March 30, 2020
Dear EP Community, Our world has changed so much over the past few weeks, with new realities every day as we seek to respond responsibly and quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic. I hope that you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy, both physically and mentally. This is a uniquely challenging moment as individuals and as a society, as we navigate how it impacts our homes, our work, and the very fabric of community.
We share the concerns we hear from our Alumni, our Partners, and our communities about the disproportionate effects of this crisis on our most underserved communities. In the short-term, we are grateful for our Fellows and Alumni, many of whom are finding themselves at the frontlines of the education sector’s response to this unprecedented disruption. At this moment, it is all the more clear the ways that strong human capital teams, operation departments, and general management talent across the sector support the success of students, teachers, and communities. We see our EP community ensuring families have safe access to food, navigating financial disruption for fragile organizations, implementing distance learning tools, and providing care for the children of essential workers. We see your efforts, and we thank you.
Like all other organizations, EP has been working to adjust to our new reality. I wanted to share an update on where we are:
- We are adjusting our practices to keep EP staff safe. Our people are a top priority. Like many others, we have shifted to fully virtual operations with all employees working from home and a shutdown of work travel. We’re fortunate to build on an existing semi-virtual model with staff collaborating across our national footprint, and are encouraging even more flexibility and grace during this period.
- We are continuing to advance our Fellowships for this year, while recognizing that we will likely need to make adjustments in the “how” of our model to reflect current public health guidelines. Today, this means we’re continuing to match Fellows and Partners for the summer, and we’re continuing to recruit for future Impact Fellows. We are exploring a range of contingency plans for program operations so we can adapt to an evolving situation.
- We are adjusting plans for in-person events for the foreseeable future. We have made difficult decisions to cancel or postpone any in-person events in March, April, and some in May in service of public health. We are proactively evaluating events for later spring and summer, and will be in touch with stakeholders closer to the events as the situation and public health guidelines evolve.
- We’re encouraging connection and community. We have long said that the true power of EP is in our network, and that is never more true than in moments of crisis. We’ve already seen examples of our community coming together virtually, and hope the EP network continues to be a source of support during these collectively challenging times.
Despite all that is still uncertain and unknown, I do know that EP’s work remains critically important. Our Pioneers must continue to solve problems outside the classroom to enable learning outcomes and community safety. Pioneers possess the adaptive leadership skills and equity mindset that will help us navigate this crisis and eventual recovery. Their leadership will never be more important. We at EP are proud to work alongside you.
Take care and be well,
Melissa Wu CEO, Education Pioneers
EP is continuing to run all programs, with short-term adjustments in their operations to prioritize Fellow and Partner safety. Please see below for the current status of each program.
- We are continuing to match, place, and onboard 2020 Summer Fellows.
- Given the ongoing uncertainty and current public health guidelines, we will be hosting a virtual 2020 Summer Fellowship, which includes online delivery of all workshops/programming and support for high-quality remote placement work. We will not require incoming Fellows to move to their placement city.
- If you are a current 2020 Summer Fellowship finalist or incoming Fellow and have questions, please contact your EP representative via your Slack channel.
- If you represent an education organization and are interested in hosting a 2020 Summer Fellow, please use the resources here to submit your project or discuss your talent needs with EP staff.
- The closing “capstone” event for 2019-2020 Impact Fellows has been postponed from its original date in May 2020 in DC, and will instead take place in August 2020. More details about this rescheduled event will be forthcoming.
- We are actively recruiting 2020 Impact Fellows, to begin this fall. Interested professionals can learn more about the program and apply here. The next application deadline is May 19.
- If you represent an education organization and are interested in hosting a 2020 Impact Fellow, please use the resources here to submit your project or discuss your talent needs with EP staff.
Emerging Human Capital Leaders Initiative (EHCLI)
- The closing convening for 2019-2020 EHCLI Cohort (Cohort Six) has been postponed from its original dates in March 2020 in Denver, and will instead take place virtually in June 2020.
- If you are a current 2019-2020 EHCLI participant and have questions, please contact Gianna Bruno.
- “Alumni Across America” Roadshow events have been cancelled for March, April, and May. More information about future events will be forthcoming.
- Chicago’s annual Agents of Change event has been postponed from its original June 26th date. More information about the future event will be forthcoming.
