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Long before the Covid-19 pandemic, Pre-K-12 educators were confronting issues related to children’s equitable access to quality teaching and schools, mental-health challenges among schoolchildren, online access and other persistent problems that have become more urgent during the pandemic.
For example, research demonstrates that more than half of school-age children had experienced trauma that was impeding learning prior to the pandemic, and emerging evidence shows that children and families who have experienced trauma in the past year has vastly increased. The challenges facing educators also have compounded as a result of Covid-19, and new and even more urgent issues have emerged as schools reopen.
The recently launched Office of Education Solutions at Metropolitan State University of Denver has been created to take on these and other urgent issues. As a community-outreach initiative of the School of Education, the OES goes beyond teacher preparation to help schools directly by leveraging the expertise and resources of the University to implement strategies such as trauma-informed practices with equity for Pre-K-12 classrooms, technology integration across education programs and quality early-childhood education settings. Further strategies include diversity in the teaching workforce, reading support for children and families living in book deserts, family literacy and other projects that are desperately needed in schools and communities.