention,” Journal of the American Medical Association , February 24, 2020, Volume 323, Number 13, pp. 1,239–42; “Coronavirus disease 2019 in children—United States, February 12–April 2, 2020,” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report , April 2020, Volume 69, pp. 422–26, cdc.gov. Emerging evidence also suggests that children are more likely to be asymptomatic, less likely to be hospitalized, and much less likely to die if they do develop COVID-19. 3 Yuanyuan Dong et al., “Epidemiology of COVID-19 among children in China,” Pediatrics , April 2020, pediatrics.aappublications.org. COVID-NET hospitalization data are preliminary and subject to change as more data become available; see COVID-NET: COVID-19-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, updated April 18, 2020, gis.cdc.gov.

Although the risk to students themselves appears relatively low, reopening schools will also expose teachers to risk—especially those who are older or immune-compromised—and might contribute to higher risk for the larger community. Children’s role in transmitting the novel coronavirus is still unclear, making it difficult to estimate the extent to which reopening schools might contribute to resurgence. Potentially relaxed confinement measures outside the education sector add to the uncertainty. Decision makers will therefore need to determine when to reopen schools in the context of reopening society at large.

Importance to economic activity

A major part of the sequencing puzzle is the importance of schooling in providing childcare. Workers with children under 15 years old in their household who have no alternate caregiver will likely need childcare before being able to return fully to work. The proportion of workers who cannot return to work without childcare varies significantly across countries—and even within them. In the United States, 16 percent of the workforce—representing 26.8 million workers—are dependent on childcare to work (exhibit). In Europe, where there is a higher proportion of dual-income families, thus fewer stay-at-home parents to provide childcare, 20 to 30 percent of the workforce are likely dependent upon preschools and schools to resume work. 4 These estimates apply only to industrialized countries. In the United States, for example, 31 percent of households have at least one child at home. We assume that only children under 15 need an adult at home to provide care and that all workers in single-parent families require childcare, half of workers in dual-income families require childcare, and no workers in families with an existing stay-at-home parent require childcare.

These numbers do not represent the full complexity of individual workers’ family situations or obligations. While some workers, especially those with older children and who can fulfill their work responsibilities remotely, may be able to return part-time, their productivity will likely suffer. Conversely, the situation is much more challenging for those with younger children and who also cannot work remotely. While some families may lean on older siblings to provide childcare, doing so could significantly impair learning for those students. Other families may ask grandparents to watch children, but this solution puts one of the most vulnerable populations in this pandemic at risk. Our estimates may also underestimate the magnitude of the challenge. The proportion of workers under the age of 55 requiring childcare is even greater, as younger workers are the ones most likely to have dependent children. This poses a challenge for countries that wish to bring back younger workers first and protect older workers by keeping them safely at home. 5 See Jonathan Dingel, Christina Patterson, and Joseph Vavra, Childcare obligations will constrain many workers when reopening the US economy , Becker Friedman Institute for economics at The University of Chicago working paper, April 18, 2020, bfi.uchicago.edu; this paper includes an analysis of the impact on workers under the age of 55 but does assume that older siblings or grandparents could provide childcare to working parents.

Where a significant proportion of workers rely on schools for childcare, reopening schools (at least for younger children) might be a prerequisite to tapping into the full productive capacity of the workforce. However, if the majority of parents can work from home while fulfilling childcare responsibilities or can access alternative childcare, schools might be able to stay closed for longer.

Student learning and thriving

Every year, students in the United States lose a month’s worth of learning over the summer, with the sharpest learning declines in math, seen especially in low-income students. 6 David M. Quinn and Morgan Polikoff, “Summer learning loss: What is it, and what can we do about it?,” Brookings Institution, September 14, 2017, brookings.edu. Some researchers suggest that despite systems’ best efforts with remote learning, school closures caused by COVID-19 could be even more damaging. One recent analysis projects that students could return in the fall having progressed only 70 percent of a grade in reading and less than 50 percent of a grade in math during the 2019–20 school year. 7 Megan Kuhfeld and Beth Tarasawa, The COVID-19 slide: What summer learning loss can tell us about the potential impact of school closures on student academic achievement , NWEA, April 2020, nwea.org. If closures extend beyond the fall, this shortfall could be even greater, with negative consequences for individual students and society as a whole. If decision makers believe that their remote-learning offerings are effective and equitable enough to avoid learning shortfalls, then longer school closures may be feasible. However, an uneven rollout of remote learning represents lost learning for every day out of school.

