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The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed what schooling has looked like over the past year. It has entirely upended instructional models and brought about a myriad of new issues regarding the equity and accessibility of online instruction.

For some students and families, pandemic schooling has been unimaginably difficult. Other students, however, may have thrived off of this model. Moving forward, as online instruction becomes a more visible part of our educational system, it is essential that we find policies – at both the district and state level – that ensure our virtual schools are high quality.

Throughout the episode, we highlight the voices of virtual school educators and leaders from Grapevine-Colleyville ISD and Texas Tech’s virtual academy. Listeners will learn about the importance of a student-centered administration, funding’s impact on strong district-virtual school partnerships, policies to ensure virtual learning is the best fit for students, and the need for rigorous training and support for students, parents, and teachers.

As part of this podcast, we highlight work being done in Fort Worth by READ Fort Worth. This story takes listeners on a deeper dive into their work to stay connected with students and families by making in-person visits to ensure every student feels connected to their school. Through this work, READ Fort Worth learned best practices about how to serve the whole child during a global pandemic.

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