Schooling Covid-19: Lessons From Leading Charter Networks From Their Transition to Remote Learning

Research Rundown Issue: September '20
Publisher: Thomas B. Fordham Institute
Date Published: August '20


This report summarizes the key actions that the eight leading charter school networks around the country took, which enabled them to effectively and quickly transition to distance learning. These charter networks cumulatively serve over 140,000 students, and all of them serve at least 74% low-income students. From interviewing educators, parents, and school leaders, the author was able to distill and create a list of five action items that were critical to success, and that might help guide other schools in strengthening distance learning:

  • Meet students’ social, emotional, and nutritional needs;
  • Place technology in the hands of every student and educator quickly;
  • Re-create the structure of the regular school day and regular grading practices;
  • Reach out to individual students and families on a regular basis; and
  • Embrace a team approach to teaching, with a common curriculum at the center.

Why This Matters in Minnesota

Throughout the state, schools and districts have had to build their own unique back-to-school plans. This has allowed for customization to local needs, but also means a lot of variability between plans and a significant challenge for local leaders as they build from the ground up. Learning from what’s worked for others can help provide much-needed information to schools and districts.

Read the full report