Beyond academics, schools provide important social support, especially to vulnerable students. Indeed, 19 percent of reports of child abuse or neglect in the United States come through education personnel, and school closures have resulted in a steep drop in such reports. 8 Andrew M. Campbell, “An increasing risk of family violence during the Covid-19 pandemic: Strengthening community collaborations to save lives,” Forensic Science International: Reports , April 2020, Volume 2. This change suggests that school closures have shut down support sources for victims of abuse and neglect at the very moment that they are most vulnerable. And although abuse may be less visible to staff during school closures, governments and nonprofits worldwide have recorded higher rates of domestic violence since shutdowns began. Reports of domestic violence increased more than 30 percent in France, 9 Elena Berton, “France to put domestic abuse victims in hotels after jump in numbers,” Reuters, March 30, 2020, reuters.com. 50 percent in India, 10 Rukmini S, “Locked down with abusers: India sees surge in domestic violence,” Al Jazeera , April 17, 2020, aljazeera.com. and 60 percent in Mexico. 11 John Holman, “Domestic abuse spikes in Mexico amid virus outbreak,” Al Jazeera , April 10, 2020, aljazeera.com. With such high stakes, systems that can consistently deliver remote student services—nutrition, safety, and mental-health support—can likely weather longer closures than those who cannot.

Safeguarding readiness

The final consideration to weigh is school systems’ ability to create and consistently follow effective health and safety measures to mitigate the risk of infection. School systems’ infrastructure, budget, supply chains, policies, and culture all contribute to their ability to operate safely after reopening. For instance, a school with unused classroom space and enough classroom aides could stagger schedules, space desks at least six feet apart, and facilitate more but smaller classes. Conversely, schools with strapped budgets, overworked teachers, and crowded classes will have less flexibility. Furthermore, equipping or retrofitting schools for optimal hygiene and sanitation won’t be effective if student behavior cannot or does not adhere to health and safety protocols.

If decision makers believe schools can realistically adopt health and safety protocols that can lower the risk of infection, schools can open earlier. However, if system leaders believe schools are unlikely to be able to limit transmission because they are, by definition, high-contact zones, then schools are likely to remain closed or to open later.

For whom to reopen

Reopening doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing decision. Schools could selectively reopen, making it easier to keep student groups small and dispersed. Countries are taking varied approaches in deciding which students should return to school first. Denmark and Norway have prioritized reopening pre-primary and primary schools to address childcare for parents who need to return to work. Such an approach can be appealing to decision makers who believe young children are among the lowest-risk groups for both infection and transmission.

Other countries have prioritized students in important transitional years. For example, final-year students in Germany have returned to school to take their final examinations. Physical distancing is easier—and in fact typical—in examination halls, and older students are more likely than younger ones to follow health and safety protocols.

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Alternatively, schools can consider identifying student segments with specific needs and reopening for them. For instance, low-income students, who are less likely to have reliable internet service and devices equipped to support remote learning and who are more likely to rely on school for nonacademic support, may gain academic and wellness benefits (including nutrition) from returning to school. Similarly, students with disabilities (especially ones that make remote learning particularly difficult) might be better served with educational specialists at school. Finally, the children of essential workers might return to school earlier since their parents may not have the option of staying home.

Just as it may be beneficial for some students to return to school, some teachers might be better served working from home. Teachers who are at a higher risk of developing COVID-19 can be identified in advance of school reopening and provide remote instruction to students who are also still at home.

These possibilities are uncharted for many school systems and may require adjustments in both logistics (especially for staffing) and mindsets. For instance, reopening schools for only some students may mean reframing or redefining truancy, especially if a significant number of families opt out of sending their children back to school due to safety concerns. As of publication, Australia’s Northern Territory is letting families opt out of sending children back to school. 12 Judith Aisthorpe and Natasha Emeck, “NT schools stay open but optional for parents to send children to classes now: Chief Minister,” NT News , March 23, 2020, ntnews.com.au. Such examples suggest that school systems may need to continue to offer some level of remote learning, even after most students are back in the classroom.

Health and safety measures to adopt

Like workplaces around the world, schools will need to adopt and enforce heightened health and sanitation protocols. However, schools will likely confront trade-offs between effectiveness and feasibility in implementing such measures.

