Schoolchildren of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Impact and Opportunities

ISBN: 978-1-80262-742-8, eISBN: 978-1-80262-741-1

Publication date: 22 August 2022


(2022), "Prelims", Ceglie, R.J., Abernathy, D.F. and Thornburg, A.W. (Ed.) Schoolchildren of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Impact and Opportunities, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. i-xviii.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022 Robert J. Ceglie, Dixie F. Abernathy and Amy W. Thornburg

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Schoolchildren of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Title Page

Schoolchildren of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Impact and Opportunities



Queens University of Charlotte, USA


Queens University of Charlotte, USA



Queens University of Charlotte, USA

United Kingdom – North America – Japan – India – Malaysia – China

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley BD16 1WA, UK

First edition 2022

Editorial Matter and Selection © 2022 Robert J. Ceglie, Dixie Friend Abernathy and Amy Wooten Thornburg.

Individual chapters © The authors.

Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited.

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ISBN: 978-1-80262-742-8 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-80262-741-1 (Online)

ISBN: 978-1-80262-743-5 (Epub)


List of Tables and Figures vii
About the Authors ix
Preface xv
Acknowledgments xviii
Chapter 1: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Applied to Guide Teaching and Learning
Helen Gross, Daniel A. Novey and Jessica L. Triskett 1
Chapter 2: Black Screen: Bridging the Social and Emotional Void
Patrice D. Petroff and Stacey L. Bush 21
Chapter 3: Standing at a Crossroad: Re-imagining Social Emotional Learning Considering COVID-19
Lisa M. Liberty 39
Chapter 4: COVID-19’s Impact on Teachers and the Teaching Profession
Robert J. Ceglie, Ginger Black and Somer Saunders 59
Chapter 5: Homeschooling Black Students During the Pandemic
Charity Anderson 83
Chapter 6: Teacher Perceptions on Parental Engagement During and After Pandemic Online Learning
Amy Wooten Thornburg, David Maddock, Dixie Friend Abernathy and Daniel W. Eadens 99
Chapter 7: The Impact of COVID-19 on Schoolchildren in Pakistan: A Review of Literature
Muzammal Ahmad Khan 123
Chapter 8: School Closures During COVID-19: Impact on Childhood Hunger and Opportunities for Long-term Solutions
Jennifer J. Guerra and Debra Franco 139
Chapter 9: Special Education and the Children of COVID-19
Gina Smith and Ann White 153
Chapter 10: Navigating the Pandemic Whiplash: Leading and Teaching Through Educational Challenges and Opportunities
Emily S. Miles and Kellee J. Cole 171
Index 193

List of Tables and Figures

Chapter 1
Fig. 1. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Applied to Help Students During the COVID-19 Crisis 4
Table 1. Year-to-Year Total Meals Served at SHS 9
Table 2. Cognia Climate-culture Survey and Results for Students 10
Table 3. Cognia Climate-culture Survey and Results for Teachers and Staff 13
Chapter 3
Fig. 1. SE Outcome Measures 43
Fig. 2. Components of S.A.F.E. SELs Programs 44
Fig. 3. Framework of SEL 46
Fig. 4. Topics in Adventure Program 51
Chapter 5
Table 1. Percent Distribution of Homeschool Students by Race/Ethnicity 89
Chapter 7
Table 1. Reviewed Articles and Summary of the Findings 129
Chapter 9
Table 1. Disability Categories 155
Table 2. FAPE Considerations for District-wide Implementation of COVID Protocols 161
Table 3. Considerations for Scheduling PreK Separate Setting Students for Hybrid SDI 163

About the Authors

Dixie Friend Abernathy is currently an Associate Professor of Education in the Wayland H. Cato, Jr School of Education at Queens University of Charlotte, where she also serves as the Director of the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership Program. In her earlier career, she served as a public-school teacher, an assistant principal, and principal at the elementary and secondary levels, and also as an assistant superintendent of schools. In the year 1992, she was recognized by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction as the NC Teacher of the Year. Her research interests include school safety, teacher effectiveness, and school leader preparation. Schoolchildren of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Impact and Opportunities is the third book published by her, along with colleagues Amy Wooten Thornburg and Robert J. Ceglie, regarding educational shifts and impacts during the COVID pandemic. In addition, she serves as the President of the International Council of Educational Professionals, an organization dedicated to the global collaboration of educators in addressing education’s most significant challenges.

