Scenario Planning: What Does Education Look Like in Fall 2020?

Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Virtual Panel Discussion followed by Audience Q&A.

Informative and thought-provoking insights from four educational leaders (K-12, community college, and Yale University) addressing the challenges and uncertainty of COVID-19 as they plan to re-open school in the fall.

  • Jeremy Chiappetta (SOM ’02) – CEO of Blackstone Valley Prep, six K-12 charter schools in Rhode Island, serving 2,000 students from four communities
  • Leslie Torres- Rodriguez – Superintendent of Hartford Public Schools, one the largest urban preK-12 school systems in CT, serving 18,000 students from over 80 communities
  • Meghan Hughes (’88) – President of the Community College of Rhode Island, the largest community college in New England, serving 18,000 students statewide
  • Pericles Lewis – Vice-Provost and Vice-President of Global Strategy at Yale University
  • Moderator: Barbara Biasi, Assistant Professor of Economics at the Yale School of Management, whose research specializes in education, inequity, and creativity

Key topics include the challenges faced when schools were abruptly closed in March and shifted to online learning—and how the risks of COVID-19 and the lessons learned this spring are shaping plans for the fall.

Questions addressed include:

  • E-Learning – is it effective? What are its limitations? What role will it play in the return to education in the fall? What are best practices?
  • Health Safety – Can schools effectively protect the health and safety of teachers, staff, and students? What is planned for testing and monitoring in the fall?
  • Social / Emotional Support – What are the social and emotional consequences of dealing with COVID-19 for students and families, teachers, staff? What are additional concerns for special ed students? What support should be put in place?
  • Delivery Model – How has this pandemic shifted the educational delivery model – and financial business model? What is the role of government?
  • Highest Risks – What are the biggest—and potentially unsolvable risks of reopening schools in the fall?
  • Silver Linings What happened surprisingly well this spring? Does the response to the pandemic provide a chance to “fix” or change things in the current education model?

Each of these leaders is forging solutions in the face of uncertainty. They present staggering statistics on what they face in the fall, recognizing that their communities rely on schools for health, food, and social bonds as well as academic instruction. On a positive note, these educators note that COVID-19 provides opportunities to “design for equity” by advancing tech teaching, expanding outreach to underprivileged students, and innovating new education delivery models.