COVID-19: Resources for Charter School Programs (CSP) Grantees
(last updated November 23, 2021)
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 Families webpage.
If you have a question or a resource to suggest, please contact us.
Prioritize the health and safety of students, school personnel, and families.
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Build school communities, and support students’ social, emotional, and mental health.
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Accelerate academic achievement.
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Landmark 1: Prioritizing the Health and Safety of Students, School Personnel, and Families
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.
The CDC provides first-stop information for learning about the COVID-19 pandemic. This website summarizes CDC’s initiatives, activities, and tools in support of the Whole-of-Government response to COVID-19. The CDC has also released back to school tips for the 2021-2022 school year.
In November 2021, the CDC recommended that children 5 to 11 years old be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine. This CDC now expands vaccine recommendations to about 28 million children in the United States in this age group and allows providers to begin vaccinating them as soon as possible. To support these efforts, the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Education released a joint statement with three recommendations: host a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at your school, distribute Information about the COVID-19 vaccine to all families with children ages five through eleven, hold conversations with your school communities on the COVID-19 vaccine.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Resources for Educating Students with Disabilities
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.
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 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.