Charity Anderson is a Senior Research Associate at the Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies at Rutgers University-Newark and Academic Director of the Clemente Veterans’ Initiative Newark, a humanities course focused on themes of war and reconciliation for veterans and military-connected civilians. Her research interests include urban education, poverty and inequality, and transformative education for disenfranchised adults and youth.

Ginger Black is an Assistant Professor in the Cato School of Education at Queens University. Additionally, she serves as the Director of the Cato Teaching Fellows and works to facilitate opportunities for students to serve, lead, and become outstanding educators. She received her Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Gardner-Webb University. She was a Classroom Teacher in Lincoln County, Charlotte-Mecklenburg, and Pitt County prior to beginning her career at Queens University. She has 15 years of classroom experience which enables her to genuinely relate to the students she is teaching in the School of Education.

Stacey L. Bush is a long-time educator and National facilitator of professional learning. She works with students of all ages to provide support and strategies to ensure students’ success. Her goal is to help educators to recognize and encourage potential in all students. She is a Program Specialist at AVID with a focus in Literacy.

Robert J. Ceglie primarily teaches Science, Math Education, and Instructional Technology courses. He is an Associate Professor at Queens University of Charlotte. His interests include many areas of science education, including under-representation of women and minorities, the achievement gaps in science and math, and persistence and retention of students entering STEM majors. He has published and presented works related to Science and Math education and is an Editorial Reviewer for several scholarly journals including Journal of Science Teacher Education and Higher Education. He is an enthusiastic Atlanta Braves fan even though he grew up in Boston, MA. He has two children, Robbie and Jenny, and a wife Nicole.

Kellee J. Cole has served as an Elementary School Literacy Facilitator for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) in North Carolina since 2017. In this role, she leads implementation of district and community literacy initiatives, supports staff development, and coaches classroom teachers on effective instruction. Prior to joining CMS, she spent five years as an Elementary School Teacher in both Albemarle County and New Kent County in Virginia. In addition to her leadership roles in the classroom and school, she serves as an Equity Influencer for CMS and participated in the UnboundEd Equity Influencer Residency Program. She earned her Master of Teaching with endorsements in Elementary Education, ESL, and Art from the University of Virginia. A native of Virginia Beach, she pursued a career in education to share her joy and love of learning with students and families from diverse backgrounds. She enjoys reading, traveling, live music, and spending time with her family.

Daniel W. Eadens is currently an Associate Professor and Program Coordinator for the Educational Leadership and Higher Education Department in the College of Community Innovation and Education at the University of Central Florida. He was most recently the Assistant Department Chair, Study Abroad Coordinator, and tenured Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at Northern Arizona University. In his early career, he taught Elementary Music, Middle Special Education Math and Science, was a behavior specialist and school administrator at several Florida public school locations. He is an Army Reserve Major with foreign service in Japan and Iraq. He passionately researches the most Critical Issues in Education, remains active in professional associations and research, co-edited (Papa, Eadens, & Eadens, 2016), Social Justice Instruction: Empowerment on the Chalkboard, and has peer-reviewed articles, chapters, grants, international presentations, online professional publication newsletters, book reviews, proceedings, editorship of professional journals, state conference presentations, invited keynote addresses, and professional development workshops.

Debra Franco of McAllen, TX has used her education to transform her region known as the Rio Grande Valley. She was the CEO of an international company out of Germany. She retired after 13 years to start the South Texas Juvenile Diabetes Association in 2011 after her son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age eight. She is an Advocate for diabetic children and their families all over the state of Texas. As a Child Hunger Outreach Specialist with the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty she uses her influence to assist in eliminating food disparity and child hunger in her region. She serves on countless boards and committees to influence decision makers and other collaborators to assist in ending hunger in the region.

Helen Gross has served as a school principal at the elementary, middle, and high school levels in eastern North Carolina since 2009. She currently serves as the Principal at Swansboro High School. Her educational background includes an Associate of Arts degree from the University of Hawaii, a Bachelor of Science from the University of Southern Queensland in Australia, a Master of Arts in Counseling from Argosy University, a Master Certificate in School Counseling from East Carolina University, a Master of School Administration, and a Doctorate of Educational Leadership from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She measures her success by the personal and professional successes of her students and teachers. Instruction, classroom visits, and working 1-1 with students to help them find academic success is her priority during the day and cheering for students at athletic and club events fill her evenings. While the demands of the principalship are intense, she is an avid hiker who finds balance in the outdoors. She and her husband have four children and one grandchild. They love eastern North Carolina and consider themselves blessed to be part of the Swansboro community.