Measures that can reduce viral spread may be less effective at providing childcare or optimizing learning. For example, alternating school days for different groups of students may facilitate physical distancing but may not fully meet parents’ childcare needs and may create inconsistent learning environments for students. Limited budgets, infrastructure, and supplies of critical health and safety equipment may further complicate these challenges. Most importantly, some measures that are appropriate for adults will be difficult if not impossible to enforce in a school setting, especially for younger students.

Each school system will therefore need to evaluate its health and safety measures to fit its resources and capabilities across four major categories: physical infrastructure, scheduling and staffing, transportation and food service, and health and behavioral policies. Some example health and safety considerations can illustrate how systems can consider feasibility in a school environment.

School infrastructure can facilitate both physical distancing and hygiene protocols. For instance, designated entrances and exits for different student cohorts, sectioned off common spaces, and floor markings to direct foot-traffic flows can help students and staff maintain distance. Similarly, portable hand-sanitizing stations at entrances and common areas can promote regular hygiene—and all of these changes may be made at a reasonable cost. However, permanent changes to the physical environment, such as no-touch bathrooms or upgraded ventilation, may be unrealistic for many school systems’ budgets—especially given the short time frames involved.

School-system priorities in the age of coronavirus

School-system priorities in the age of coronavirus

Outside of no-regrets decisions (such as canceling large gatherings), changes in scheduling and staffing are the most likely to affect student learning. For example, while staggered or part-time schedules can help reduce the number of people on campus at a given time, making it easier to maintain a safe distance, these schedules also reduce instructional time. An alternative approach is to divide students into cohorts—for example, by grade or floor—to reduce the level of contact among students and staff to only those within their cohort. 13 Working and learning cohorts are already in use in the private sector; for an example, see Will Anderson, “How Austin factories are practicing social distancing,” Austin Business Journal , March 23, 2020, bizjournals.com. Secondary schools, where students tend to go to subject-specialist teachers’ classrooms, could explore ways to keep consistent groups of students together and trade off some subject-specific learning for more safety.

Transportation and food service, which historically brought students and staff into close physical contact, can adapt to support the school community’s health and safety—though the cost could be high. Increasing the number of bus routes, for instance, or organizing routes by cohort would reduce proximity and exposure but would require more drivers, funding, and sanitization between routes. School systems may instead offer incentives for private transport, but parents may be logistically or financially unable to take their children to school. Food service will also become more complicated: even with pre-boxed lunches and staggered lunch times, full compliance with physical distancing and hygiene may not be attainable, especially for young children.

Finally, systems need to consider which behavioral policies and norms are enforceable during the school day. Temperature checks for anyone entering a school campus may be sensible, yet contactless thermometers are expensive and may be in short supply. Schools will therefore need to decide whether to require everyone to check their temperature at home daily or have school personnel administer checks using standard thermometers. Schools can set up quarantine facilities for students with fevers, but if insufficient coronavirus tests are available it will complicate decisions on when entire student cohorts (or even the entire school) should be sent home.

Consistently wearing masks might also be difficult, if not impossible, to enforce among students. However, frequent scheduled campuswide handwashing and sanitation can help keep the environment and hands relatively clean. Enhanced cleaning of surfaces after the school day can be another vital element of promoting hygiene. Training and frequent reinforcement can help staff, parents, students, and entire communities stay updated on important health and sanitation practices.

As school-system leaders consider a dizzying array of decisions, they will have to make difficult trade-offs using the best and most recent—but still incomplete—available evidence and the knowledge of their own resources and constraints. They will also have to involve parents, teachers, and students in the decision-making process.

As schools reopen under appropriate health and safety protocols, school leaders will then confront a new set of challenges, including reenrollment, remedial academic support, and possibly closing schools again in response to public-health needs. None of this work is easy, but the prize—students learning, parents working, and a virus in retreat—is worth fighting for.

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The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC 20500

White   House Announces Theme and Activities for the 2024 Easter Egg   Roll

First Lady and “First Teacher” Jill Biden Continues “EGGucation” Theme for the annual White House Easter Egg Roll

Today, the White House announced the full program of activities for the 2024 White House Easter Egg Roll, a tradition dating back to 1878.  A teacher for more than 30 years, First Lady Jill Biden is continuing her theme of “EGGucation” for the event, transforming the South Lawn and Ellipse into a school community, full of fun educational activities for children of all ages to enjoy. 

