December 31st, 2020

Educator Voice: Rebekah Jones offers COVID advice to school support staff who feel ignored

CoronavirusEducationHealthOnline LearningSpecial Education
Rebekah Jones, Courtney Price, Robin Cogan and Sari Beth Rosenberg. Photo: PBS NewsHour EXTRA


On Tuesday, December 22, NewsHour EXTRA held its third COVID check-in over Zoom with more than 100 school support staff members present.

The session featured guests Rebekah Jones, data scientist and cofounder of The COVID Monitor; Courtney Price, special education teaching assistant in Providence, Rhode Island; and Robin Cogan, school nurse in Camden, New Jersey, and lecturer at Rutgers University. The chat was hosted by Sari Beth Rosenberg, NYC public school teacher.

The session highlighted the special challenges faced by support staff during COVID measures as well as the gap between reported impact of COVID in the media and what teachers and staff are actually seeing in their schools. 

Recap of the evening with school support staff (22 minutes)

We do not record the actual Zoom session given teachers’ fears of retaliation; however, we asked our guests to recap the conversation, with a few highlight clips offered below.

If you are a school faculty or staff member and would like to sign up for NewsHour EXTRA’s monthly COVID check-ins over Zoom, click here.

Highlight Clips:

“I’ve never felt so unsafe in a school.” Powerful exchange between Courtney Price, teaching assistant, and Rebekah Jones.


Takeaways from NewsHour Zoom with school support staff during COVID:


Rebekah Jones offers some advice for school support staff:


What it’s like to be a school nurse during the pandemic — School nurse Robin Cogan:


You can also watch the recap from our first teacher COVID check-in meeting from earlier in December here:

Post-Zoom conversation from our second Zoom teacher check-in in early December. Sari Beth Rosenberg, Dr. Cleavon Gilman and Dr. Daniel Katz.


Watch the recap from our first teacher COVID check-in meeting in October here:

Post-Zoom conversation from our first Zoom teacher check-in in October. Sari Beth Rosenberg, Kenneth C. Davis, Kathryn Vaughn, Amanda Amtmanis and Leyna Hanan.

If you would like to contribute to Educator Voice, NewsHour EXTRA’s blog on how current events affect life for educators or school personnel, please send your idea to Vic Pasquantonio at

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