Reopening Schools With Equity

As schools across the country have dealt with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in recent months, inherent, systemic inequities have been underscored. While many students have experienced educational loss and various forms of trauma and grief during this period, it is known that students and families of color and those with disabilities have been disproportionately impacted by rates of infection and mortality, unemployment, food insecurity and lack of access to the technology needed to remain engaged in remote instruction. Recent nationwide protests against systemic racism and discrimination have also brought overdue attention to the need for schools and other systems to more urgently address these inequities.

As school leaders and educators continue to work to reimagine and plan for reopening schools in ways that protect and support the health needs of students—mental, behavioral and physical—, it is critical that they also develop strategies and strengthen frameworks, such as social-emotional learning (SEL) or multi-tiered systems of supports (MTSS), that more completely ensure equity for all students.

Below are several curated resources that may help to guide planning in ways that more fully meet the needs of all learners within classrooms and across school systems.


How to Reopen Schools: A 10-Point Plan Putting Equity at the Center

As schools begin to reopen in the new school year, new protective policies and procedures may present unique challenges for people of color and individuals with disabilities. This guide provides several guiding principles for school and system leaders to create solutions that may better help to meet the needs of all students, especially those who may be most vulnerable.

Schools Reopening: Safety Plus Enhancing Equity of Opportunity and Social Justice

From the National Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA, this e-journal article discusses the opportunity for schools to strengthen and expand the multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) framework in order to enhance school climate and better promote student and staff well-being, beyond just their physical health and safety.

A Guide to Equity and Antiracism for Educators

Teachers and other school staff occupy an important platform for promoting equity and antiracism. This resource from Edutopia provides ideas and resources that support both personal learning and lesson planning.

How Will Each of Us Contribute to Racial Justice and Educational Equity Now?

In this opinion article from the Learning Policy Institute, the authors highlight the historical role that school systems have played in perpetuating systemic racism. The authors also summarize research that shows the benefits of culturally responsive, integrated education. The evidence of the success of diversity strategies in certain schools is also shared.

Equity and SEL

The implementation of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in schools and classrooms can help promote understanding, identify and counter biases, build cross-cultural relationships and create a more inclusive school community. This guide includes worksheets, webinar recordings, articles and other resources to help frame SEL through the lens of equity and inclusion.

Grant Alerts

School-Based Mental Health Services Grant Program | Department of Education

Providing grants to State education agencies to increase the number of mental health service providers within local education agencies. Learn more.

Deadline: July 13, 2020

COVID-19 Response Student Success Grants | The NEA Foundation

Grants to help educators adapt to educational challenges due to the effects of COVID-19 on teaching and learning. Learn more.

Deadline: July 15, 2020

Youth Running Program Grants | Road Runners Club of America

Funding to support youth running programs that encourage regular exercise and healthy habits through running. Learn more.

Deadline: August 1, 2020

*The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools does not administer these funding opportunities. Please refer to each organization for further direction and details.

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