The Center for Charter Schools at Central Michigan University (CMU) teamed with The Learning Collective and Venn Education (Venn) to examine the impacts, changes and innovations schools have experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since March 2020, schools have had no choice but to respond to the expectations and realities brought by educating students during a global pandemic. This reality has challenged every aspect of schools including methods of instruction, staffing, and student/staff mental health. This has affected schools and many are operating in crisis-mode and their stakeholders are suffering fatigue. It has become clear that schools may never return to “normal”; school leaders need school-based information and ideas to proactively address issues and support their planning for the future.

Adam Aberman of TLC and David Hartman of Venn collaborated to write this Action Planning Guide based on a literature review and surveys and focus groups of board members, school leaders, teachers and support organizations across CMU’s 57 authorized charter schools. The Guide is designed to help CMU’s authorized schools, and all schools, plan effectively for the 2022-23 school year.

We learned many things writing Examining the Impacts, Changes and Innovations Experienced During the Pandemic. Among the biggest takeaways are the importance of, and need to create a plan with clear goals and action steps, regarding each of the following:

  1. Cognitive, Interpersonal, Emotional Development (CIED)
  2. Teacher collaboration
  3. Listening to all school stakeholders, including students
  4. Focus on growth, rather than absolute achievement/proficiency, for academic and CIED matters
  5. Unfinished learning and unfinished instruction

The Learning Collective will co-present on other lessons learned through this project at the 2022 National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) annual conference.

If you work at or support a school – whether charter, traditional public, parochial or independent – we believe at least 1 of the 65 recommendations in the Guide can help your school plan for next year.