Published: Aug. 17, 2021

Children in classroom

This week, students in the Boulder Valley School District are scheduled to return to their classrooms for a new school year, with students in Denver Public Schools set to follow Aug. 23. Experts from across CU Boulder are available to discuss the challenges that K-12 schools in Colorado and beyond will face in the year ahead--from addressing the mental health of young people amid the COVID-19 pandemic to the teacher shortages affecting many school districts.

Read more about what researchers from CU Boulder are learning about K-12 education during a pandemic. 

Teacher attrition and shortages

Kathy Schultz, dean of the School of Education, can address the effects of the pandemic and other factors on teacher shortages in Colorado and around the country. She studies how school leadership and teachers can work together to build trust and create caring and compassionate learning environments.

Standardized testing

Derek Briggs, professor in the School of Education and president of the National Council on Measurement in Education, can talk about how many colleges and universities have eliminated application requirements for standardized tests, such as the ACT and SAT, during the COVID-19 pandemic. His research focuses on advancing methods for the measurement and evaluation of student learning. 

Trauma and health in the classroom

Julia Zigarelli, associate director of the Renée Crown Wellness Institute at CU Boulder, is a licensed clinical psychologist who studies trauma and anxiety in children. She’s available to discuss how schools can acknowledge and address the mental health of students during a challenging period for young people across the country. 

Elizabeth Dutro, professor of literacy studies in the School of Education, examines how trauma functions in classrooms. She can address strategies for addressing trauma in schools, including the upheaval that children have faced during the pandemic.

Digital learning

José Ramón Lizárraga, assistant professor in the School of Education, investigates the role of social networks, television and other digital media in learning. They can address the role digital tools play in classrooms as the new school year begins. 

Police-free school movement

Kathryn Wiley, faculty fellow in the School of Education,  studies racial disparities in education and school discipline and policing policies. She can explain the "police-free schools" movement, its history and the many recent changes in disciplinary policies in school districts in Colorado and across the country.

Teaching climate change

CU Boulder researchers Kelsey Tayne and Dan Liston will host a webinar series beginning Aug. 24 that will explore the challenges of teaching about climate change in schools. The events will examine how teachers can address this subject in ways that are supportive of the emotional experiences of young people. 

Learn more about the webinar series

Kelsey Tayne, an environmental educator who recently earned her doctorate from CU Boulder, can speak about how young people are participating in global action on climate change and how educators can design learning spaces to support action. 

Dan Liston, professor emeritus of education, can address the importance of acknowledging the emotional experiences of students and teachers in the classroom