Press Release

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Releases Research-Based Guide to Support Educators in Mitigating COVID-19 Learning Loss

Comprehensive resource provides concrete guidance and a new model for connected teaching and learning in an age of virtual schooling

BOSTON – May 20, 2020 – Learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) today announced a new and important resource for K-12 districts: The Connected Learning Era: Mitigating the COVID-19 Learning Loss, a research-based guide created to empower educators and school leaders as they navigate the learning loss brought on by recent school closures, and plan for the 2020-2021 school year and beyond.

Written by HMH’s Learning Sciences and Research teams, The Connected Learning Era offers best practices that inform the development of short-term, medium-term, and long-term strategies and action plans for establishing connected teaching and learning systems that prioritize support for social-emotional learning and academic growth.

“While it is impossible to predict the exact impact COVID-19 will have on individual student learning, The Connected Learning Era is designed to help educators prepare for challenges ahead,” said Francie Alexander, Chief Research Officer, HMH. “By examining and reimagining the cultures and structures that define our learning communities, this comprehensive guide works toward resolving many of the inequities that the crisis has revealed and encourages deep connections between communities, districts, schools, leaders, teachers, families, and students.”

“A system of connected teaching and learning combines the best from in-person, virtual, remote, distance, and online learning to move beyond stop-gap fixes and get to holistic solutions,” added Jack Lynch, CEO, HMH. “We want teachers and learners to achieve positive outcomes and nurture relationships regardless of physical location, and as we approach a new school year, we hope this important contribution to the urgent conversation around the ‘COVID slide’ helps us address the uncertain future together.”

The guide introduces a new “Connected Learning Model,” which focuses on five key phases—covering social-emotional learning, assessment, purposeful use of data, high quality curricula and learning sciences, and professional learning—that center on student experience and community-wide support. It offers concrete recommendations to help support students, educators, families, and the community as they work together on a path forward to help all students thrive. For example:

  • For Students: Provide a safe and open space for student voice by enabling opportunities for respectful sharing of feelings, ideas and experiences within class routines and integrated in the curriculum through the creative arts.
  • For Educators: Lead with relationships built on mutual feelings of care, trust and safety, focusing on establishing connections between students, and families and ensuring that everyone has the resources and support they need to succeed.
  • For Families: Draw upon effective learning methods that can be applied in the virtual classroom, even if the delivery mechanisms will have to be adjusted when students are learning at home.
  • For the Community: Foster a mindset and culture of growth that values everyone’s contributions and fosters learning, innovation, and action.

To download The Connected Learning Era: Mitigating the COVID-19 Learning Loss, please visit

About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (NASDAQ: HMHC) is a learning company committed to delivering connected solutions that engage learners, empower educators and improve student outcomes. As a leading provider of K–12 core curriculum, supplemental and intervention solutions and professional learning services, HMH partners with educators and school districts to uncover solutions that unlock students' potential and extend teachers' capabilities. HMH serves more than 50 million students and 3 million educators in 150 countries, while its award-winning children's books, novels, non-fiction, and reference titles are enjoyed by readers throughout the world. For more information, visit

Follow HMH on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.


Leah Riviere

Communications Director

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt