How The Education (Re)Open is Meeting the Moment

July 21, 2021

Learning happens best in communities, but navigating how to stay connected and learn and teach through a lockdown turned out to be more complex than most could have envisioned. The emotional toll of COVID-19 coupled with inefficiencies of remote learning made it an intense struggle for millions of students, such as in Los Angeles County.

Prior to the pandemic, the Andrew Nikou Foundation (ANF) started partnering with USC Center EDGE (part of USC Rossier School of Education) to create new education approaches. Our focus then shifted following the lockdown to help school communities move through the trauma of grief and loss, and arrive back in community with a renewed energy and confidence for the 2021-22 academic year.

In the spirit of community learning, we teamed up with IDEO to explore how we might reconnect people and enhance collective wellbeing, teaching, and learning. The USC Center EDGE brought their commitment to creative and scalable approaches to innovative education while IDEO offered human-centered design thinking, and together we launched The Education (Re)Open.

The program’s first initiative invited teachers, parents, students and others navigating K-12 back-to-school challenges to offer solutions that could most easily be implemented in classrooms.

As a result of this community effort, the top solutions are featured on the Education Solutions Exchange, a repository of ideas that can help school communities prepare for the upcoming academic year. The Education Solutions Exchange will continue to serve as a space for the community to share as the academic year unfolds. Our hope is that The Education (Re)Open ignites the imagination of other school districts and states to implement and build out this community playbook, and facilitate a call for more solutions adapted to their needs.

We look forward to continuing our learning and to discovering more opportunities for ANF to accompany communities in the field of education innovation.

Visit the Education Solutions Exchange to learn more.