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  • Briana Williamson, M.S

2020 is NOT cancelled.

Updated: Apr 23


Many schools and campuses have moved to online Platforms such as Zoom and Schoology for virtual education, but students and staff have been met with more than just the traditional technological difficulties.


Depending on your role, you may have directly or indirectly encountered the same technological barriers to teaching and in some instances, learning.


It is true. The economic hardship for K-20 institutions is grave. Some states are requiring higher education institutions to issue a 90% refund of room, board and fees. Across the nation, students are complaining that online education, is not quite what they signed up for. Harsh budgetary realities will only further impact our educational systems.


While refunds, and other forms of financial resolve for students and their families sounds ideal, what we find all too often, is that the money is not behind the mandate.


What does this mean?


Institutions may be forced to cut the very positions that HELP students succeed. Once thought of as niceties, now more than ever, student success positions will be a necessity to ensure that at-risk students can overcome existing and new obstacles. This is a new opportunity to re-define vulnerability and to take stock of not just what students needs, but also the faculty and staff that are supporting them on their journey across the finish line.


At-risk students should not be defined solely as students that start at a deficiency. Now, at-risk students are all students that cannot work, didn’t study in a pass/fail environment, and are lacking the perseverance and determination to work hard. As students adapt to a new reality of lessened expectations, they are lulled into an environment that dulls the motivation to work hard.


The potential for a widening of the achievement gap is real.

What happens when students return to “in-person” classes? Will they have the knowledge base to survive? Educators will be ready to hit the ground running and many students will be 10 steps behind the course prerequisites. In this time, we must think proactively.


  • What will your institution do to help students catch up?

  • What will your institution do when COVID resurges?

  • What will you do to provide physical distancing for 30 students in a classroom that holds 28?

  • How will you combat micro aggressions related to COVID19 and the attitudes and stereotypes students, faculty and staff may need assistance overcoming?

Reality Check ✅
Microaggressions still exists.
There are disparities in the access and use of technology.
Assigning Pass/Fail grades will further widen the disparities and achievement gap, not close it.





Civic engagement and Problem Based Learning is the answer! K-20 schools need resources to learn about how to make meaningful connections with students and create community in an online environment.


Our resource, "Creating Connections" has been purchased by over 10,000 educators from across the nation. We want to help the community that has supported us as a WMBE business. For a limited time, we are offering a FREE E copy of this book.

Click below to claim your copy.











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It is the courage to continue that counts.”

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