COVID-19: Resources for Charter School Programs (CSP) Grantees

(last updated July 28, 2022)

National Charter School Resource Center (NCSRC) has created a webpage of resources to support the charter school sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. The resources align with the three landmarks for returning to in-person school identified by the U.S. Department of Education in the Return to School Roadmap as well as resources for supporting students with disabilities.

For general guidance, refer to the U.S. Department of Education's COVID-19 Resources for Schools, Students, and Familiies webpage.

If you have a question or a resource to suggest, please contact us.

Landmark 1:
Prioritize the health and safety of students, school personnel, and families.
Landmark 2:
Build school communities, and support students’ social, emotional, and mental health.
Landmark 3:
Accelerate academic achievement.
Resources for educating students with disabilities.

Landmark 1: Prioritizing the Health and Safety of Students, School Personnel, and Families

ED COVID-19 Handbook: Strategies for Safely Reopening Elementary and Secondary Schools
The Department of Education has issued guidance for school re-opening based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance issued August 17, 2021. The Handbook provides strategies for promoting vaccination, masking, physical distancing, transportation, and other safety considerations.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention Operational Guidance on Safe In-Person Learning
On May 27.2022, the CDC updated its guidance on how education programs can operate safely for in-person learning. This includes strategies for everyday operations, vaccinations, preventing the spread of COVID-19, COVID-19 testing, improving ventilation systems, and other helpful resources to keep schools operating in-person.   

White House Toolkit: Federal Resources for Addressing School Infrastructure Needs
The White House released this toolkit to help schools and districts access available federal funding, planning tools, and technical assistance to address school infrastructure needs. This toolkit provides key tools and resources for improving indoor air quality and is aligned with the Biden Administration’s Clean Air in Buildings Challenge to improve ventilation to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens
As of June 2022, the CDC now recommends COVID-19 vaccines for everyone 6 months and older and boosters for everyone 5 years and older, if eligible. Refer to this site for helpful FAQs, tools, and information on vaccines for Children and Teens.

COVID-19 Data Dashboard
In November 2021, the Department of Education, in collaboration with the CDC launched a new COVID-19 data dashboard to help the public keep track of the impact of COVID-19 on K-12 schools. The dashboard aggregates in one location data on pediatric COVID-19 cases, youth vaccination rates, and numbers on schools that are operating in-person, hybrid or remote. Data will be updated each week, and where possible, the information is presented geographically so that educators and families can understand the impact of COVID in their communities. This is the first time such data has been organized in a single location for the public.

Strategies for Supporting COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts
The National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments hosted a webinar on November 10, 2021 following the approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine for children aged 5-11 by the CDC. This webinar provides examples from the field on how communities and schools can support vaccine awareness and vaccination efforts.

Start-up Guide for Testing in Schools
To support the safe reopening of schools, the White House has released guidance on screening testing in schools. To support these efforts, the Rockefeller Foundation released a guide to help schools have COVID-19 testing at school to help detect cases early and keep schools open and functioning. This resource has guidance on how to find a testing provider, make a testing plan, and communicate with parents and students to promote buy-in.

Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools
The CDC updated guidelines and recommendations for school reopening. Key recommendations include: vaccinated students and staff are not required to wear masks, schools should maintain a distance of 3 feet between students as long as it is not prohibitive to learning, unvaccinated students and staff should continue to wear masks indoors, and layered prevention strategies should be used to protect the health of students, staff, and families.

Improving Ventilation in Schools, Colleges, and Universities to Prevent COVID-19
On July 23rd, 2021, the Department of Education provided resources to help schools improve ventilation systems to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The resource provides guidance on increasing outdoor airflow, maximizing HVAC ventilation, and improving air filtration. It also provides links to resources provided by the CDC and EPA on improving filtration. This resource extends guidance issued in February, 2021 for ventilation in schools and childcare programs.

ESSER Funds for Construction
In December 2021, the Council of Chief State School Officers published guidance for state education agencies and local education agencies on authorized uses of ESSER funds for construction, renovation, and minor remodeling projects of school facilities.

Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in K-12 Schools
This CDC Science Brief provides an analysis of transmission data from schools that had various reopening plans in the fall of 2020. Data from these schools  have contributed to knowledge of the nature of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in schools and their surrounding communities. The brief includes scientific information on COVID-19 infection for children and adolescents, transmission in schools, in-person learning mitigation strategies, and guidance on how to safely conduct sports and extracurricular activities

COVID-19 Vaccines for Teachers, School Staff, and Childcare Workers webpage
The COVID-19 Vaccines for Teachers, School Staff, and Childcare Workers webpage provides school and childcare staff with the latest information about where and how to book an appointment for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Landmark 2: Build School Communities and Support Students’ Social, Emotional, and Mental Health

ED COVID-19 Handbook, Volume 2
The Department of Education released guidance and resources for how schools can address the trauma induced by the COVID-19 pandemic due to increased isolation, uncertainty, food insecurity, and loss. This resource summarizes research on how mental health shapes academic learning and provides strategies for establishing multi-tiered systems of support to support social, emotional, and mental health.

Supporting Child and Student Social, Emotional, Behavioral, and Mental Health
In October 2021, the Department of Education released this resource to enhance the promotion of mental health and the social and emotional well-being among children and students in general and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This resource highlights seven key challenges to providing school- or program-based mental health support across early childhood, K–12 schools, and higher education settings. It also unpacks recommendations for these challenges. Throughout the report, the Department of Education provides links to federal technical assistance centers focused on SEL and SEL resources.

The CASEL Guide to Schoolwide SEL
This guide by CASEL leads school teams through a systemic process of implementing SEL programs that impact the entire school.  It provides strategies, tools, and rubrics in the following four areas: build foundational support and plan, strengthen adult SEL, promote SEL for students, and reflect on data for continuous improvement.

Integrating Social and Emotional Learning Throughout the School System
This compendium of resources from WestEd provides district and school leaders with guidance as they seek to implement evidence-based programs to improve SEL for students, families, staff, and their communities.

Addressing Educator Burnout and Demoralization: Actions for Administrators
Educators and school administrators have been resilient in facing the challenges of the pandemic; however, this has led many to feel burnout and consider exiting the profession. This resource published by the National Center for Safe and Supportive Learning Environments provides administrators with strategy-based actions to support well-being of educators and address the challenges of staff burnout. The resource is based on input from experienced educators and leaders in both urban and rural settings. 

How to Grow Teacher Well-being in Your Schools
The social, emotional, and physical health of teachers is a shared responsibility and a critical component of student learning and overall community well-being. This resource published by the Institute of Education Sciences and Pacific Regional Education Laboratory provides guidance on what schools can do to increase teacher well-being.

Supporting and Responding to Students’ Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Needs: Evidence-Based Practices for Educators
This practice guide published in 2022 by the Center on Positive Behavioral and Intervention Supports provides tools and guidance to help educators implement evidence-based, positive, and proactive practices that support students' social, emotional, and behavioral needs. The practice guide also provides guidance for how to provide these supports within a multi-tiered system of support that provides universal support, targeted support for groups of students, and intensive support for individual students.

Trauma-Informed School Strategies during COVID-19
The National Child Traumatic Stress network has published a report that summarizes key strategies that schools can implement to create safe, trauma-informed learning environments that are responsive to students' mental health needs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Three Highest Priority Investments to Make in SEL with American Rescue Plan Dollars
Given the unprecedented investment of federal stimulus funds to schools in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CASEL provides guidance on how these funds can be used to bolster systemic implementation of SEL: 1) promote SEL for students, 2) support adult SEL competencies and capacity-building, and 3) align SEL efforts across schools, families, and communities.

CASEL CARES Initiative: Connecting the SEL Community
CASEL CARES is an initiative that addresses how SEL (social emotional learning) can be most helpful in response to current circumstances. CASEL shares four steps for educators, families, and caregivers to support SEL during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their website also provides free SEL resources related to topics including self-care strategies, supporting virtual teams, and talking to students about COVID-19. CASEL also hosts free webinars held every Friday featuring experts on a variety of key topics.

Landmark 3: Accelerate Academic Achievement

ED COVID-19 Handbook, Volume 2
The Department of Education has compiled resources and strategies to accelerate student learning in schools to address the learning loss that has happened during the pandemic. In this handbook, there is guidance for how to accelerate student learning during the school day, through targeted tutoring, through out-of-school programs, and through summer learning and enrichment.

Strategies for Using American Rescue Plan Funding to Address the Impact of Lost Instructional Time
As more students return to in-person learning, the U.S. Department of Education has released guidance on how LEAs and states can use ESSER funds to address the disproportionate impact of lost instructional time during the COVID-19 pandemic. This report provides a number of evidence-based strategies that focus on meeting the needs of underserved students by: building trust with families and supporting safe in-person learning; supporting students' social, emotional, and mental health needs; utilizing approaches for accelerated learning, including high-quality tutoring; supporting students during key transitions; and using high-quality assessments and data systems to track student learning.

