By Andrew Myers
Education experts at the Center for Safe and Healthy Schools at the Johns Hopkins School of Education are committed to fostering school safety and health year-round. During a national emergency, like the COVID-19 pandemic with lengthy school closings, however, their expertise and advice for schools, families, and communities could make the difference between students staying engaged in schoolwork or using a shutdown as a window to drop out.
To help schools navigate the uncharted waters of lengthy emergency shutdowns, leaders of the center have prepared a series of video interviews, hosted by Annette Campbell Anderson, academic program director at the center. Episodes are conveniently parsed into stand-alone topics for easy review. The videos are offered as a public service and are available now with additional topics planned in coming days.
“Nationwide shutdowns for a pandemic are unprecedented, at least in my lifetime. School leaders must be thoughtful not only about the decision to close school, but about the ramifications a shutdown will have on students and the community, particularly for at-risk students and vulnerable groups,” Campbell says. “We hope these tips provide practical advice for navigating through these challenging times that could make a lasting impact on students and their families.”
- Center Director Bob Balfanz provides tips for identifying at-risk students and helping to ensure they return to school when the emergency is passed.
- Yolanda Abel offers advice for supporting vulnerable communities as they deal with the loss of school resources and transition to different methods of education.
- In two separate interviews, Lieny Jeon discusses strategies to reduce teacher stress and ways to prevent bullying and discrimination.
The Johns Hopkins Center for Safe and Healthy Schools’ mission is to empower schools, their communities, and policymakers with the knowledge and tools to make informed decisions and be equipped with effective resources and the support needed to foster safe and healthy school environments.