VAI Helps Schools Thrive in Pandemic Aftermath

Van Andel Institute for Education (VAI) strives to empower educators by supplying the tools they need to help students grow.

Earlier this year, we brought together several K-12 administrators at a virtual event to determine what was working, what wasn't, and how best to combat the instructional impact of the pandemic moving forward. Our goal was to uncover the chief areas of concern for schools with respect to the upcoming school year, and a build a document to help administrators better navigate these pressing issues.

While each school was facing its own unique challenges, there were three questions which frequently rose to the top of the conversation:
" How can I use ESSER funding?"
" How do I attend to the social-emotional needs of students and teachers?"
" How can I prepare teachers to successfully close gaps in 2022?"


In response, VAI created a free, downloadable guide composed of comprehensive strategies and ideas which allow administrators to leverage the lessons learned during pandemic teaching. By embracing authentic learning experiences, administrators can shift their focus from the negative and start embracing the opportunities for a new kind of education.

"The admin whitepaper is an informative and practical tool for administrators as they plan to tackle and overcome learning loss this school year. The guide addresses key ways to rethink, refocus, and reimagine education in hopes that administrators can not only overcome learning loss, but move beyond it, accelerating learning for all students for years to come." - Dawn McCotter, Teacher Programs Manager

VAI has also launched an Educations Recovery Plan which allows schools to close the gaps created by instructional loss through customized solutions. The goal of VAI's recovery plan is not simply to repair what the pandemic damaged, but to provide a solid structure on which schools can amplify their learning. This is accomplished through three distinct platforms:

  • Flex PD: A flexible and customizable PD model that honors teachers time, experience, and expertise.
  • Instructional Resources: Tools and strategies that save teachers time, model best-practices, and ensure implementation.
  • Ongoing Support: Sustained instructional coaching and support that maximizes your PD investment.


VAI's Education Recovery Plan is aligned to ESSER Funding and offers schools a free PD Needs Analysis regardless of whether they choose VAI as their provider. The pandemic may have upended the world of education, but it also brought out new opportunities to reimagine what teaching can look like. By working together, we'll do more than close the gaps created by COVID-19, we'll chart an exciting new course for students and teachers alike!

For more information on Van Andel Institute for Education, visit us at vaei.org.