In addition to the time-honored traditions of rolling and hunting eggs, this year’s White House Easter “EGGucation” Roll will also feature a School House Activity Area, Reading Nook, Field Trip to the Farm, Picture Day, a Physical “EGGucation” Zone, a Snack Time Tent and more.  The South Façade of the White House will be adorned with balloons, marked with STEAM school subjects, a nod to Dr. Biden’s belief that with EGGucation, “all students can soar.”  

In total, approximately 40,000 people will take part in this year’s Easter “EGGucation” Roll, including thousands of military and veteran families, caregivers, and survivors. Tickets for the general public were distributed to guests from all across the country through an online public lottery. 

The American Egg Board, on behalf of America’s Egg Farmers, continues its more than 45-year history of participation in the event as our legacy partner in support of the White House Easter Egg Roll.   

This year’s event will be broken into nine sessions, beginning at 7:00 AM ET and ending at 7:00 PM ET.  Follow along with the White House Easter “EGGucation” Roll activities with #EasterEggRoll and #EGGucation, and the official @White House, @POTUS, and @FLOTUS social media accounts on X, Facebook, and Instagram.

This event will be open to pre-credentialed media. For interested media who have not already registered, please register HERE by Friday, March 29, 2024 at 5:00 PM ET.

Additional information about this year’s “EGGucational” activities and programming is included below:     EGG ROLL The tradition that started it all! Children will use wooden spoons to roll colorful eggs in a race across the South Lawn.   EGG HUNT Children will find hidden eggs and collect special prizes.    SCHOOL HOUSE The School House area of the South Lawn will be full of fun educational activities for all to enjoy!   SCHOOL HOUSE STAGE The School House stage on the South Lawn will feature “egg-citing” kids’ educational acts and performances.    SNACK TIME! Children and their families can fuel up for learning with some seasonal snacks!   FIELD TRIP TO THE FARM It’s time to head to the farm for a school field trip!  Children will learn from farmers about how they help feed our families.    READING NOOK Families will come together for some special story time with children’s book authors and special guests!    PICTURE DAY Families will remember this day always with a fun photo! Snap a family picture with the White House in the background or capture a moment with your favorite costumed character.     PHYSICAL EGGucation (PE) Zone Children of all ages will hop, bounce, kick, run, and throw their way through the Ellipse’s obstacle course and favorite schoolyard activities. 

BAND HALL Families will enjoy music from marching bands as they make their way up to the Egg Roll! 

This year, the White House Easter “EGGucation” Roll will feature educational activities, schoolyard fun, and special performances on the South Lawn, which are supported by (in alphabetical order):

  • 123 Andrés, children’s music performers
  • 2023 Washington, DC Teacher of the Year Jermar Rountree & 2024 Washington, DC Teacher of the Year Beth Barkley
  • American Egg Board
  • American Egg Board Farmers Jana Zweering and Molly Weaver
  • American Society of Plant Biologists
  • “Art of the Brick,” LEGO artist Nathan Sawaya
  • Beat Refinery DJ School
  • Bill Gordh, Musician and Storyteller
  • Britt Waters, Lifestyle/Traffic Anchor for ABC7 Good Morning Washington; Host for the Washington Wizards
  • Center of Science and Industry (COSI)
  • Children’s Book Author, Andrea Beaty
  • Children’s Book Author and Astronaut, Kellie Gerardi
  • Children’s Book Authors Brad Meltzer and Chris Eliopoulos
  • Coca-Cola Company / DASANI Water
  • D.C. United
  • Dino’s Alive! Experience/Exhibition Hub
  • DJ Diamond Kuts
  • DJ Sophia Rocks
  • DJs and twin sisters, Amira and Kayla
  • Emily Calandrelli, MIT engineer and host of Emily’s Wonder Lab on Netflix and Author
  • Five Below, Inc.
  • Founding Farmers
  • George Mason University Green Machine, Fairfax, VA
  • Gobo Fraggle and Red Fraggle from Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock
  • Independence High School Marching Band, Brambleton, VA
  • Lawrence Hall of Science: University of California, Berkeley
  • Lauren Quigley Creations
  • Monet The Immersive Experience / Exhibition Hub
  • Major League Baseball
  • Montgomery County Fire and Rescue
  • MTV Entertainment Studios with Active Minds
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • National Basketball Association
  • National Children’s Museum
  • National Confectioners Association
  • National Football League
  • National Park Service
  • Operation Gratitude
  • PAAS ® Easter Egg Color Kits
  • Paul Russell, Recording Artist and Performer
  • PBS KIDS Series Creator (Alma’s Way), Children’s Book Author and former Sesame Street actor, Sonia Manzano
  • Planet Word
  • President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition
  • Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona
  • Sesame Street
  • Sesame Street actor, Alan Muraoka, reading with Elmo
  • The Majestic Marching Cardinals of Jonesboro High School, Jonesboro, GA
  • “The President’s Own” United States Marine Corps Band
  • The United States Air Force Band
  • The United States Army Band
  • The United States Navy Band
  • The United States Navy Band Sea Chanters (singing the National Anthem)
  • TheaterWorksUSA
  • Tolleson Elementary School District Marching Band, Phoenix, AZ
  • Tommy McFly, Official Emcee & NBC4 Scene Correspondent and Host of Walk A Mile
  • Washington Spirit
  • White House Historical Association
  • Windows Catering
  • YouTube Kids, featuring Jessi Knudsen Castaneda from SciShow Kids!

