Press Releases


CSDE, Columbia University Center for Public Research and Leadership, and Connecticut Educational Partners Collaborate on Guidance for Effective Remote Learning Plans

Provides action steps and templates for creation of equitable, high-quality, and culturally responsive and sustaining remote learning if necessary due to public health concerns

(Hartford) — In collaboration with the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) and its educational partners, the Center for Public Research and Leadership (CPRL) at Columbia University has developed guidance to support districts in creating equitable, high-quality, and culturally responsive and sustaining remote learning available to all children, no matter what their home situation and their education and language needs. In response to the possibility that public health data may require remote learning for the 2020-21 school year, this resource draws directly on the state’s fall guidance as well as comprehensive research into best practices of how districts and schools met the challenges and opportunities posed by the spring 2020 transition to remote learning.

CPRL's Executive Director Dr. Elizabeth Chu said, “Connecticut educators and families developed exceptional remote learning strategies on the fly in the spring. It’s been an honor distilling them into a full set of steps districts can take to keep students on strong academic and social-emotional footing this coming year if remote learning again becomes a necessity.”

“Actualizing Connecticut Classrooms for Continuous Learning:  Guidance and Tools for High-Quality, Equitable Distance Learning” includes recommended action steps and a model plan stemming from extensive engagement of educators, families, superintendents, principals, and education support non-profits in Connecticut and nationwide. The guidance was created by CPRL in partnership with the Connecticut Chapter of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT CT), the Connecticut Education Association (CEA), the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE), and the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS).

Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona said, “Coupled with our work to provide access to technology and connectivity for our most vulnerable populations, this guidance will allow us to be better prepared to support our students, educators and families should infection rates demand we shift to an entirely remote model of instruction. Adding this to the toolbox will assist our efforts to equalize the playing field and support local planning efforts to keep the focus learner-centered. We are grateful to our partners for their commitment to reimagining our PK-12 system in a way that meets the needs of all learners.”  

CEA President Jeff Leake and AFT CT President Jan Hochadel said, “Educators did a phenomenal job moving to remote learning in March without warning or training, and kept their students engaged and learning. At CEA and AFT Connecticut, we expect many schools will need to reopen on a hybrid or fully remote learning schedule in order to protect the health of students, teachers, staff and their families. We welcome the input of Columbia University regarding high-quality, equitable, and safe remote learning for our state’s students, with enhanced support for students and training for educators.”  

CABE Executive Director Robert Rader and Deputy Director Patrice McCarthy said, “We appreciate the hard work that went into developing this valuable guidance. It serves as a template should districts need to implement a full distance learning program for all students.”

CAPSS Executive Director Fran Rabinowitz said, “Superintendents welcome this resource for Connecticut’s school districts. We have worked on this framework with Columbia and believe it is of the highest quality. It sets rigorous but realistic standards for distance learning and provides educators with the ability to cohesively and effectively organize the many excellent educational resources available in all subject areas and at all grade levels.”

Building on the operational considerations districts must address to move substantially online (e.g., assuring 1:1 student-to-device ratios and universal connectivity), this resource focuses on how to:

  • Deliver high-quality, equitable instruction in a remote learning setting;
  • Create a strong remote learning community;
  • Make effective remote learning available to and effective for all children, regardless of their home situation and their educational and language needs; and
  • Steadily observe and improve the quality of remote learning.

The guide includes:

  • Standards defining high-quality, equitable remote learning in action;
  • Steps a district should take now, in August 2020, and steps it can take in the coming school year, if and when remote learning must be initiated; and
  • A model showing what one district’s remote learning approach looks like in action.

Read the guidance and the model plan.

Established in 2011 as a joint effort of Columbia University's Law, Business and Policy schools and Teachers College to revitalize public education while reinventing professional education, the CPRL has partnered with CSDE and educational support groups across the state since 2012. The CPRL brings together talented upper-level graduate students to study and conduct research supporting effective leadership of the nation's schools, districts, and state education departments. 



CPRL Contact:

CEA Contact: Nancy Andrews, Director of Communications; 860-725-6317 and

AFT CT Contact: Matt O'Connor, Director of Communications; (860) 221-5696 and

CAPSS Contact: Fran Rabinowitz, Executive Director; and
(860) 236-8640 ext. 160.

CABE Contact: Patrice McCarthy, Deputy Director;

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