Day 6: Equity in the Age of COVID
For nearly a full year, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted racial and ethnic minority groups in a disproportionate manner. In fact, COVID-related death rates are higher for non-white populations. Although the reasons for this may not yet be crystal clear, it is reasonable to assume that social factors - such as access to quality medical care - may play a significant role. In addition, we know that non-white populations often are disproportionately impacted by chronic medical conditions, which may contribute to less-than-desirable COVID outcomes.
The pandemic-caused disruption of normal school routines, cancellation of school sports and activities, and changes in the way essential support services can be provided also have a significant impact on students. Those with greater need are disproportionately affected, and the long-term consequences of this are yet to be seen.
Our school district is aware of these equity issues. In an attempt to make sure that students and staff members of all backgrounds had access to COVID-19 testing, Rush-Henrietta has offered free COVID testing on many occasions during this school year. These in-school tests provide an opportunity for interested students or staff members to identify a COVID infection as early as possible, seek appropriate treatment, and prevent unnecessary exposure to others. Rush-Henrietta would like to take this opportunity to thank our school nurse-teachers and district nurse practitioner for their good work to support children’s health during this pandemic.
Did You Know?
More than 4,000 COVID-19 tests have been administered in Rush-Henrietta buildings this school year. These tests were offered districtwide at no cost to students and staff, even when they were not mandated by the state.
Resources for Learning
Option 1: Watch COVID-19 Racial Disparities (8:47)
Option 2: Read There’s Really Only One Way Asian Americans Can Fight Racism in the Age of COVID-19
Option 3: Read Coronavirus Impact on Students and Education Systems
Option 4: Read What the Racial Data Show
Consider these ways to reflect, grow, and take action:
Questions to Consider for Self-Reflection:
- Review informational videos created for our English as a New Language families. In a normal year, this information would be shared during in-person meetings. In the spirit of equity, the district made these videos to help ensure the information was available even during the pandemic. What changes have you seen in daily life that allowed business-as-usual to happen in unusual times?
- Study Guide: IEPs and special education during COVID-19
Office of Professional Learning Google Site Offering:
- Social Justice Standards | Unpacking Action (1 hr CTLE)
"Culturally Responsive Teaching & The Brain," by Zaretta Hammond
This book uses neuroscience research to explore the ways one’s culture affects how new information is processed and learned, and offers ideas to alter teaching practices to better incorporate culturally responsive instruction.
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