Jennifer J. Guerra serves as a Graduate Research Fellow for the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty, and seeks to both define the issues around hunger and poverty and to seek solutions through research. While her focus began in the research of food insecurity among college students, she also conducts research on community partnerships and collaborative efforts to address food insecurity and understand the impact of community-based programs to address childhood hunger.

Muzammal Ahmad Khan is a Lecturer in Management and Business at the University of the West of Scotland. His research background is varied, covering Corporate Social Responsibility, the Oil and Gas sectors in Pakistan, risk management disclosure, social and environmental reporting, and most recently the impact of COVID-19 on the educational experiences and social impact on schoolchildren in Pakistan, female further and higher education students in the UK, and international students studying in the UK during the pandemic. He is currently also the Program Leader for the BA Business Honors degree program at the University of the West of Scotland looking after almost 500 students.

Lisa M. Liberty primarily teaches Behavior and Reading Intervention courses. She is an Associate Professor at Northern Illinois University. Her interests include instructional interventions for students with learning and behavioral difficulties as well as co-teaching, differentiated instruction, and pre-service teacher education. She has published and presented works related to evidence-based practices, self-regulation strategy development and wearable technologies for several scholarly journals including Journal of Special Education and The Clearinghouse.

David Maddock is a Research and Evaluation Specialist for the School District of Osceola County, Florida. His research focuses on program evaluation and the effects of goal-setting and differentiation in education. His work centers on producing research for a district of 72,000 students and helping new researchers develop their datasets for research.

Emily S. Miles has been the Principal at Sterling Elementary in Charlotte, NC since July 2017. She began her education career in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools in 2003 as a Teacher. She has held the positions of Literacy Facilitator, Dean of Students, and Assistant Principal. In 2013, she became a Principal and has been in this role for nine years. During the 2020–2021, she was selected as the Principal of the Year for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. She grew up in Syracuse, NY. She moved to NC to attend college and received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from UNC Charlotte. She attended Queen’s University where she earned her Masters of Education in K-12 Literacy and her Masters in School Administration. She earned her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Wingate University. As a school leader, she is passionate about providing opportunities for students and teachers to experience joy and purpose in school. Her staff describe her as “zesty” and “a problem solver that makes things happen for kids and adults.” She enjoys reading, swimming, music, and spending time with her family.

Daniel A. Novey is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership (LEED) in the College of Education at East Carolina University (ECU). He earned two English degrees – a BA from Mt. St. Mary’s College and an MA from Bucknell University before earning an EdD from Lehigh University. He has served the students and communities of eastern North Carolina at ECU since 2017. Before that, he completed an eight-year superintendency in Carteret County to cap his K-12 career, which included an assistant superintendency, principalships, and teaching high school English. In LEED, he coordinates the EdS program, chairs dissertations, and guides future principals and superintendents. In addition, he researches the impact of leadership on rural communities and technology on learning.

Patrice D. Petroff has dedicated her life to educating children and the teachers who play such a critical role in the lives of so many. It is her personal and professional agenda to create school cultures that provide exemplary learning experiences for all students. She is a Professor of Education at Queens University of Charlotte.

Somer Saunders, MEd, is the Recruiter and Student Support Specialist for the Cato School of Education at Queens University of Charlotte. Through her role, she recruits prospective students for the Cato graduate programs and she also serves as an Academic Advisor to all Cato graduate students. Prior to her time at the university, she worked as a fourth-grade teacher with Gaston County Schools. She presented at the First Annual ICEP Conference and serves as the Graduate Assistant for ICEP. This is her first time contributing her work to be published; however, she has participated as a chapter editor in previous published handbooks.

Gina Smith, Retired Assistant Superintendent for Exceptional Children, for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS), is also an Adjunct Professor for Queens University. She started her career with CMS as Speech Language Pathologist and served in that role for 14 years before moving into school and district level administration. As an Administrator in CMS, she was a Principal, Director, and Assistant Superintendent. With each new role in the district, she developed a strong passion for student outcomes and academic achievement for our students with disabilities. She continues to have an interest in equipping general education teachers and administrators to better meet the needs of all students but most especially those with disabilities.

Amy Wooten Thornburg is the Executive Director and Professor in the Cato School of Education. She is also the Coordinator of the elementary education program and oversees accreditation. She teaches literacy, social studies, and schooling in the context of poverty courses in the undergraduate and graduate programs and supervises student teachers. Prior to her time at the university, she worked as a Teacher with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. Her areas of expertise include student motivation, working with at-risk students, professional development, balanced literacy instruction, and teacher development and retention. She has been a presenter at many national and international conferences, and her work has been published in several journals and books. She is also the co-editor of three books.

