BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- As school districts across the country announce their plans for fall instruction, parents and educators are raising questions about the scenarios. Districts are weighing concerns about the potential spread of COVID-19 with the impact that extended online learning could have on the mental well-being of students, parents and teachers. School districts that plan to offer some component of online learning also face challenges with making instruction equitable for families who have varying access to resources. Indiana University experts are available to comment on how school reopening plans could impact families and educators. 

Jessica Calarco

Jessica Calarco is an associate professor of sociology at IU Bloomington. Her current research examines challenges families face in following medical recommendations. The Pandemic Parenting Study, with Amy Knopf at the IU School of Nursing, uses longitudinal surveys, daily diaries and interviews to understand how families with young children are responding to the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic and recommendations for social distancing. The Social Networks and Parenting Study, with Elaine Hernandez in the Department of Sociology, uses longitudinal surveys and interviews to identify factors shaping decisions about vaccines, breastfeeding, co-sleeping and screen time.

Elisheva Cohen

Elisheva Cohen's research focuses on education in times of crisis, conflict or natural disaster. Her current research examines the ways that teachers and families in two elementary schools in the Midwest have responded to education during the coronavirus pandemic, with particular attention given to the deepening inequities across the community.

Wanda Thruston

Wanda Thruston’s research focuses on the social and emotional health of K-12 schoolchildren and school personnel, their trauma and secondary trauma, students who are pregnant and parenting, and using implementation science to implement evidence-based practices. She is the primary investigator on "Preventing and Mitigating Secondary Traumatic Stress on School Personnel and the Social and Emotional Health of School Personnel," a grant-funded project under the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation related to reopening schools after the COVID-19 pandemic. She is also a member of the Washington Township School Board in Indianapolis. 

Beth Trammell

Beth Trammell is an experienced clinician who has worked with kids and families for over 15 years in a variety of settings. She engages parents and teachers in the community through online and community-based offerings, including having hard conversations with kids, making words matter about race and online book studies about the power of allowing kids to fail.

COVID-19 resources for journalists

Looking for more Indiana University expertise related to the novel coronavirus? Find the latest list of IU scientists, researchers and clinicians who are available to discuss a wide range of topics, such as COVID-19's impacts on our physical and mental health, the economy, politics, globalization, and more. This resource is updated as we identify more experts to share with the media, so please check back often.