The following costumed characters (in alphabetical order) will stroll the White House grounds, including:

  • Care Bears Character, Cheer Bear
  • Disney’s Winnie the Pooh and Tigger
  • Doki the Dog
  • Dr. Seuss Character, The Lorax 
  • Hatching Chick
  • Miffy Bunny
  • Miraculous Lady Bug and Cat Noir
  • Momma, Daddy, Baby Shark and Bebefinn
  • Nickelodeon Characters: Marshall, Chase, Skye, and Rubble from Paw Patrol; SpongeBob and Patrick from SpongeBob SquarePants; Blue and Magenta from Blue’s Clues
  • Paramount Pictures Character, Blue from “IF”
  • PBS KIDS Characters: Alma from Alma’s Way, Donkey from Donkey Hodie, Daniel Tiger from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Stu from Lyla in the Loop, Rosie from Rosie’s Rules, Zeke from Work it Out Wombats!, Elinor from Elinor Wonders Why, and Molly from Molly of Denali
  • Peanuts Characters: Astronaut Snoopy and Charlie Brown
  • Phillie Phanatic, the mascot of the Philadelphia Phillies
  • Poe, the mascot of the Baltimore Ravens
  • Slapshot, the mascot of the Washington Capitals
  • Sony Pictures Character, Garfield from The Garfield Movie
  • Swoop, the mascot of the Philadelphia Eagles
  • The Oriole Bird, the mascot of the Baltimore Orioles
  • Universal Pictures Characters: The Minions
  • Warner Brothers Superhero Wonder Woman

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We'll be in touch with the latest information on how President Biden and his administration are working for the American people, as well as ways you can get involved and help our country build back better.

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  1. High School, Pandemics

    In the winter of 2019, a new coronavirus, now officially called SARS-CoV-2, emerged in Wuhan, China. The virus made the jump from animals to humans and causes a disease called COVID-19. For some people, often children and young adults, SARS-CoV-2 causes few or no symptoms. For others it can lead to severe lung damage and even death.

  2. Science Lessons That Tap Into Student Curiosity About COVID-19

    Nanobots and Gizmos. Attacking the virus: At Coppell Middle School East in Texas, science teacher Jodie Deinhammer developed an engineering activity called "COVID Nanobots," where her seventh-grade students designed a nanobot, or a microscopic robot, that mimicked a human cell but was able to attack and kill the coronavirus.

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    Coronavirus Resources: Teaching, Learning and Thinking Critically. 12 Ideas for Writing Through the Pandemic With The New York Times. 7 Ways to Explore the Math of the Coronavirus Using The New ...

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  5. Teaching Pack: COVID-19 Middle/High-School Resources

    This collection of resources was curated to support high-school and middle-school teachers in bringing timely, high-quality material on the current COVID-19 pandemic into the "classroom" whether it be online, hybrid or physical. Each tile within the collection brings together a key resource on the topic and some sample activities, discussion ...

  6. Innovative Ways to Make Coronavirus a Teachable Moment

    Innovative Ways to Make Coronavirus a Teachable Moment. When the world feels dangerous, harnessing learning can provide some measure of clarity and perspective. By Sarah Gonser. April 3, 2020. The massive public health challenge of Covid-19, in spite of its many unknowns, offers teachers the unique instructional opportunity to tap into students ...

