The morning of March 13, I remember making the agonizing decision to close the network of schools I lead in New York City for what I hoped would be a two-week period to wait out the worst of the pandemic.

As we know now, those two weeks out of school have turned into a painful year.

Before the pandemic, I used to worry how a single snow day would impact students’ ability to meet educational imperatives, like learning to read by third grade or solve algebraic equations by eighth. Helping students stay on track after being separated from the classroom for a year, in comparison, seems nearly impossible.

But we owe it to our kids to do everything within our power to address this once-in-a-generation crisis.