Impossible—or Imperative?

Safely Reopening Schools During COVID-19

A Webinar Series
Sponsored by the Johns Hopkins School of Education

This  symposium explores the enormous hurdles K-12 schools face as they work to open in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic. Join the conversation as top national experts discuss the challenges of safely reopening America’s schools—and the unexpected lessons and opportunities that may emerge as a result.

The Shifting Landscape

Reopening and the Politics of Education

This session focuses on what we can learn about the shifting landscape of the politics of education by examining how different states and the federal government have approached remote learning and reopening schools amidst the pandemic.

MODERATOR

Christopher C. Morphew, PhD
Dean, Johns Hopkins School of Education

Prior to becoming dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Education in August 2017, Christopher Morphew was professor and executive associate dean in the College of Education at the University of Iowa. He holds a PhD in social sciences and education from Stanford University, as well as degrees from Harvard University and the University of Notre Dame. His most recent book, The Challenges of Independent Colleges, co-edited with John Braxton, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2017.

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PANELISTS

Nancy S. Grasmick, EdD
Director, Kennedy Krieger Institute Center for Innovation and Leadership in Special Education

Nancy S. Grasmick is the first female president of the board of the Kennedy Krieger Institute. She also serves as Towson University’s Presidential Scholar. From 1991 until 2011 she was the state superintendent of Maryland public schools, serving 24 districts, 1,424 schools and 869,113 students. The first female superintendent in Maryland history, she remains the longest-serving appointed superintendent in U.S. history. Dr. Grasmick received her doctoral degree in communicative sciences from Johns Hopkins University.
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Hahrie Han, PhD
Director, SNF Agora Institute

Hahrie Han is professor of political science and the inaugural director of the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University. She specializes in the study of civic and political participation, collective action, and organizing, focusing particularly on the role that civic associations play in mobilizing participation. She holds a PhD in American politics from Stanford University. Her new book, Prisms of the People: Power and Organizing in 21st Century America, will be published this fall.

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David Steiner, PhD
Executive Director, Johns Hopkins Institute of Education Policy

A professor of education and executive director of the Institute of Education Policy at Johns Hopkins University, David Steiner previously served as commissioner of education for New York State, as the Klara and Larry Silverstein Dean at the Hunter College School of Education, and as director of education at the National Endowment. In 2020, he finished serving as a member of the Maryland Commission for Innovation and Excellence in Education. Steiner holds a PhD in political science from Harvard University.

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Who’s Left Behind?

Equity and the Push to Reopen Schools

To what extent has equity been a consideration in the nation’s approach to the COVID-19 pandemic in our schools?  Have efforts actually contributed to greater gaps in access, learning, and safety for at-risk groups? This session examines who is being left behind.

MODERATOR

Christopher C. Morphew, PhD
Dean, Johns Hopkins School of Education

Prior to becoming dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Education in August 2017, Christopher Morphew was professor and executive associate dean in the College of Education at the University of Iowa. He holds a PhD in social sciences and education from Stanford University, as well as degrees from Harvard University and the University of Notre Dame. His most recent book, The Challenges of Independent Colleges, co-edited with John Braxton, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2017.

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PANELISTS

Megan E. Collins, MD, MPH
Co-director, Johns Hopkins Consortium for School-Based Health Solutions

Megan E. Collins, MD, MPH is an assistant professor of ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and associate faculty at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. Dr. Collins is co-director of the Johns Hopkins Consortium for School-Based Health Solutions, and co-leads the Johns Hopkins eSchool+ Initiative, a university-wide collaboration examining the impact of K-12 school closures on children from disadvantaged backgrounds and providing guidance on reopening strategies for key stakeholders in education, health, and policy.

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Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy, PhD
Dean, American University School of Education

Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy became dean of American University’s School of Education in 2016. Prior to this role, she served as vice provost for faculty affairs and vice dean of academic affairs for the Johns Hopkins School of Education. An expert in college advising and counseling, Holcomb-McCoy also served as a consultant to the Obama Administration’s Reach Higher Initiative. In 2016, she was selected as an American Counseling Association Fellow. She holds a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

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Joseph South, PhD
Chief Learning Officer, International Society of Technology in Education

A national educational technology leader focused on evidence-based learning transformation, Joseph South formerly served as the director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education. He also has led learning product development teams at startups, museums, nonprofits, corporations, and higher education institutions and has directed learning programs and consulted on projects in China, Korea, Mexico, South America, and the Middle East. He holds a doctorate in instructional psychology and technology from Brigham Young University.

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More Than Buildings

Reforming Policy for Today’s Schools

In many ways, COVID-19 offers a unique opportunity for us to better understand the important roles schools play as hubs for social-emotional health, community programming, food security, and more. This session examines how we might utilize this opportunity as a means for broader policy reform. 

MODERATOR

Christopher C. Morphew, PhD
Dean, Johns Hopkins School of Education

Prior to becoming dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Education in August 2017, Christopher Morphew was professor and executive associate dean in the College of Education at the University of Iowa. He holds a PhD in social sciences and education from Stanford University, as well as degrees from Harvard University and the University of Notre Dame. His most recent book, The Challenges of Independent Colleges, co-edited with John Braxton, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2017.

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PANELISTS

Robert Balfanz, PhD
Director, Everyone Graduates Center

Robert Balfanz, PhD, is a research professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Education’s Center for the Social Organization of Schools, where he is the director of the Everyone Graduates Center. He is co-founder of Diplomas Now, an evidence-based school transformation model, and the winner of a federal Investing in Innovation (I3) validation grant implemented in 40 schools across 12 school districts. He focuses on translating research findings into effective school interventions. He holds a PhD in education from the University of Chicago.

