Building on the Return to School Roadmap released in April, 2020 the roadmap provides essential actions to spur student health and academic recovery and renewal.

The Challenge

Communities across the country are still navigating the pandemic, but with vaccinations underway, we have to start planning for recovery and renewal.  Helping communities return to full-time, in-person schooling and providing the social-emotional, academic, mental, and physical support that our children need will be a once in a generation challenge.

Our Theory of Action

If we provide evidence-based guidance, resources, and support at the intersection of health and education to policymakers and education practitioners then we can create a path for comprehensive recovery and renewal.

Defining Recovery and Renewal

Over the next year, as schools return to full-time in-person instruction, we must be thoughtful about the varied experiences of communities, teachers, students, and families and come together to attend to their diverse needs. Evidence is emerging that reveals what many anticipated: the inequities that pre-existed the pandemic have been exacerbated across health and academics. Recovery and renewal efforts begin with active listening and empathetic learning about children, staff, and family experiences during the pandemic. On the foundation of understanding, scientific evidence of what works must be utilized to re-establish healthy schools and thriving communities, to build on what we have learned, ensuring that all of our children have the opportunity to develop, grow, and prosper.

Guiding Principles

The entirety of our work is based on the following principles:

  • We strive to ensure that every public school student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.
  • We operate with deep humility that district leaders, school leaders, teachers, and other school personnel are best positioned to meet their communities’ challenges.
  • We are committed to equity in design, practices, and resourcing.
  • We embrace uncertainty. 
  • We believe that simpler is usually better.

Our Team

Andrew Buher

  • Founder and Managing Director, Opportunity Labs, LLC and Opportunity Labs Foundation, Inc. 
  • Former White House Fellow, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development where he was Special Assistant to Secretary Julian Castro
  • Former Chief Operating Officer, The New York City Department of Education 

Dr. Adriana Cadilla 

  • Pediatric infectious disease physician, Nemours Children’s Hospital
  • Associate Professor, University of Central Florida
  • Former Fellow in Pediatric Infectious Disease, University of Chicago Medical Center
Greg and his son on the first day of school

Gregory Edgerton

  • Software Engineer at Northwestern Mutual
  • Hopeless Optimist at Humble Humans
  • Former CCO Cowerks/Fresh Markets
  • Former Teacher, Sprockets (Coding Camps ages 7-13)
  • Former Co-Founder, Hip-Hop Institute (Boys & Girls Club)
Cricket and her son letting us know its gonna be okay in the garden

Juliette Cricket Heinze

  • Former Executive Director of Knowledge Sharing, The New York City Department of Education, where she oversaw the development of WeTeachNYC, the district’s online learning platform for its 80,000 teachers 
  • Former education researcher, Education Development Center, Scholastic, and New Leaders for New Schools
  • Former Spanish Bilingual Teacher,  Los Angeles Unified School District
Mario and his two boys taking a selfie at dinner

Dr. Mario Ramirez

  • Managing Director, Opportunity Labs, LLC and Opportunity Labs Foundation, Inc.
  • Former White House Fellow appointed by President Obama and Acting Director for the Office of Pandemic and Emerging Threats,  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Former Emergency Medicine Physician and Flight Surgeon, United States Air Force
  • Former Attending Clinical Physician, Sibley Memorial Hospital (Johns Hopkins University)

Dr. Meghan Walls 

  • Pediatric psychologist in the Division of Behavioral Health, AI duPont Hospital for Children
  • Assistant clinical professor of Pediatrics, Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University
  • Former Resident, Nationwide Children’s Hospital
  • Board Member, Society of Pediatric Psychology