Community Voices | COVID-19 and Equity in Education

Elementary student raising her hand

Research on the educational impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to point to great inequities in experience and ongoing, persistent challenges for students, families, educators, and school and district leaders alike. Although we are beginning to understand large trends in educational experiences, it often feels like individual stories and voices are missing from the research—and thus missing from our understanding of how the COVID-19 pandemic changed K-12 education.


Individual stories are powerful for fostering reflection and connection and can provide strong, complementary insights into emerging trends in research. Through the end of 2023, the COVID-19 and Equity in Education (CEE) Initiative’s Community Voices Project will provide a platform for students, educators, parents, and community members to share their stories about K–12 education in their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

View our confidentiality statement.


What's Your Story?

We want to hear from you! Sharing your experience helps elevate a broad range of perspectives to inform decisions made in K-12 education in your community and shape the larger conversation about the COVID-19 pandemic and education.

Interested in contributing? Please read our tips for getting started below and share your story!



Who can share a story?

Anyone living within United States impacted by COVID-19 and the effects it had on K–12 education can participate in this project. If you are a student, you must be 14 years or older to submit your story.

Confidentiality and Privacy. We will keep all the information you provide confidential, and we will only use it for the purposes of the study. Your responses are stored on a secure server that can be accessed only by our research team members. Reports will contain summaries, and responses will never be presented in any way that would permit readers to identify you. No one at your school, district, or community will have access to survey responses that include your name or other information that could potentially be used to identify individuals.

Why share my story?

Your story is important!

Everyone had a different experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hearing about your unique experience helps everyone better understand how the pandemic impacted different people and communities. The more we learn about different experiences across the country, the better we will be able to use this research to ensure that efforts to support pandemic recovery meet your needs and your community’s needs.

What is the benefit to me?

By sharing your story, you will help to build a more complete, authentic picture of the pandemic experience with education across different communities. The stories shared through this project will provide crucial insights in a larger conversation about the direction of K-12 education in the wake of the pandemic. Don't miss this chance to make your voice heard!

The CEE team will share research results and stories with you and others (e.g., researchers, practitioners, and policymakers in K–12 education) through policy briefs, webinar presentations, and blogs on the project’s website.

What should I talk about?

We are interested in learning about your experiences with K–12 education (e.g., as a student, parent, caregiver, teacher, or school/district leader) since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic (March 2020). Each month, we will give you a prompt to spark your thinking and your story. For example, you may be prompted to think about a change you made, a challenge you faced, or something that you learned during the pandemic. You can write about whatever is most important to you and share what you think best reflects your experiences. Each month, the focus is on your experience—there is no right or wrong answer.

What can I expect?

To ensure the process is secure, we ask that you sign up to receive a link to the SenseMaker tool, which will allow you to share your story. Once you receive the email from our team, participation takes 15–20 minutes per story. If you decide to participate in the monthly story prompt, it will take 15–20 minutes each month.

Your story is completely anonymous, and our CEE research team will ensure that your story is kept confidential. We may share excerpts of stories from individuals but will ensure that there are no identifying characteristics in these excerpts.

Everyone’s story is different. For some, sharing their story may be challenging or stir up strong emotions. We recommend participants find a calm and relaxing location to revisit their COVID-19 experience.

Each month, we are offering a $25 Amazon gift card to 20 randomly selected individuals who submit their stories. To qualify, you must:

  • Sign up to share your story here. 
  • Register for the gift card by completing a very short form after you submit your story. You will be redirected to this information after you submit your story.

What if I have questions?

If you would like more information about this study, you may email Sushmita Subedi, Ph.D., the study lead, at AIR. For questions regarding your rights as a subject participating in this research, please contact AIR’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) by email or call toll free at 1–800–634–0797.