ICYMI: Department of Education hosts National Safe School Reopening Summit

Archived Information

ICYMI: Department of Education hosts National Safe School Reopening Summit

March 24, 2021

On March 24, 2021, the Department of Education hosted the National Safe School Reopening Summit. The summit gathered key education stakeholders from around the nation to discuss best practices on reopening schools quickly and safely.

The program featured remarks from President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, First Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden, Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona, and Director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Rochelle Welensky.

During the event, panels comprised of students, educators, and district leadership engaged in productive conversation centered around their strategies toward reopening and the impact the pandemic had on their in-class instruction.

The summit concluded with Secretary Cardona announcing plans to implement the Summer Learning and Enrichment Collaborative, a partnership between the Department of Education, the National Governor's Association, and the Council of Chief State School Officers. During the Summit, President Biden gave remarks and expressed his support for the Collaborative:

"Today I am calling on all states, school districts, schools, community partners to work to ensure to ensure that all children have access to high quality summer learning and enrichment opportunities this summer and beyond. This is essential for all students, particularly those disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, students of color, English learners, students with disabilities, homeless students and all those who went without in-person instruction this year. The rescue plan provides the resources schools need to do this."

The Secretary also announced that he would be doing a nationwide tour of schools in order to discuss individual needs for reopening and begin the process of reimagining education together.

Read more about the National Safe School Reopening 

Today: Education Secretary Miguel Cardona expects 100% of schools to be reopened by fall

WATCH: Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said Wednesday that he expects 100% of schools will be open for in-person learning in the fall as vaccination efforts continue amid the pandemic. "I do, but I really want to focus on getting as many now in the spring," Cardona told Hoda Kotb on TODAY. "I think if we continue with mitigation strategies that we know work and we utilize the American Rescue Plan funding to put in those safeguards that are needed to provide safe environments for our students, we can really continue to make the progress that we're making to get students (back in school) in the spring."

The 74: Cardona Summit Shines Light on Districts With Successful Reopening Stories and ‘Real-World Evidence' of Following CDC Guidelines

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona will travel to local communities over the next few weeks in a continued push to get more schools to reopen before the Biden Administration's self-imposed 100-day deadline.

"My job, I can do it better if I'm listening to what is happening in the field," Cardona told viewers during a summit designed to highlight progress districts have made bringing students back to the classroom and to address pandemic-related learning loss.

As part of those efforts, the department announced it will team up with state education chiefs and governors to support states' summer learning efforts. Under the new American Rescue Plan, states have to set aside 1 percent of the $122 billion specifically for summer learning.

Education Week: Miguel Cardona Unveils Summer Learning Partnership, Releases Some COVID-19 Aid The U.S. Department of Education will join governors and state education chiefs to help create plans for summer learning and enrichment programs serving students hurt most by the coronavirus pandemic. The Summer Learning & Enrichment Collaborative will assist states, school districts, and others in planning how to use new relief funds, including the $1.2 billion earmarked for summer enrichment in the American Rescue Plan, the COVID-19 relief package signed by President Joe Biden earlier this month.

Spectrum News:  Dr. Jill Biden Kicks Off School Reopening Summit: "Today is Just the Beginning" The Department of Education hosted a "National Safe School Reopening Summit" on Wednesday, virtually convening district leaders, educators, and students to share knowledge on how best to go back to in-person learning amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, herself an English teacher at Northern Virginia Community College, opened the event, promising that her husband's administration will be a trusted partner for educators across the country.

"My husband made a commitment to you: that we would be open and honest about the opportunities and challenges of reopening schools for in-person learning," the first lady began. "Which is why today is just the beginning." "We're always going to work with you," she added. "We're going to be transparent with you, and we're going to earn your trust. Just like you do with your students every day."

Social Media to Highlight: 

"Thank you @SecCardona for including educators, school staff, administrators, faculty maintenance staff, and students in the #SchoolReopeningSummit Very interesting to hear how other districts are opening up." - @LauraMeade12

"'Today is about learning from each other.' Perfectly said @SecCardona We need to do a better job as a country elevating schools and districts to connect and support each other. #schoolreopeningsummit" - @MPOWERingEDU

"@FrankHenderso12 Making us so proud! Thank you for raising issues of equity & inclusion as we reopen public schools across the country. @WhiteHouse@usedgov #COVID19 #SchoolReopeningSummit @NSBAPublicEd" - @AnnaMariaChavez

"National Safe School Reopening Summit being kicked of by @FLOTUS ‘We have to go back safely.' ‘We find ways to push past the chaos and build something beautiful' ~ First Lady Jill Biden #education @SecCardona @usedgov @WHCOVIDResponse" - @ByronErnest

"Team Tulsa's work is, once again, being recognized at the national (and international) level! We look forward to sharing our work and to learning from YOU too." - @DeborahGist