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2020 – Year in Review: Student Safety in Remote Learning


Years in the future, we’ll look back on 2020 as being full of adjustment and change, especially when we talk about K-12 education during the pandemic. In March, school campuses across the country had to pivot from in-person instruction to remote learning almost overnight, without knowing the long-term impact changes would have on their students’ learning and academic success.

At Impero, we quickly realized that this abrupt shift meant more than learning loss. It meant a sharp decline in student safety and well-being. Teachers, usually the leading reporters of child protection issues, would have to navigate and report issues based on student behavior in the virtual classroom. In some states, reported child protection concerns dropped by as much as 60% at the beginning of the pandemic.

In 2020, Impero helped schools across the globe safeguard the most vulnerable students in remote learning. In a sample of nearly 570 schools, we found that Impero was being used in a variety of meaningful ways, such as:

  • 94,760 concerns were recorded about vulnerable children. Over 2,000 of these recorded concerns related to the most serious areas of child protection, like neglect, physical abuse and sexual abuse.
  • Nearly 1 in 10 of these concerns were related to a student’s mental health.
  • Teachers have passed on more than 900 referrals to external agencies, such as child mental health services or the police.

Every school has the responsibility to keep their students safe. We have made it our mission to help them do so in any learning environment. In summer, we released Impero web:check for schools to protect students from malicious online material. In September, we launched Impero back:drop, a free tool to help school leaders manage and record student safety concerns. More recently, we launched Impero class:room and Impero well:being for schools to foster better and more timely collaboration, communication and recording of student concerns.

We also dedicated our time to publishing useful resources, blogs and guides that can help educators keep students safe during remote learning. We published a guide with Mental Health America to help schools and parents support student mental health. Our e-book on supporting student mental health and safety during remote learning offers tips and resources to help identify troubling behavior like neglect or abuse. We also hosted a roundtable on new strategies for student social-emotional learning during COVID-19.

In 2021, we anticipate an increase in the demand for services, resources and technologies to address student health and well-being. At Impero, we look forward to working with schools, educators and our community to continue to build tools that will keep students safe.

Learn more about how Impero can help student safety initiatives at your school by booking a demo.

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