How to Reopen Schools: A 10-Point Plan Putting Equity at the Center

Updated: May 19, 2020

This article originally appeared in Getting Smart on April 29, 2020 by Eric Tucker and Tom Vanderark.


With nearly all U.S. school buildings closed for the year, teachers and leaders have scrambled to support remote learning and respond to the emerging needs of 57 million elementary and secondary students. As challenging as it is today, it’s time to begin planning for next year. The damage the pandemic has already caused, its lingering health concerns, and the potential for resurgence make preparation to reopen a complex but urgent affair.


“We have both a historic opportunity and an obligation to create approaches to reopening schools that work for all groups of students all of the time, not just some groups of students some of the time,” writes Russlynn Ali, co-founder, and CEO of the XQ Institute.


Based on insights and resources from practitioners and experts, we have created this 10-point plan, with an aim to help educators reimagine and strengthen systems. In particular, we encourage school and system leaders to consider how the needs of people of color and individuals with disabilities will be affected by re-entry. Many re-entry scenarios present a unique challenge to already vulnerable students and families, thereby compounding the