A Message from World Savvy Concerning COVID-19 (Update)
Greetings, World Savvy community,
While it feels like so much has changed since our last Covid-19 update three months ago, we now find ourselves in a familiar position of pivoting in response to ever-changing events. A few weeks ago, we were hopeful that the pandemic was under control and on the downward swing across the country, and that this might allow us to host some of our key workshops in person. However, due to the widespread increase in Covid-19 cases across the country, and to prioritize the safety of our team and our partners, we have made the decision to cancel all previously planned in-person workshops through the end of the 2020 calendar year.
We are hopeful that what initially feels like a loss may in fact open doors to wider participation and deeper work. Over the past few months, and with generous support from funders and our community, World Savvy’s team has been able to reach our goal of bringing 75% of our program offerings online. We continue to work diligently to reimagine as much of our programming in a virtual space as possible, and we hope to be able to add additional online sessions over the coming months to replace the in-person workshops that have been cancelled. Current World Savvy virtual learning opportunities include:
- Integrating World Savvy Series – This comprehensive workshop experience includes our three Integrating World Savvy workshops: Introduction to Global Competence, Case Study Protocol, and Knowledge to Action followed by two 30-minute individual sessions where a World Savvy Professional Learning Facilitator will coach to implement concepts and strategies introduced in the series.
- Leading for Global Competence – This learning experience, designed for K-12 school leaders, will introduce the World Savvy framework for leading schools grounded in global competence, as well as provide concrete steps and resources for leading sustainable school-wide changes in culture and classroom practice that prepare all students for global citizenship and work in today’s diverse, interconnected world.
- What are the SDGs? – The SDGs offer a framework to better understand global issues, their impact on the local community, and how to activate as problem solvers. This free webinar will offer community stakeholders the opportunity to better understand these issues and explore ways to address them at the local, national, and international level.
- Introduction to Teaching with the SDGs – The SDGs offer educators a framework for their scholars to better understand global issues and to engage as problem solvers. This hands-on workshop will offer educators the opportunity to explore resources to enhance and support teaching the SDGs.
Overall, while we regret that we will not be able to see everyone face-to-face, we hope that additional virtual sessions will enable more educators to join us from all over the country – and the world! – much like in our initial spring offerings. Please visit our website to learn more about online opportunities over the summer and into Fall 2020.
We are also excited to announce the release of six new microcredentials through our ongoing partnership with Digital Promise. These include three new stacks of two microcredentials each, focusing on Communication, Future-Ready Skills, and Self-Awareness and Reflection. These microcredentials allow educators to demonstrate mastery of a range of skills to promote global competence within the K-12 learner experience, and we are excited to be able to expand these offerings to complement a wider range of competencies from our Global Competence Matrix. And stay tuned for a future announcement – CEUs are coming! All of our current microcredential offerings can be found here.
Please reach out to us at programs@worldsavvy to learn more about our offerings and how we can personalize professional learning and services to best meet your needs and the needs of your learning community. We love hearing from you!
Update from April 9, 2020:
The Covid-19 pandemic continues to evolve each day, and we know that much uncertainly still lies ahead. World Savvy continues to monitor the situation and alter our practices and supports accordingly to address the needs of our partner districts, schools, and educators as they confront a ‘new normal’ of online learning and engagement for millions of students nationally.
Currently, all of World Savvy’s partner schools are closed, all in-person programming has been cancelled, and our team continues to work remotely for the foreseeable future. However, much of our school programming has been re-imagined in an online space; through April and early May, we’re hosting three separate online “showcases” for students to present their Knowledge to Action projects that otherwise would have been presented at a Festival in MN or CA, and we continue to offer virtual support to our educator partners as they transition to teaching their students in an online space. World Savvy also recently announced a new, entirely free virtual training series for all educators consisting of three new webinars; details can be found here.
Bigger picture, World Savvy is making a fairly large pivot in the coming months, knowing that schools likely won’t return this year, and will return in the fall to a ‘new normal’ that will require more robust and authentic blended learning options. Toward that end, World Savvy is reorganizing our energy to bring 75% of our existing program capabilities online by September 1st, so we can support our school partners in both an online and face-to-face environment in all that we do – from professional development and online communities of practice, to microcredentials and online coursework and certificates, to online collaboration and project-based learning for students.
To support this work, World Savvy has launched a $400k ‘responsive’ fund to be sure we can accomplish this and be ready to support the thousands of teachers in our network returning to a new normal in the fall. As of today, we have raised $146k toward this goal, and are seeking contributions from existing and new donors who are interested in ensuring our schools can weather this crisis and continue to prepare today’s students to rise to address complex global issues – such as the current pandemic – in the future.
This pandemic has highlighted how interconnected and interdependent we are – in our neighbors and around the world – and how much our individual actions impact collective outcomes. These are principles that have long been embedded in World Savvy’s work, and our approach to supporting a new generation of empathetic global citizens and changemakers. Our organization was built for this – to respond flexibly and with great attention to supporting students, educators and schools in ways that allow them to thrive.
Update from March 13:
I hope you, your families, and your colleagues are all doing well, given the impact that COVID-19 is having around the world. In addition to generating uncertainty with respect to the health implications, we’re deeply aware of how school closures, disruptions to child care, and the myriad other technical and logistical elements of managing this type of crisis impacts our community of educators, school leaders, and ultimately, students. We see you, and are here to help in any way that we can. This crisis is a reminder, in so many ways, of the interconnected, interdependent world we inhabit, and how critical informed decision making, collaboration, and creative problem solving are to address global challenges: all of which are foundational to our work.
Given that World Savvy values not only the safety and health of our community, but also a commitment to taking action for the collective good, we wanted to let you all know about some important steps we are taking in response to this crisis.
First, we will be canceling, postponing, and modifying several of our main events scheduled for March, April and May, including:
- Cancellations of both our Bay Area (March 27) and Minnesota (April 21) World Savvy Festivals, celebrating the extraordinary work of thousands of student changemakers across the country. We will be modifying these events to include both school-based showcases and virtual components, and will be communicating these options as they are scheduled to school partners and sponsors.
- Postponing our annual World of Good celebration, which will now be held on Thursday, June 25th at the Machine Shop in Minneapolis. We’re hopeful you can join us for this new date, and more information and ticket sales are available online here.
These decisions were not made quickly nor lightly, and we have considered the implications this will have on our partners, our team, and the local communities we serve. Based on the guidelines issued from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control, as well as local and state health authorities, these precautionary measures are the responsible choice for the health and safety of our community.
Second, our team will be working remotely through March 27th, and thereafter, we will make a determination based on new information about COVID19 and its containment. Regardless of this, we’re still very much operational, and continuing to forge ahead with the critical work of building more inclusive, equitable and future-ready schools where all students can thrive as global citizens. Fortunately, we’re set up to do much of our work remotely, including preparing for the exciting launch of the new World Savvy Educator Network, debuting in April, building our library of resources for integrating global competence into teaching and learning, expanding our microcredentials for educators, and planning to welcome a full roster of new school partners this summer. We’ll stay in touch with opportunities to engage in these efforts as the Spring progresses, and until then, wish you and your families and communities health, wellness and security during these challenging times. Please reach out with questions or concerns in the interim, either to your relationship managers within World Savvy or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
With appreciation for all you do,
The World Savvy Team