We have long said that the true power of EP is in our network, and that is never more true than in moments of crisis. We are proud to amplify and share the work EP Alums are doing to make a difference in the education sector amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alumni, if there are resources you or your organization developed for students, teachers, and/or communities you can share them with us by:
Resources #PoweredbyPioneers (Updated April 21 at 10:30am ET)
|ORGANIZATION||EP ALUM(S)||RESOURCE (with link to learn more)|
|ALLMemphis||Megan Weinstein, 2015||Literacy instruction videos on their YouTube channel; also available on local Memphis station C19TV.|
|Amazon||Kevin Tsay, 2011|
|BetterUP||Eddie Medina, 2013||Tools for thriving in unprecedented times|
|Boys & Girls Clubs of America||Dave Crusoe, 2007||Virtual Club Experience|
|DC State Board of Education||Jessica Sutter, 2010||As the Ward 6 Member of the DC State Board of Education, Jessica is sharing resources via her Twitter handle.|
|Education Consultant (Inclusive Practices, Special Education, SEL)||Savanna Flakes, 2013||Free webinar for communities, parents, teachers on at home learning resources|
|EmpowerK12||Kenli Okada, 2010||Full Report: COVID-19 Impact on DC Student Proficiency|
|Enuma / Todo Math||Eugine Chung, 2005||Free 30-day trial of Todo Math product|
|Generation Citizen||Dana Inez, 2016||"Democracy Doesn't Pause" lesson plans for teachers and families|
|Innovare - Social Innovation Partners||AJ DeLeón, 2013; Nick Freeman, 2017; Fernando DeLeón, 2018; Ryan Carlson, 2015; Cameron Carrington, 2018|
|inquirED||Shanti Elangovan, 2014||Together When Apart, a free inquiry-based distance learning curriculum|
|Kinvolved||Miriam Altman & Alex Meis, 2012||COVID-19: Recommended Communications Guidelines for School Districts|
|NextWaveSTEM||Sugandhi Chugani, 2012||NextWaveSTEM is offering complimentary online training and curriculum|
|NYC DOE Division of Multilingual Learners (DML)||Larry Nguyen, 2016||Remote learning resources for families of multilingual learners|
|One Degree||Rey Faustino, 2011|
|Opportunity Labs||Andrew Buher, 2009||Return to Schools Roadmap: A roadmap of essential actions to help district and school leaders plan and implement a safe, efficient, and equitable return to school|
|PAVE (Parents Amplifying Voices in Education)||Maya Martin Cadogan, 2008||DC-area resources on learning, food, internet, and more. They're convening parents to talk about what they want the response / recovery to look like when schools reopen.|
|Revolution Foods||Kristin Richmond, 2005||Working with districts to design & distribute 2 million healthy meals a week; follow their Twitter for daily updates & locations.|
|Sown to Grow||Dennis Li, 2013||Open-source document of resources both for academics & social-emotional learning|
|Teaching Matters||Jennifer Gleason, 2007|
|TEC and Classroom, Inc||Kwamara Thompson, 2013||
Classroom Inc.'s Read to Lead is a 100% free and proven blended learning solution
TEC is offering webinars for educators and remote staff on business management and instructional practices. Email Kwamara for more information.
|Third Plateau||Jonathan Kaufman, 2010||Crisis response resources for nonprofits|
|To&Through Project at The University of Chicago||Ashley Leonard, 2012 and Jen Ciok, 2018||K-12 collection of enrichment activities organized by subject and grade level|
EP is compiling and sharing these resources for the benefit of students, teachers, communities, and our EP Alumni network. By sharing a resource, we are not necessarily endorsing it or the organization/company producing it. If you have specific questions regarding a resource, please connect with the EP Alum listed beside it. The Alumni Directory is a great way to be in touch with them.
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds; if soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Limit close contact with people, especially those who are sick or high-risk, by practicing social distancing.
- Do not share water bottles, glasses or eating utensils.
- Cough and sneeze responsibly; cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder. Immediately after, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.
- Practice other good health habits: get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
Your mental well-being is also critically important during this time, and we encourage you to prioritize self-care in this environment as well. That can include continuing to get outside and maintaining virtual social connections while practicing physical distancing. Here are additional recommendations from the CDC regarding managing stress and anxiety during this time.