Panel + Q&A (*Maximum 4 Panelists)

The Education Crisis Calls for Innovation and Immediate Action: How Tackling Health Disparities is Key to a Better Future for All

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COVID-19 turned traditional education systems upside down almost overnight, and research is already showing that stop-gap solutions are not working and kids are falling behind. The pandemic has exacerbated and highlighted the disparities that already exist in the U.S.  Now, as a result of COVID-19, Blacks, Hispanics and rural communities are at an even greater disadvantage, which will have dire long-term consequences. Limited access to technology, healthy food, mental health support and more all contribute to these disparities, as well as challenges educators face in terms of training and resources.

In this session, health and education leaders will come together to discuss the strategies that lead to success in the classroom and beyond, barriers and challenges, and innovative ideas for addressing the interconnected health, well-being and educational needs of kids. The goal of the session is conceptualize a vision of healthier, more equitable schools and inspire attendees to become part of the solution.

Note: This session could also be conducted as an interactive or large format workshop.

Confirmed Panelists

Rob Bisceglie, CEO of Action for Healthy Kids, will facilitate this discussion.

Action for Healthy Kids is a national nonprofit and leading children’s health organization that activates school-family-community partnerships to enable all kids, especially those in underserved communities, to become healthy and resilient, in body and mind. Rob has served as CEO of Action for Healthy Kids since January 2008 and brings more than 20 years of diverse non-profit experience to his work. Rob directed operations of international development programs for the U.S. Agency for International Development initiatives from 1997-2003. He has also served as director of planning and development for the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago. A father of three, Rob serves on the Board of Education in Roselle School District 12 in Illinois and on the Board of Directors of the FORWARD Child Health Coalition.



Unconfirmed Panelists

Panelists will represent a diverse group of stakeholders drawn from Rob Bisceglie’s extensive network of health and education leaders. The organizations represented will include school districts, education associations, education technology, and health and wellness organizations or companies such as:

  • Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD), creator of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Model
  • National School District Wellness Coalition
  • Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)
  • National Association of School Nurses
  • Well Being Trust


Supporting Materials

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  1. The impact of COVID-19 on the economy gets far more attention (at least in the news) than it’s impact on education. Conversations around education seem to focus on getting kids back to classrooms, and that’s short-sighted. We need broader and deeper discussions about how severe the impact is on underserved communities, why that matters to everyone and what steps we need to start taking now to fix a broken system.

  2. Kids are suffering Invisibly multiple ways. Efforts to address their academic, social, and emotional well being are vital to their future.

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