Berks Alliance Community Forum - May 2021
The COVID19 pandemic disrupted numerous aspects of our daily lives. More people were working remotely. We increased our online purchasing, went to movies, lectures and art galleries in our living rooms, rather than with crowds of people.
Perhaps no institution in our communities was more immediately and directly impacted by the epidemic than our schools. Suddenly everything changed. Schools moved to remote learning. Teachers adapted their classrooms to new technologies and ways of engaging students. New partnerships were developed to provide the necessary supports for students and their families. And people came to more fully appreciate the value and importance of schools, for the students, for their families, for the entire community.
How resilient are our schools? How have they adjusted and adapted to these challenges?
The COVID19 pandemic has resulted in at least one positive thing: a greater appreciation for the importance of public schools. As many parents struggle to deal with their children being educated at home online, they have come to value the role schools pay in caretaking and helping to socialize their children. As teachers adjust and adapt to new ways of engaging students, there is enhanced gratitude for their work. Moving quickly and dramatically to online learning has forced us to understand the importance of access to broadband and the need for partnerships to help engage students and their families with the requisite technology. Even something as basic as the school lunch program required innovation and change. And perhaps most importantly, the pandemic underscored the significant role that schools play in fostering equal opportunity.
How have our schools adjusted to these challenges? Three local school leaders will offer their insights on the future of public education.
- Dr. Richard Faidley, Superintendent of the Wilson School District
- Dr. Khalid Mumin, Superintendent of the Reading School District
- Mr. Andrew Potteiger, Superintendent of the Brandywine Heights Area School District