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The Effects of COVID-19 on Education in Nebraska and the Potential for Recovery
Principal Investigator: Susan Sheridan
Co-Principal Investigators: Amanda Witte, Gwen Nugent, Lisa Knoche
Funding Agency: Office of Research and Economic Development—COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Program
Award Date: May 1, 2020
End Date: Dec 31, 2021
This project is designed to support resilience among Nebraska schools and build their capacity to function effectively in the event of significant disruption, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
It will capture the immediate impacts of COVID-19 on educators and educational systems across Nebraska’s urban and rural school districts. An inclusive statewide investigation will identify targets for building school resilience in response to crises.
Researchers will partner with the Nebraska Department of Education and leaders in urban and rural districts interested in this work to identify specific district-, school- and classroom/teacher-level issues influencing the systems’ functioning in the pandemic, and potential assets to support successful transition and reintegration back to school.
Using systematic survey and focus groups, and representative, purposive sampling, researchers will explore the structural and psychosocial impacts of COVID-19 on prekindergarten to grade 12 Nebraska schools and educators during school closures.
The mixed-method study will include two phases. Phase 1 will survey an estimated 821 Nebraska educators across grade level and locale. Phase 2 will use semi-structured focus groups to explore 28 educators’ perceptions of challenges/stressors, buffers/assets and expectations to enhance understanding of the complex educational issues and impacts of COVID-19.
Findings from this study will provide the groundwork for creating a school resilience framework and enable future studies.
Rural Education & Communities, Academic Intervention & Learning
During spring 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, all of Nebraska's 983 public schools sat vacant — and all of the state’s 330,000 children from pre-kindergarten to grade 12 were learning in out-of-classroom environments.