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VDOE receives $1M grant to research impact of COVID-19 pandemic on state's schools

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Posted at 4:32 PM, Mar 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-03 16:41:51-05

RICHMOND — Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane announced Wednesday that the Virginia Department of Education has received a grant to study how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the state's schools.

The three year $999,912 federal grant will support researchers from VDOE and the University of Virginia to examine pre- and post-pandemic trends through the 2022-2023 school year.

Officials say the study will examine student absenteeism, grade-level retention, enrollment in advanced courses and career and technical education programs, identification of students with disabilities and English learners, student mobility, and teacher retention. Researchers will also examine the effectiveness of school reopening and recovery plans in addressing the impact of the pandemic on students and teachers.

The project will be titled “Equity in Virginia’s Public Education System: A Longitudinal Examination Spanning the COVID-19 Shutdown.” VDOE says it is to provide "a body of practically focused research to inform decision-making and policies at the state and local levels."

“The research funded through this grant will be critical as our schools move beyond the immediate concerns of reopening and shift their focus to addressing the short-term and long-term impacts of the pandemic and school closures on student outcomes and school operations,” Lane said. “Our goal is to provide a series of evidence-based policy briefs that will provide practical and actionable information, and help shape policies that prioritize and promote equity during what will be a multiyear recovery process.”

The award is from the Institute of Education Sciences ’ Using Longitudinal Data to Support State Policymaking grant program, which is the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education.