Last month, DC students shared their experiences from the COVID-19 pandemic with participants at Better Than Before, the first in a series of events hosted by Education Forward DC and The Equity Lab to help education leaders, schools, and policymakers better understand what supports students need to thrive in the coming school years.
Held at Washington Leadership Academy, over 20 students joined 40 participants from DC government and non-profits first in small table discussions. There they reviewed the latest data on DC schools’ COVID recovery from EmpowerK12 and students provided firsthand accounts of the challenges they have faced over the past three school years with reconnecting to their school communities and re-engaging in classroom learning. Overall, students shared that learning in person in the future needs to look different than what they experienced before the pandemic.
After the table discussions, Michelle Molitor, Executive Director of The Equity Lab moderated a panel discussion of DC students Ayrrika James, Lakecia Richardson, D’Jhanir Harris Smith, Marcus Curtis, and Myah Davis to hear more from students about what they hoped to see from schools to support them and their peers’ success in the future.
Ed Forward DC appreciates the support of The Equity Lab, Pathways 2 Power, Mikva Challenge DC, Critical Exposure, Black Swan Academy, Washington Leadership Academy, and Friendship Public Charter School for making this event possible. We also what to give a big shout out to the student leaders who participated and lent their voice to advocating for DC schools that are better than before!
Keep an eye out for the next event in the Better Than Before series this fall.
- EmpowerK12 DC Education Recovery Dashboard
- Summary of students’ pandemic experiences one-pager
- Student panel shares hopes for future of school