A Message from World Savvy Concerning COVID-19 (Update)
Greetings, World Savvy community,
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