Preparing to Reopen Schools

One of the great challenges that school and district leaders currently face is how to reopen schools in ways that ensure a safe and equitable return for students, families and staff. Not only do schools need to consider how to compensate for the loss of learning that has occurred during distance learning and how to limit transmission of the coronavirus, they also need to prepare to provide supports to address the stress, trauma and grief that students and staff have experienced during closures. Additionally, they must prepare for the stress and anxiety that many students could experience as they anticipate a return to normalcy, only to find that they must adapt to new and unfamiliar safety measures, rules and routines.

As schools plan for these challenges, there is a unique opportunity to rethink many facets of the school ecosystem. Incorporating strong social-emotional learning frameworks and trauma-informed practices, maximizing the use of technology and training for distance learning, strengthening communication and family engagement practices, and coordinating efforts with community partners are just a few of the many strategies that schools can consider to best support the physical, emotional and academic wellbeing of everyone within the school community.

Below are a few of the resources that we have compiled to support school teams as they plan and prepare for reopening schools.

New Resources

An Initial Guide to Leveraging the Power of Social and Emotional Learning

This guidance document from CASEL provides a framework with actionable recommendations to help schools leaders plan for the SEL needs of both students and adults as they plan to reopen.

Plan Ahead to Support the Transition Back of Students, Families and Staff

From the Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA, this document outlines several areas that school stakeholders should consider to help students, families and staff transition back to school.

COVID-19 Recovery Presents an Opportunity to Fill Critical Gaps in Knowledge about Equipping Schools to Address Trauma

As schools plan for reopening, decision makers should be prepared to focus on ways to effectively address trauma in both students and staff, as well as academics and social distancing.

Return to School Roadmap

The Return to School Roadmap is informed by best practices in public health and education emergency operations. It details essential actions that can help district and school leaders to plan for a safe return to school for students and staff.

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

Emergency Grants | No Kid Hungry

Emergency grants available for school districts and organizations working to sustain nutrition programs for children during current school closures. Learn more.

Deadline: Rolling

Emergency School Nutrition Funding Grants | GENYOUth

Funding to help supply resources for meal distribution and delivery to ensure students continue to have access to healthy meals. Learn more.

Deadline: Rolling

Community COVID Youth-Led Mini-Grants | Peace First

Rapid response grants available to help young people lead projects that address community impacts of COVID-19, such as providing meals to elderly neighbors, launching digital mental health campaigns, etc. Available to young people between ages 13-25. Learn more.

Deadline: Ongoing

Relatives as Parents Program | Brookdale Foundation Group

Funding to help organizations to develop or expand services for grandparents or surrogate parents taking on responsibility of supporting the health and wellbeing of youth. Learn more.

Deadline: June 10, 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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