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Monika Kincheloe, JD
Senior Director, Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships, America’s Promise Alliance

Monika Kincheloe leads the GradNation and Every School Healthy campaigns at America’s Promise Alliance, working closely with a range of national, state, and community organizations to connect and synthesize research, practice, and policy on education and well-being for young people. She also has served as a lead program officer for the U.S. Department of Education, providing policy translation, technical assistance, and performance management services to education leaders in 11 state education agencies. She holds a JD in law from Suffolk University Law School.

 

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Robert J. Jagers, PhD
Vice President of Research, Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)

As CASEL’s vice president of research, Robert J. Jagers leads work with partner districts on leveraging social and emotional learning to promote equitable learning environments and outcomes for students from historically underserved groups. He also has served as a faculty member in the University of Michigan’s Combined Program in Education and Psychology; co-principal investigator of the Center for the Study of Black Youth in Context; and the founding director of the diversity pipeline program Wolverine Pathways. He holds a PhD from Howard University.

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Voices of Experience

Real-School Practices During a Pandemic  

Teachers and school leaders have adapted quickly and resourcefully to widely varying policies and pressures placed on schools during the pandemic. This session includes front-line school staff who offer valuable intel on the prospects and problems faced by districts across the country.

MODERATOR

Christopher C. Morphew, PhD
Dean, Johns Hopkins School of Education

Prior to becoming dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Education in August 2017, Christopher Morphew was professor and executive associate dean in the College of Education at the University of Iowa. He holds a PhD in social sciences and education from Stanford University, as well as degrees from Harvard University and the University of Notre Dame. His most recent book, The Challenges of Independent Colleges, co-edited with John Braxton, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2017.

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PANELISTS

Sharon L. Contreras, PhD
Superintendent, Guilford County (NC) Schools

The first woman and first Latina superintendent of Guilford County Schools, Sharon Contreras leads one of the nation’s largest school systems, with more than 73,000 preK–12 students. She also has been a principal, area superintendent, assistant superintendent, and chief academic officer, serving children and families across five states. Dr. Contreras is a member of Chiefs for Change, Education Leaders of Color, and the Council of the Great City Schools. She holds a PhD in educational leadership and policy studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Aaron Parsons, EdD
Vice President of School Programs, Kennedy Krieger Institute

As a member of Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Special Education Administration, Aaron Parsons oversees several of the institute’s school programs, as well as admissions, regulatory compliance, and transition services. He also supervises psychological and behavioral services in the schools. Parsons is certified as a general and special educator, as well as a superintendent of schools, and has served as a board member and public policy chair for the National Association of Private Special Education Centers. He holds a doctorate in education from Johns Hopkins University.

 

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Sonja Brookins Santelises, EdD
Chief Executive Officer, Baltimore City Public Schools

Sonja Santalises first came to Baltimore City Public Schools as chief academic officer in 2010. She returned as CEO in 2016 after three years as vice president for K-12 policy and practice at The Education Trust. She previously served as assistant superintendent for a network of 23 pilot schools in Boston and as a senior associate with Focus on Results Inc, where she coached school leaders in major urban districts. She holds a doctor of education in administration, planning, and social policy from Harvard University.

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Looking Toward the Future

Can We Build a “Marshall Plan” for Education?  

Given challenges like political deadlock and increasing inequity, many leading thinkers in education see COVID-19 as a historic opportunity for systemwide change.  Join us as Johns Hopkins Professor Robert Slavin and other experts consider what it would take to launch a comprehensive, national effort for post-COVID-19 recovery and reform in education.

MODERATOR

Christopher C. Morphew, PhD
Dean, Johns Hopkins School of Education

Prior to becoming dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Education in August 2017, Christopher Morphew was professor and executive associate dean in the College of Education at the University of Iowa. He holds a PhD in social sciences and education from Stanford University, as well as degrees from Harvard University and the University of Notre Dame. His most recent book, The Challenges of Independent Colleges, co-edited with John Braxton, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2017.

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PANELISTS

Frederick M. Hess, PhD
Director, Education Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute 

Frederick M. Hess is a resident scholar and the director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, where he works on K–12 and higher education issues. He is the author of the Education Week blog “Rick Hess Straight Up,” a regular contributor to Forbes and The Hill, and executive editor of Education Next. His most recent book, Letters to a Young Education Reformer, was published in 2017. He holds a PhD, as well as an MEd in teaching and curriculum, from Harvard University.

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Odis Johnson, PhD
Director, Institute in Critical Quantitative, Computational, and Mixed Methodologies

Odis Johnson Jr. is director of the National Science Foundation-funded Institute in Critical Quantitative, Computational, and Mixed Methodologies, and a professor in sociology and education at Washington University in St. Louis. His work examines how neighborhoods, schools, and public policies relate to social inequality, youth development, and the status of African American populations. He is the principal investigator of the Fatal Interactions with Police Study, which has generated a national data file of police homicides. Johnson holds a PhD from the University of Michigan.

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Robert Slavin, PhD
Director, Center for Research and Reform in Education

Robert Slavin is director of the Center for Research and Reform in Education at Johns Hopkins and a co-founder of the Success for All Foundation. His research has focused on cooperative learning, desegregation, school-based vision care, research review, and evidence-based reform, among other areas. Slavin is the author or co-author of 24 books, including Educational Psychology: Theory and Practice, now in its 12th edition. A member of the National Academy of Education, he received his PhD in social relations from Johns Hopkins University.

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