By Makenzie O'Keefe

(CBS4) – The pandemic has changed the way we do many things, including how kids learn. The shift to remote learning has not only brought innovative approaches by educators, but it has also revealed areas where the education system is already struggling.

The Keystone Policy Center and Public Education & Business Coalition in Colorado is working to change that. Working with more than 80 education system leaders, they have developed new approaches to improve teacher support and increase student preparedness in the wake of COVID-19.

READ MORE: Save Casa Bonita: Rally Planned Outside Iconic Restaurant On Saturday

“I think rightfully so, everybody was so focused on how do we get back into school right now, but there was a real strong interest in what does this mean for the long-term,” explained Keystone Policy Center spokeswoman Berrick Abramson. “And how can we learn from both the challenges and the really neat innovation a lot of teachers were bringing into the classroom to instead of going back to what was, we actually bring kids back to something much stronger in the future.”

A new Keystone Policy Center report outlines 16 recommendations surrounding strengthening teacher support and initiating system-level change. Abramson said that like many states, Colorado is facing a teacher shortage, and teachers are facing low pay and competing needs in the classroom when the focus should be purely instructing.

READ MORE: Denver Weather: Make Weekend Plans! Much Drier, Warmer Weather On The Way

“We’re hoping that families, the schools, the community, will start that conversation,” Abramson said. “How we want to think about who’s in the classroom and how we attract people and get them to want to stay in the profession?”

When it comes to student learning, different learning abilities and styles has always been a topic of discussion. But Abramson said that was magnified when students went to full remote learning and some kids struggled while others thrived.

“How do we honor the different learning styles? Let those kids who are ready to move quickly through material, who advance quickly, and let us put additional focus on kids who need the additional support,” he said.

MORE NEWS: COVID In Colorado: CU Boulder Study Shows How Asymptomatic People Spread Disease, Act As 'Super Carriers'

The Keystone Policy Center will be hosting an online virtual meeting to discuss their findings and recommendations with local education leaders on Thursday from 4-5PM. Parents, families and community members are all invited to take part to discuss the future of rebuilding education. The link to the webinar is here.

Makenzie O'Keefe