Improving Improvement: Lessons Learned from Working with Partners During the Covid-19 Crisis

June 17, 2020

The second installment of the NNERPP Improving Improvement series featuring Proving Ground and the National Center for Rural Education Research Networks.

This is the second installment of IMPROVING IMPROVEMENT, our quarterly series focused on leveraging the power of research-practice partnerships (RPPs) to build schools’, districts’ and states’ capacity to improve. As we’re sure many of you have experienced in your work, the Covid-19 school shutdowns drastically changed our plans for supporting our partners’ efforts to design, plan, pilot, and test evaluations in fall 2020. Our annual convening, the event during which our nearly 60 partner districts and CMOs come together to make collective decisions and put in the bulk of the planning needed to achieve their goals, was scheduled for March 18. States began closing schools the week before. In less than a week we needed not only to redesign how we planned to support partners with the content intended for convening, but to communicate changes clearly and reassuringly to an audience experiencing chaos and uncertainty. Despite the disruption and our partners’ (understandably) changed priorities, our network remains on track to meet its goals. It has not been perfect or easy, but we have been inspired by our partners’ work and commitment and have learned to adapt alongside them. Here, we share some lessons from this experience. We hope that these lessons will be helpful as you continue to rethink your partnerships and research plans in light of the unprecedented disruption that Covid-19 has had and will continue to bring to schools. 


Read more at NNERPP.

See also: Rural