Guiding Principles for HPS’ COVID Reentry Planning
People first: School design models for COVID reentry must organize resources to address the needs and challenges of
the people who are directly affected – students, families and educators – with input and guidance directly from members
of these groups. In developing, refining and implementing reentry school design models, leaders should:
1. Start with students. Organize people, time and technology to include the increased support related to COVID in
the areas of learning recovery, relationships and social, emotional support.
2. Design for equity. Address the learning needs of those students most disadvantaged by the COVID crisis
including students with disabilities, English language learners and students who have experienced economic,
social, physical or psychological stressors.
3. Solve for the needs of educators. Think through how new school designs meet the expanded set of logistical,
collaborative, technology, professional learning and social-emotional needs for educators.
4. Assess employment, logistical and educational needs of families. Keep in mind that the childcare function of
school enables return to work, and design predictable routines for all students that fit with family work
schedules make it easier for families to manage and support their children.
Design for “do-ability” and coherence: Re-entry and recovery are massive challenges without trying to “re-invent the
wheel” or add unnecessary complexity. Therefore, in developing reentry school design models, leaders should:
5. Leverage what works. Design to incorporate research-based strategies. Actively incorporate emerging lessons
from pandemic-driven remote learning efforts.
6. Keep it simple. Aim for practical, easily communicated solutions that account for speed of implementation and
the many actors involved.
7. Build for long-term, sustainable change in how we “do school.” Look for transformative opportunities to better
serve students that this “new normal” enable, including changes to who plays what roles, where and when
learning happens, and how we partner with families and communities.
8. Take a holistic view to set a coherent strategy. Ensure all elements of the system are working together.
Plan for change and system learning: If we have learned anything in the first few months of the pandemic, it’s that
healthcare guidance and community needs change. We also know that the economic impact of the pandemic will
include reduced K-12 budgets. Therefore, leaders should:
9. Be budget-aware. Ensure that models work with limited and likely declining resources by testing ideas against
realistic school budgets and specifying the resources it takes to implement each model.
10. Assume customization and evolution. Set up models as foundations that will require tailoring based on local
context, feedback from students, staff and families, and an evolving understanding of what works.
11. Design for adaptability. Expect that all or some students will need to move between remote, hybrid and inperson
models fluidly based on individual needs or community circumstances. Design models to enable
continuity for students, families and teachers.
12. Embed an innovation and learning agenda. Ensure that models and the work to implement them explore
innovative approaches that enable cycles of rapid iteration and improvement.
Source: Education Resource Strategies designed for HPS. Thank you to our partners at TNTP for your review and feedback