It may be an understatement to say that 2020 has been a difficult year so far. Yet teachers are meeting the year’s challenges. They tell us that they are adapting and the school community at large continues to find ways to change. In the midst of these changes, things are beginning to open up again, bringing new ideas that have teachers and the school community—and MDR—looking ahead to an expanded education space.
The School Community
Schools, universities and all the places that support learning are wrestling with what reopening post COVID-19 will mean. It is a critical question because schools are at the heart of many communities, providing learning and lunches, safety and daily structure, and a social and emotional safety net. In fact, nearly half of the U.S. population belongs to a preK-12 community, and schools are the one place that parents, teachers and students visit every day.
At MDR, we believe in the power of school communities as a force for good and a brighter future. We’re already seeing that power in action as parents head back to work and educators navigate reopening in an expanded education space. Day care and other childcare programs are figuring out how to care for children while ensuring their safety with strategies such as class size limits, a heightened focus on sanitation and limits on numbers of visitors.
Colleges and universities are announcing revised calendars for the 2020–2021 academic year and rethinking how dorms and other campus facilities can support students and learning, while keeping everyone safe.
In addition, summer camps are also facing tough decisions about whether to open with restrictions or just skip this year. And public libraries are opening and serving their communities in new ways through offerings such as curbside pick-up and spaces redesigned for social distancing.
What Will Work Best for the School Community?
K-12 school leaders are determining what will work best for their students next school year—to be back in the classroom with social distancing and PPE, online/remote learning or, as nearly 70 percent of teachers predicted in a recent WeAreTeachers poll, a blended model of at-school and online learning.
We learned a lot from that WeAreTeachers poll of teachers and administrators. One key takeaway is that educators are looking for help from their vendor partners in realizing new approaches to serving students and communities.
As education marketers consider how to meet those needs, MDR is here to help connect with the education community in new and successful ways. We can help with a market study to survey educators. Our database can help reach librarians or day care staff, and we have new selects to use to target by CARES Act funding.
MDR is prepared for the new days and ways of learning. We can help you prepare, too.