Building and Using Evidence in Summer, Afterschool, and other Out-Of-School Time Settings
This resource published by the Institute of Education Sciences provides guidance to states, districts, and schools on how to select evidence-based interventions to help close the learning loss that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Promising Practices to Accelerate Learning for Students with Disabilities During COVID
This report by the National Center for Learning Disabilities highlights key strategies and research-based models that schools can implement to accelerate learning for students with disabilities.  The report also highlights research-validated strategies for accelerating learning for all students. It closes with examples of different approaches that schools have employed to address learning loss.

Accelerating Student Learning with High-Dosage Tutoring
This research report published by EdResearch for Recovery summarizes key design principles for effective tutoring programs to provide schools with practical guidance on how to address learning loss induced by COVID-19. The report provides guidance on frequency, size of tutoring groups, supporting tutors, scheduling, curriculum, and delivery mode.

Getting to Work on Summer Learning
This report by RAND provides guidance to school leaders on how to launch summer learning programs or improve established programs. Based on research conducted in five districts between 2011 to 2016, this report summarizes key guidance on planning, staffing, academics and enrichment, student recruitment, and building a positive school climate.

Restarting and Reinventing School: Learning in the Time of COVID and Beyond
This report by the Learning Policy Institute provides an overarching framework that focuses on ten priorities for reinventing schools. It summarizes research and provides examples of how educators and policymakers can develop equitable, effective teaching and learning environments built on strong relationships and community involvement. The report speaks both to transforming learning and to closing opportunity and achievement gaps.

REL COVID-19 Resources - Institute of Education Sciences
The 10 Regional Educational Laboratories (RELs) have collaborated to produce this series of evidence-based resources and guidance about teaching and learning in a remote environment, as well as other considerations brought by the pandemic. Resources are arranged by topic.

IES Resources for Responding to COVID-19
This Institute of Education Sciences (IES) webpage contains resources, research, and statistics about teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic for educators, caregivers, and policymakers. IES is compiling data and carrying out research to understand how COVID-19 is altering education, and is generating solutions to support learners, educators, and parents. This includes strategies for teaching remotely based on a continuum of internet access, as well as factors for supporting student engagement in remote and hybrid settings.

WestEd Resources for Educators Responding to COVID-19
WestEd offers an evolving selection of evidence-based resources and guidance designed to help educators continue to make a positive difference in the lives of children, youth, and adults during these difficult times. Resource and guidance are offered in the following topic areas: Distance & At-Home Learning; English Learners; Health, Safety, & Well-Being; Online Professional Learning; Resource Planning & Management; Science & Mathematics; and Special Education.

Learning Acceleration for All: Planning for the Next Three to Five Years
The New Teacher Project has published a report that summarizes key strategies that schools can implement to support academic acceleration, support students' social and emotional health, and community engagement to determine students' and families' needs.

Resources for Educating Students with Disabilities

Return to School Roadmap: Child Find, Referral, and Eligibility
The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) received requests from a diverse group of stakeholders to clarify expectations and requirements for implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and more schools returning to in-person services. Important topics addressed in this resource include: meeting timelines, ensuring implementation of initial evaluation and reevaluation procedures, determining eligibility for early intervention, special education and related services, and providing the full array of early intervention services and special education services that children with disabilities need in order to receive a free and appropriate public education.

Promising Practices to Accelerate Learning for Students with Disabilities During COVID
This report by the National Center for Learning Disabilities highlights key strategies and research-based models that schools can implement to accelerate learning for students with disabilities.  The report also highlights research-validated strategies for accelerating learning for all students. It closes with examples of different approaches that schools have employed to address learning loss.

Return to School Roadmap: Provision of Early Intervention Services
The U.S. Department of Education’s OSERS has received questions related to the provision of early intervention services and the implications of delayed evaluations and early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families served under IDEA Part C. This guidance document focuses on program reopening efforts and in-person service delivery to support the full implementation of IDEA requirements.

The Center for Learner Equity
The Center for Learner Equity webpage includes resources for supporting students with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. These resources are regularly updated and include webinars, FAQ documents, and instructional tools. These resources include Principles of Equitable Schools in the Context of COVID-19 and ensuring the right to free and appropriate public education for students with disabilities during COVID-19.