Digital Learning Equity Dashboard: A Snapshot of Student Support Systems Across the South

The Distance Learning Equity Dashboard (DLED or Dashboard) is the product of a thorough scan of 48 school districts in 20 states and provides a snapshot of the academic, nutritional, social and emotional and professional development services each of those districts offered to students and staff members during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thirty-one of the 48 districts included in the Dashboard are part of SEF’s Racial Equity Leadership Network, while the other 17 were chosen for being either the largest school district in their respective state or a district employing some type of innovative practice for its students, families, and/or staff members. Access the Dashboard and accompanying briefs.


Digital Learning During COVID-19: 7 Equity Considerations for Schools and Districts

School closures impact all students, but students from underserved communities feel this impact even greater. The Southern Education Foundation has reviewed publicly available digital learning plans to see how schools and districts are meeting the needs of their most vulnerable students and families. We provide seven equity considerations along with examples of how some districts are addressing these issues now. Read the Issue Brief.





Five Ways to Support Teachers as Schools Reopen

The school reopening debate has reached an inflection point as districts weigh both the safety and learning implications of returning to in-person education this fall. Challenges with transitioning to distance learning during
the spring made it clear that teachers, parents and students needed more and different resources to make supportive, developmentally-appropriate distance learning accessible for all students during this crisis. Much of the debate has been focused on whether learning should take place at home or in school, with less of a focus on what is needed to support teaching and learning, especially in schools that have longstanding inequities. Read the brief on Five Ways to Support Teachers as Schools Reopen.

Closing the Digital Divide in the Age of Distance Learning

Across the United States, even before the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic, there was a significant digital divide between K-12 students with and without access to high speed internet and computing devices at home, known as the “homework gap.” A new analysis by Common Sense and BCG finds that the nature of the homework gap has changed in this period of distance learning caused by the pandemic, and that the gap is larger than previously understood. The analysis puts a first-year price tag on closing the gap, and for the first time estimates the digital divide for public school teachers. This report provides a detailed assessment of the digital divide’s interrelated components of internet connection and devices, and their respective technical requirements, which are needed to ensure adequate distance learning for today’s K-12 students and teachers. Read the report.

Other Resources


  • Child Hunger And The Coronavirus Pandemic – This resource explains what school districts are doing to provide access to school meals. Included are recommendations for implementing more streamlined meal delivery systems, as well as resources for families to access nutritional assistance for their children.
  • Free Online Courses From Strategic Education – With the help of its subsidiary — Sophia Learning online education platform — Strategic Education aims to offer students an affordable and flexible education system to explore potential new career avenues with various professional development courses. All the education courses available on Sophia Learning platform are recommended by American Council on Education (“ACE”) and are transferable to various higher education institutions for course credit. The courses can be found here.
  • An Updated List Of Resources For Learning At Home – This collection of resources is broken down by different subject areas and includes free websites for both educators and parents to use.
  • Scholastic Learn At Home Projects – In the spirit of keeping children busy and engaged, this list of project ideas from Scholastic enables students to continue learning and exercising their creativity at home.
  • Activities For Students And Families Stuck At Home Due To COVID-19 – This list of resources and activity ideas from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences is designed to help students remain active and engaged at home.
  • Virtual Learning On Dreambox – Distance learning enrichment programs on Dreambox will be free for 90 days. The included programs present engaging learning opportunities for children.
  • A List Of COVID-19 Aid Resources In The South –This article provides a running list of resources and initiatives throughout the South geared toward helping families make it through the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Free Internet Access And Expanded Connectivity –Comcast and Charter, two of the nation’s largest telecommunications companies, are offering free internet access and unlimited data for students to be able to universally access online learning resources. Both companies are offering their free service for 60 days.
  • State-Level Actions To Curb The Outbreak – This informational brief provides a comprehensive, running list of states’ legislative and policy actions to date to combat the spread of the coronavirus. The list includes school closure information and other significant alterations to daily practices.
  • Families First Coronavirus Response Act – President Trump signed this bipartisan legislation on March 18, 2020. The law includes, among other things, nutritional assistance for children and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The federal government’s policy response now includes provisions to strengthen nutrition initiatives including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), maintain student meals through the Maintaining Essential Access to Lunch for Students (MEALS) Act, and to issue waivers to Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option (SSO).
  • State-Level Actions To Curb The Outbreak – This informational brief provides a comprehensive, running list of states’ legislative and policy actions to date to combat the spread of the coronavirus. The list includes school closure information and other significant alterations to daily practices.
  • Updated Guidance On Dealing With COVID-19 – This article discusses updated strategies for administrators and other education professionals to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
  • State-Level COVID-19 Resources – This interactive map from the Council of State Governments links to states’ public health agency websites to direct families to appropriate resources to learn about COVID-19 mitigation efforts in their state.
  • Important COVID-19 Resources – This resource page includes various reports, briefs, and informational graphics for families, policymakers, and advocates as they navigate the unique challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Free Educational Resources – This list of educational resources provides parents and families with options to continue educating their children in the midst of prolonged school closures.
  • CDC Pandemic Preparation Guide – This 2017 guide from the CDC includes recommendations for school and district-level pandemic preparation that are still applicable as COVID-19 continues to spread.
  • CDC Guidance For Schools and Childcare Programs – The updated COVID-19 guidance for schools and childcare centers included the most recent recommendations from the CDC on dealing with this global pandemic.
  • CDC Checklist For Schools and Childcare Programs – This checklist from the CDC helps parents prepare their children and teachers prepare their schools for the COVID-19 outbreak. Since the publication of this checklist, many schools have closed. However, it is still important for parents to minimize their children’s chances of coming in contact with this virus.
  • FEMA Guide For High-Quality Emergency School Plans – This guide from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) remains relevant and provides schools with information on developing high-quality emergency management and disaster mitigation plans.