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Parabola Project Launches

Aims to Help Schools Minimize COVID-19 Health Risks & Maximize Learning

  • The recently released School Reopening Readiness Guide supports district and school leaders in identifying health and safety measures that are both feasible and effective in their communities
  • Suite of resources to be regularly updated with revised recommendations to reflect the latest scientific evidence and new learning resources

August 5, 2020 –  Today, Ariadne Labs and The Learning Accelerator announced the launch of The Parabola Project, an initiative that aims to rapidly develop evidence-informed tools to help school system leaders identify options for school reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Parabola Project draws on expertise from both the education and health communities with the goal of minimizing health risks to students, staff, and teachers, while maximizing learning for all students.

Parabola Project logo. A two-tone blue upward and downward parabola curve intersecting with two points of focus.

“Reopening schools safely has far-reaching health and safety implications for teachers, staff, and students, as well as for the broader communities in which they live,” said Asaf Bitton, MD, MPH, Executive Director of Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health systems innovation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “Carefully weighing COVID-19 transmission risks with the need for children to have access to a productive learning environment is critical to our ability to move forward into our next phase of normal. This work aims to provide school leaders with implementation options to consider for a more safe and comprehensive approach to school reopening in the upcoming weeks and months.”

Resources, which are available free of cost, include:

Developed in collaboration with several school districts in Massachusetts where the guide is also currently being piloted, The School Reopening Readiness Guide outlines a set of core public health principles to consider when approaching safe school reopening and a set of related specific implementation options for district and school leaders to consider applying to their own context. Because the pandemic and the research to mitigate it continue to rapidly evolve, resources will be regularly updated with revised recommendations to reflect the latest scientific evidence.

“We must focus on reopening in ways that meet our shared aspirations for community safety, wellbeing, and learning,” said Beth Rabbitt, Ed.L.D., Chief Executive Officer of The Learning Accelerator, a national nonprofit that is working to make the ‘potential’ possible and practical for every teacher and learner. “Doing this will require thinking technically and adaptively, and looking at problems through multiple perspectives, including education, public health, and, crucially, the experiences and needs of practitioners, parents, and students. The Parabola Project seeks to do that, offering not just concrete recommendations but frames and common language to help leaders make decisions and implement with the whole picture in mind given their local context.”

The Parabola Project is funded by the generous contributions of the One8 Foundation.

For more information, visit parabolaproject.org.

About Ariadne Labs

Ariadne Labs is a joint center for health systems innovation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. We develop simple, scalable solutions that dramatically improve the delivery of health care at critical moments to save lives and reduce suffering. Our vision is for health systems to deliver the best possible care for every patient, everywhere, every time. We’re a team of 110+ physicians, nurses, researchers, data scientists, implementation specialists, program managers, and operations professionals, and 150+ associate faculty and affiliate members from across the Harvard system and beyond. Visit ariadnelabs.org to learn more and covid19.ariadnelabs.org to learn about our response to COVID-19.

About The Learning Accelerator

The Learning Accelerator is a national nonprofit that is working to make the ‘potential’ possible and practical for every teacher and learner. Underpinning TLA’s work is a drive to ensure each student receives an effective, equitable, and engaging education that supports them to reach their full and unique potential. Our mission is to connect teachers and leaders with the knowledge, tools, and networks they need to transform K-12 education. TLA has mobilized to help school and district leaders navigate the transition to remote learning and prepare for the upcoming school year, as well as plan for long-term, resilient, and sustainable change beyond the COVID-19 era, through its Always Ready for Learning initiative, of which the Parabola Project is a part. Learn more and find various free resources for teachers and leaders.

About the Parabola Project

The goal of the Parabola Project is to rapidly identify, develop, and share guidance and tools to help school system leaders and practitioners consider how to more safely reopen schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing on expertise from both the education and health communities, the Parabola Project aims to minimize health risks to students, staff, and teachers, while maximizing learning for all students. The initiative draws inspiration from the  parabola, a type of geometric curve that can be used to determine minimum or maximum values. Every parabola has a key point — a focus — through which all lines pass.

Resources developed by the Parabola Project are meant to augment and fit within state and federal guidelines about school reopening. They are not a replacement for them, nor do they constitute formal guidance about exactly what school districts should or should not do. The Parabola Project is a collaborative endeavor between Ariadne Labs and The Learning Accelerator, and philanthropically funded by the One8 Foundation. For more information, visit https://parabolaproject.org or email parabolaproject@learningaccelerator.org.

Media Contacts

Brigid Tsai, Director of Communications, Ariadne Labs: btsai@ariadnelabs.org

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