In this extraordinary moment, with tens of millions of children out of school, educators around the country are looking for answers about the best way to ensure that students don’t lose months — or even years — of learning.

The cruel fact is that there may not be a best way. Even if something works one place, it might not elsewhere. COVID-19 has plunged us into a vast unplanned experiment, and educators must simply scramble as best they can.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t try to learn from what is being done in this difficult moment.

In ExtraOrdinary Districts in Extraordinary Times, Karin Chenoweth, Education Trust’s writer-in-residence and host of the popular ExtraOrdinary Districts podcast, interviews expert educators about the problems they face, the solutions they fashion, and what they hope will come out of this time. Following each interview, Karin and Tanji Reed Marshall, Education Trust’s director of practice, discuss what they have just heard and how it fits into what they are hearing from other educators around the country.

Each of the educators featured will be leaders of schools and districts that serve children of color and children from low-income backgrounds and have been high performing or rapidly improving. Some have been part of the ExtraOrdinary Districts podcast. Others led schools that were recognized by Ed Trust as “Dispelling the Myth” schools. Still others have been featured in Karin’s books, published by Harvard Education Press.

Join us as we check in with leading educators around the country as they struggle with obstacles facing all educators as the nation learns to stay physically distant and socially connected.

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Season Four

ExtraOrdinary Districts – Season 4 is Coming!

In our first two seasons we provided in-depth profiles of school districts that are breaking the correlation between race, poverty, and academic achievement. Before we could even choose the next districts to go to, the pandemic hit.

So for season 3, Ed Trust’s Director of Practice Tanji Reed Marshall joined podcast host Karin Chenoweth in talking with school and district leaders around the country with a proven track record of leading improvement about how they handled the sudden shutdown of schools in spring of 2020 and how they were planning for the fall.

Well, it’s fall, and we are getting ready to reach back out to educators to find out how things are going in these extraordinary times.

Stay tuned and we’ll be back soon with more ExtraOrdinary Districts in Extraordinary Times.

Episode One

“As soon as we’re back to normal, we’ll have to accelerate our kids.”

In this inaugural episode of Season Four of The Education Trust’s podcast, ExtraOrdinary Districts, Sergio Garcia, principal of Artesia High School in ABC Unified District in Los Angeles County, is joined by two teachers: William Napier, chair of the special education department and Stephanie Palutzke, acting dean. Napier and Palutzke are also the school’s teacher union representatives, and they and Garcia joined Karin Chenoweth (@karinchenoweth) and Tanji Reed Marshall (@Remarsh76) for a wide-ranging discussion of what teaching and running a school is like during a pandemic.

Episode Two

“We have a third of our kids in every day. But one hundred percent of our students are learning every single day”

In this episode of Season Four of The Education Trust’s podcast, ExtraOrdinary Districts, Nicholas Stirling, superintendent of Valley Stream 30 in Nassau County New York, is joined by assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction Jennifer Lewner and three principals, Christopher Colarossi, Erin Malone, and John Singleton in a wide-ranging discussion of hybrid learning with Karin Chenoweth (@karinchenoweth) and Tanji Reed Marshall (@Remarsh76) for a wide-ranging discussion of what teaching and running a school is like during a pandemic.