PreK–12 Research on Education Strategies to Advance Recovery and Turnaround (RESTART) Network

Teacher and student high-fiving

In the wake of the pandemic, there is an urgent need to address national disruptions in student achievement and help educators boost student engagement. The PreK–12 Research on Education Strategies to Advance Recovery and Turnaround (RESTART) Network is part of a larger set of federally funded grant programs designed to generate and share evidence-based strategies with the goal of accelerating post-pandemic academic recovery.

Led by AIR and funded by the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education, the RESTART Network seeks to build evidence around practices meant to promote student academic recovery—especially among students from marginalized groups and those who experienced learning challenges prior to the pandemic.

The network is an opportunity to develop a coherent and connected research community that speaks directly to the needs of policymakers, leaders and practitioners.

- Susan Therriault

How the Network Works

The Network will assist PreK-12 public school systems in their recovery efforts and inform the broader fields of research and practice through three approaches:

  • Revealing emerging issues and priorities in the field by conducting needs assessments and sharing these assessments with the research community.
  • Identifying, sharing, and amplifying evidence-based strategies that respond to educator feedback.
  • Building a coherent and coordinated research community focused on pandemic recovery research, by:
    • Building consensus through convenings and working groups that address challenges to conducting research in the pandemic context;
    • Empowering research teams to build studies that align with needs in the field by coordinating with policymakers, leaders, educators, and others; and
    • Engaging early career researchers through trainings.


The network will conduct several related projects, including studies of the Learning Renewal-Social Emotional Learning Programs for Supporting Pandemic Recovery in partnership with the Illinois State Board of Education; the Chicago Skyline Early Literacy program; California’s Expanded Learning Opportunities; and the North Carolina School Extension Programs.