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A Message from the Linked Learning Alliance on COVID-19

March 25, 2020 | Anne Stanton

Dear colleagues,

I hope this finds everyone well and coping as best you can with this new reality—which, honestly, feels anything but real. Most importantly, I hope each and every one of you has found a way to navigate the demands of caring for your loved ones while supporting your work families—your fellow educators, schools, districts and, most importantly, the students and communities you serve so passionately and well every day in Linked Learning pathways. It is a challenging time to say the least, and we are all trying to get through it together.

As we all witness communities working collaboratively in extraordinary ways, my gut tells me that we can survive and, dare I say, even thrive in this uncertain time—if we work proactively to do it together. We all have many more questions than we do answers. We are all starting to see the dawning of this strange new day clearly—but what lies ahead for next week, month, or year is foggy at best.

All of us at the Alliance applaud everything that each of you are doing to meet the needs of your students. As you work tirelessly and collaboratively, we are simultaneously thinking about how we can support you during these uncertain times. It is our hope that we can help the Linked Learning field work together to ask questions, share resources and brainstorm ideas for delivering Linked Learning as we enter uncharted territory.

How are you engaging industry partners to deliver work-based learning virtually? How can you continue your certification journey to provide quality learning experiences for young people? How are you addressing the social-emotional needs of young people as their lives are upended and families face increasing economic hardships? How are you marshaling technological and human resources to ensure students get to see the culmination of their knowledge through their senior defenses? These are just a few of the issues the Alliance plans to provide support on as we work together to navigate the detours created by the spread of the virus and educate our nation’s young people through this school year and beyond.

To think that only a week ago, we all planned to gather at the Linked Learning Institute in Long Beach to reflect on the lessons we have learned, compare knowledge of what we have figured out as a field, and discuss remaining challenges as we build new muscles and welcome new ideas and partners to join the vibrant Linked Learning movement. Luckily, we can share some positive news that we are able to refund everyone’s registration and hotel costs. For those who registered for the Institute, you can expect a follow-up email that details the cancellation process soon. And please know that we are more committed than ever to reschedule this important time together—as soon as we know more than what we know now.

So, where does that leave us now? The world is changing quickly, with new challenges arising every day. Maybe in the absence of clear answers, we are all freed to collectively ask hard questions, to develop creative solutions to address emerging challenges, and to just be collectively present during an unprecedented moment in time.

This is where our optimism lies and why we’re eager to hear how you’re approaching the situation in your classrooms, schools, and districts. Great challenges change us in unexpected ways and shared struggles can stimulate innovative thinking and drive progress. And while you’re thinking, we’ll be by your side, leaning in and trying new strategies for connecting everyone, working together to solve new challenges, sharing resources, and ensuring we keep moving forward together as a movement. We are in the process of determining ways to bring you all together for meaningful conversations and will be in touch in soon with opportunities for engagement.

Our schools and communities have made it through hard times before and will get through this by staying true to our commitment to providing young people with the confidence and support they need to navigate life’s challenges and detours and ultimately succeed in college, career, and life. Thank you for your continued support as we work collectively to address this challenge. We hope everyone remains healthy and safe.

With gratitude,

Anne B. Stanton
CEO and President
Linked Learning Alliance