The Pandemic Closed Our Doors But Opened Our Minds: Why My School District Will Not Return to ‘Normal’

Educators around the globe knew this school year would be like nothing we had ever experienced. In the face of a worldwide pandemic, how do school districts properly balance the well-founded fears of staff and families with the equally well-founded evidence that children need schools to learn and to grow academically, socially and emotionally? A health crisis running headlong into an education crisis: Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year.

This year reminded us that our work is all about people, and their safety is paramount. My staff and I at Ector County Independent School District, in Texas, could not accomplish our academic goals without first ensuring our schools were safe places of learning.

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