Jessica L. Triskett is a School Psychologist for the Rowan-Salisbury School District. She earned her Psychology degree, BA, from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. Following her Bachelor’s degree, she earned a Master’s and Certificate of Advanced Study in the area of School Psychology from East Carolina University. She recently graduated in 2021 and completed her internship with Rowan-Salisbury Schools. Prior to graduate school, she worked as a Teaching Assistant in an urban Cincinnati school district. Throughout graduate school, she had multiple graduate and research assistantships, including working under the leadership of Daniel A. Novey.

Ann White holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and has been a public-school educator since 1993, serving as a teacher, principal at both the elementary level and high school, and in multiple leadership roles at the district office. She currently serves as the Associate Superintendent of Student Services for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools and has led the Exceptional Children’s Department there since 2017. She has a variety of research interests, engaged most consistently on issues of equity, with her dissertation on the desegregation of Hickory Public Schools.


In the early months of 2020, the COVID-19 Coronavirus emerged as a life-changing event which would change the world as we knew it. While all facets of our lives have been altered, it very likely that the education system will forever be changed. For two years, our children have been learning online, in a hybrid mode, or in schools where social distancing practices have become the norm. When the virus was first detected in the United States, all schools closed and halted traditional face-to-face instruction and quickly moved to some type of online learning. This left educators and children in unfamiliar positions as teachers quickly scrambled to learn how to teach classes online as a way to salvage the school year and to maintain some semblance of order in our education system. While the generation of “COVID Children” will always remain as a unique cohort, there is no doubt that the results and repercussions of this most unusual experience will have implications that are far-reaching and of consequence to all of us. In the United States, families and society are gradually returning to some semblance of normalcy, however, the short- and long-term impact of what we have just collectively experienced, and what this experience has meant to our children, is yet to be fully explored or realized. Data are beginning to come in which highlight how children were impacted by COVID-19, but more longitudinal research will be needed to examine what lasting effects this has had on our youth.

The primary aim of this book is to explore the many facets of how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted children, families, and teachers across the world. While a major focus of this book is connected to academic learning, we also delve into the social and emotional impacts that are only now starting to be explored. The educational effects are likely to be numerous and substantial as reports are beginning to suggest that some children may be as far as two to three years behind where they should be. This has largely occurred because the current mode of instruction was not engaging enough as social connection has been compromised. And although online learning served as the best replacement for what occurred in our traditional classrooms, its effectiveness has been mixed at best. Teachers worked tirelessly to build engaging lessons, change teaching practices, care for children, monitor social distancing, learn how to apply new technology tools, and this underappreciated work has unfortunately led many to leave the profession.

The impact on our youth goes beyond the academic losses that may have occurred during the pandemic. Other areas of a child’s life such as family, physical health, and mental health are related to the social embeddedness which typically occurs in schools and with extracurricular activities. However, most of these have been limited during the past two years. We explore some of the latest work that has begun to uncover the negative impact of these facets on a child’s life. We explore ways that societies and schools can move forward to transition back to “life as normal” while also addressing new issues and needs that have emerged. Although much of what we have uncovered has negative connotations, these experiences have provided many lessons and recommendations which we share throughout this book.

Schoolchildren of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Impact and Opportunities consists of 10 chapters written by educators across the world. We asked these authors to share their experiences from the past few years and to articulate what lessons they learned. We believe that we have a rich collection of chapters which provide an insightful perspective on teaching and learning. Our authors include parents, graduate students, K-12 teachers and principals, and college faculty, all who have tackled the challenges that been thrust upon the education world.

Chapter 1, “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Applied to Guide Teaching and Learning,” begins our book with an exploration of the application of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to the actions of teachers and administrators in a public school in North Carolina. In it, Helen Gross, Daniel A. Novey, and Jessica L. Triskett share their data and findings for how the essential needs were met to support the children within their school. This work provides lessons that educators can use to ensure they are meeting all the needs of their students.

In “Black Screen: Bridging the Social and Emotional Void,” Patrice D. Petroff and Stacey L. Bush tackle the issue of social emotional learning. Chapter 2 walks us through their work with a group of teachers and students who were especially affected by the pandemic. They aimed to study how COVID-19 impacted these individual’s social and emotional welfare. They found that both teachers and students faced challenges during this period, and they offer suggestions for how to address these issues.