  7. Six Online Activities to Help Students Cope With COVID-19

    Research shows that using a strength-based approach at school can improve student engagement and grades, as well as create more positive social dynamics among students. Strengths also help people to overcome adversity. 2. Emotional management. Activity: Managing Emotions During the Coronavirus Pandemic

  8. 12 Ideas for Writing Through the Pandemic With The New York Times

    We want to help inspire your writing about the coronavirus while you learn from home. Below, we offer 12 projects for students, all based on pieces from The New York Times, including personal ...

  9. Teaching About Coronavirus: 3 Lesson Plans for Science, Math, and Media

    At Fishers Junior High School in Indiana, math teacher Alison Strole had her students compare coronavirus to other viruses that have caused past epidemics, as part of a lesson on COVID-19.

  10. PDF Education in a post-COVID world: Nine ideas for public action

    with a risk of many not returning to school post-COVID-19. This is not something we should accept; we must do everything in our power to prevent it. COVID-19 has the potential to radically reshape our world, but we must not passively sit back and observe what plays out. Now is the time for public deliberation and democratic accountability.

  11. 7 Innovative Ideas for Safer Schools in the COVID Era

    The "Tree-House School" addresses health concerns stemming from COVID-19 while incorporating sustainable features and a modular design that allows for future expansion based on capacity needs. Classrooms would be well-ventilated, and social distancing would be easier to achieve due to the extra spaces incorporated in the design.

  12. School-Based Interventions to Increase Student COVID-19

    COVID-19 can lead to severe outcomes in children (1).Vaccination decreases risk for COVID-19 illness, severe disease, and death (2).On December 13, 2020, CDC recommended COVID-19 vaccination for persons aged ≥16 years, with expansion on May 12, 2021, to children and adolescents (children) aged 12-15 years, and on November 2, 2021, to children aged 5-11 years (3).

  13. PDF COVID-19 Schools Presentation 2/25/2020

    COVID-19 is the name of the "novel coronavirus" disease. SARS-CoV-2 is the name of the virus that causes COVID-19. Coronaviruses cause mild respiratory illnesses, such as the common cold. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) COVID-19 is a new coronavirus disease.

  14. The Big List: Make These Projects to Fight COVID-19 Right Now

    Origami Face Shield ( website) — Another single-material shield; unique design folds to make a top cover as well. The first project launched by Helpful Engineering, a 3,000+ volunteer incubator of ideas for fighting Covid-19. OSMS approved.

  15. These medical student-led projects make an impact during pandemic

    These medical student-led projects make an impact during pandemic. Feb 24, 2021 . 5 MIN READ. By. Brendan Murphy , Senior News Writer. Print Page. The COVID-19 pandemic caused unprecedented strain on health systems, and an unwelcomed disruption to medical training. Still, even as they were sidelined from patient interaction, medical students ...

  16. 5 Radical Ideas For Schooling During Coronavirus : NPR

    2. Give teens one-on-one support. In this time, as in previous educational disruptions, teenagers are most at risk for being knocked off course. One April survey found 4 in 10 U.S. teens weren't ...

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    A Mental Wellness Project Supports Students During COVID-19. Researchers are working with children in Baltimore to learn about student resilience during the pandemic. Feature. Measuring the Psychological Distress of COVID-19. People from many racial and ethnic minority groups reported experiencing less distress than White adults.

  18. COVID-19 Projects and Initiatives

    COVID-19. COVID-19 Projects and Initiatives. The School is maintaining a searchable log of self-reported research and practice efforts Bloomberg School faculty are participating in and the current status of that work. Filters provide a means to identify projects targeting specific populations, departments, or subject areas.

  19. A Mental Wellness Project Supports Students During COVID-19

    The COVID-19 pandemic has brought additional challenges. Concerns about infections and illness, school closures, and lost jobs hit lower-income families of color even more acutely and put adolescents at greater risk of mental health crises. With the help of a grant from NIH's Office of the Director and support from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver ...

  20. Upgrading lessons for kids at home during school closures

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  22. Safely back to school after coronavirus closures

    One recent analysis projects that students could return in the fall having progressed only 70 percent of a grade in reading and less than 50 percent of a grade in math during the 2019-20 school year. 7 Megan Kuhfeld and Beth Tarasawa, The COVID-19 slide: What summer learning loss can tell us about the potential impact of school closures on ...

  23. White House Announces Theme and Activities for the 2024 Easter Egg Roll

    A teacher for more than 30 years, First Lady Jill Biden is continuing her theme of "EGGucation" for the event, transforming the South Lawn and Ellipse into a school community, full of fun ...