The Unique Impacts of COVID-19 on Black Students
Through DLR Group’s Personal Development Grant program, which awards employees time and money to explore an individual passion project, I began exploring the impact of COVID-19 on Black male middle school and high school students.
I completed a human subjects research protection course through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that heightened my awareness of vulnerable groups, and the importance of protecting the privacy of study participants. Given historical research with questionable ethics, this is especially important to me.
We were all impacted by the pandemic in major ways, but for many Black students who already faced challenges at school, COVID-19 set them back further. The students I surveyed talked about the impact of isolation from friends, difficulty doing schoolwork, and generally that life became more difficult. Utilizing surveys and focus groups, we are gaining a better understanding how disruptions to learning during the height of the pandemic impacted the mental, social, and physical wellbeing of Black students. Having a deeper understanding of the full impact of remote instruction during the pandemic will help us better support these students in the future.
This research, which will continue into 2023, is already laying the groundwork for similar studies with other student populations and helping create best practices for school administrators, educators, and students as they balance remote and in-person learning.
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