Our third chapter focused on social emotional learning, “Standing at a Crossroad: Re-imagining Social Emotional Learning Considering COVID-19,” is authored by Lisa M. Liberty who investigates how this form of learning was often neglected during the pandemic. Chapter 3 argues that we have several models for how social emotional factors are influential to learning and Liberty offers suggestions on how to reinforce this in our schools for the betterment of our children.

Chapter 4 explores the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had on teachers in the Southeast United States. In “COVID-19’s Impact on Teachers and the Teaching Profession,” Robert J. Ceglie, Ginger Black, and Somer Saunders explore the reports that there is an exodus from the teaching profession, leaving schools with unqualified teachers which puts our children at academic risk. In addition, they collaborate on a study that investigated the reasons that teachers have left the profession. They provide insight and suggestions to teacher preparation programs, district leaders, and local administrators to help retain and support teachers.

All children encountered some form of homeschooling in the past few years, but COVID-19 appears to have impacted different populations disproportionately. Charity Anderson authors Chapter 5, titled “Homeschooling Black Students During the Pandemic” which investigates the impact of the pandemic on homeschooling patterns of Black children. In conclusion, she offers some implications of these recent trends on future education practices.

In Chapter 6, Amy Wooten Thornburg, David Maddock, Dixie Friend Abernathy, and Daniel W. Eadens explore the parental aspects of education. “Teacher Perceptions on Parental Engagement During and After Pandemic Online Learning” examines how teachers perceived parental involvement in their child’s education. This group surveyed teachers and sought an understanding of their belief of how parents’ involvement in education may have changed as a result of the pandemic.

Muzammal Ahmad Khan provides an international perspective in his study of the influence of COVID-19 on education in Pakistan. Chapter 7, “The Impact of COVID-19 on Schoolchildren in Pakistan: A Review of Literature,” investigates how children and families, particularly those from rural communities, were impacted by the pandemic. He found that the lack of reliable and consistent technology, along with family struggles with balancing work demands, negatively influenced the educational experiences of many children throughout their nation.

Jennifer J. Guerra and Debra Franco author Chapter 8 which focuses on the impact that COVID-19 had on our already difficult problem of food insecurity. In “School Closures During COVID-19: Impact on Childhood Hunger and Opportunities for Long-term Solutions they describe a community partnership which supported food insecure families during the height of the pandemic. This work demonstrates the value of community partnerships, particularly during times of need.

We explore how special education students were impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic through Chapter 9 by Gina Smith and Ann White. Special Education and the Children of COVID-19” provides an overview of special education services in the United States and then shares how these educator’s district handled serving students with special needs during the pandemic.

Our final chapter provides a firsthand account of how one school shifted the way that they conceptualized student success during the pandemic. In “Navigating the Pandemic Whiplash: Leading and Teaching Through Educational Challenges and Opportunities,” Emily S. Miles and Kellee J. Cole share their experiences and actions taken to support their children’s academic needs and family needs during the pandemic.

We hope that as you read these chapters, you can appreciate the challenges that have impacted children, families, and teachers during the past several years. Our authors have shared personal stories, small research studies, and literature reviews which illustrate the challenges we have had to overcome. Regardless of the struggles, we believe that these have created opportunities for us to learn and act to better the educational opportunities for current and future generations of learners.

Robert J. Ceglie

Queens University of Charlotte

Dixie F. Abernathy

Queens University of Charlotte

Amy Wooten Thornburg

Queens University of Charlotte


The editors of this book would like to thank all of the authors who contributed to make this a book come to fruition. We are grateful to all the students, parents, and families who in some ways contributed essential elements to this book. Without their generosity of time, we would not be able to share their stories or insights.

We would like to offer gratitude to each of our families whose support made this journey possible. Dr Ceglie would like to thank his wife, Nicole, and his children Robbie and Jenny for their support and encouragement throughout the process. He also thanks his cats for moral support and comic relief. Dr Thornburg would like to thank her family, Eric, Emma, and Ardyn for being patient and understanding as she dedicated her time to helping make this book a reality. Dr Abernathy would like to thank her husband, John, and her children, Sam, Rachel, and Jordan for all of their support and patience during the many hours spent on this project.

Robert J. Ceglie

Queens University of Charlotte

Dixie F. Abernathy

Queens University of Charlotte

Amy Wooten Thornburg

Queens University of Charlotte