As Covid-19 disrupts the lives of 57 million students around the United States1.1 million of whom live in New York City—the Research Alliance is working to balance the demands of our ongoing projects with changes that are necessary to protect public health. At the heart of our mission is the effort to produce evidence that makes a meaningful, positive difference for NYC schools, students, and communities. Though the emergence of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) poses new and unprecedented challenges to the nation’s largest school district, our fundamental goal remains the same: We are here as a partner to NYC’s public schools—providing data analysis and rigorous research that educators, policymakers, and community-based organizations can use, as they work to serve young people across the City.

Clearly, in coming weeks and months, the means by which we pursue this goal will have to adapt. In accordance with NYU policy and recommendations from public health officials, all Research Alliance staff are working remotely. Research that requires in-person activity is on hold indefinitely—a difficult, albeit necessary step to preserve the safety and well-being of our team and research participants. In the meantime, we are continuing to analyze data, present findings via virtual conferences, written reports and Spotlight posts, and engage with partners by phone, email, and video conference.

“The world is an incredibly different place than it was just a few weeks ago,” said Executive Director James Kemple. “Though these times are uncertain, we are doing our best to proceed with the work of the Research Alliance from our homes, and finding ways to be as helpful as possible to the district in the midst of temporary school closures and the transition to remote teaching and learning.”

As the City wrestles with complex decisions and attempts to meet basic student needs, the Research Alliance is committed to identifying new ways to inform and support the City’s education system. If you have suggestions for strategies to inform responses to the crisis and support the eventual reopening of schools, or if you simply want to share your stories with us—to enhance our understanding of how this crisis is affecting NYC schools, students, and communities—please email us at research.alliance@nyu.edu.

We look forward to hearing from you. Please stay safe and healthy.