Important Covid-19 Resources

JPS Solutions supports our schools and organizations as they respond to the changes and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  We hope that the resources we’ve linked to will be helpful to you, along with resources provided by many of the organizations in our “Useful Links” section below. Check back as we will be adding to our collection of COVID-19 resources. Please contact us if you’d like to talk about reopening and school improvement as we adjust to and succeed in “the new normal.”

Health and Safety

  1. Interim Cleaning and Disinfection Guidance for Primary and Secondary Schools for COVID-19 : This NYS DOH bulletin provides specific guidelines for hand and respiratory hygiene and for cleaning and disinfection. The bulletin also provides a list of high-risk locations in the school building that warrant regular cleaning and disinfection as well as examples of frequently touched areas in the school that may require being disinfected multiple times during the school day.
  2. Reopening Schools in the Context of COVID-19: Health and Safety Guidelines From Other Countries : This brief provides insight into health and safety guidelines and social distancing strategies used in other countries that have successfully reopened their schools in the context of COVID-19. Examples are intended to support school policymakers and administrators in the United States as they plan for reopening.
    MAY 15 2020 – Learning Policy Institute
  3.  A Plan to Safely Reopen America’s Schools and Communities: Guidance for imagining a new normal for public education, public health, and our economy in the age of COVID-19. This document provides a roadmap for navigating the next steps. It provides specific guidance for transitioning from lockdowns to other public health tools to limit the transmission of COVID-19. It focuses on reopening school buildings in particular because the safe reopening of public school buildings means students can go to school, and parents, who work outside the home, can go to work. That is key to the reopening of the broader economy.
    April 28, 2020 – American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
  4. 6 Ways to Bring Students and Staff Back to Schools: This article helps district and school leaders make high-stakes decisions regarding bringing students and staff back to school in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Education Week spoke to more than a dozen experts, including public health officials, education leaders, and superintendents, to determine a list of a half-dozen potential models, some of which could be used simultaneously.
    June 10, 2020 – Ed Week
  5. Why Rapid Coronavirus Tests in Schools May Not Be the ‘Game Changer’ Some Officials Hope For – As charter schools and school districts begin to consider the use of rapid COVID-19 testing of staff and students, many questions require attention and resolution, if possible. This Ed Week article provides available information to help school and district leaders make responsible decisions regarding COVID-19 testing in their schools and districts.
    Oct. 9, 2020 – Ed Week
  6. CDC Offers Cautions, Guidance for Schools’ COVID-19 Testing Strategies – With the increased availability of tests, these considerations are intended to provide guidance on the appropriate use of testing for COVID-19 in K-12 schools for surveillance, diagnosis, screening, or outbreak response.October 14, 2020 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  7. CDC Clarifies ’15-Minute Rule’ for Social Distancing – This article discusses new changes to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s definitions and guidance on social distancing during the pandemic, which will likely mean changes in some schools’ approach to preventing or tracing coronavirus outbreaks and significantly more students being identified for quarantine.
    Oct. 22, 2020 – Ed Week
  8. Mask Mythbusters: 5 Common Misconceptions about Kids & Cloth Face Coverings – This article discusses 5 common questions about kids and masks, along with evidence-based information that dispels the myths surrounding children wearing face coverings as part of a COVID-19 mitigation strategy.
    By: Kimberly M. Dickinson, MD, MPH & Theresa W. Guilbert, MD, MS, FAAP
  9. NYS Dept. of Health Poster: Custodial Checklist for Schools -The poster display covers the following topics:
    2. The need to CLEAN AND DISINFECT schools MULTIPLE TIMES A DAY and
    3. The importance of MAINTAINing a cleaning routine
  10. Tips to Support Mask-Wearing for Students with Disabilities – This TA Bulletin is a useful resource for all teachers. The guidelines and suggestions are practical solutions and strategies to overcoming the challenges presented by mandating that all students wear masks in school and on school busses.
    October 2020, Maryland State Department of Education – Technical Assistance Bulletin
  11. Kids with certain medical conditions should not attend in-person school while COVID-19 continues to spread – This article describes students who should not return to school for face-to-face instruction due to certain medical conditions. It also describes actions schools have adopted to protect vulnerable students.
    October 20, 2020 – Baltimore Sun
  12. Air Purifiers, Fans, and Filters: A COVID-19 Explainer for Schools – This article is much like a primer about air purifiers, fans, and filters in schools to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. This information should be shared with school stakeholders and can act as a way of helping to determine the status of a school’s ventilation system.
    October 27, 2020 – EdWeek
  13. Harvard – CU Boulder Portable Air Cleaner for Schools – Simple tool for schools for selecting portable air cleaners for rooms.
  14. Reopening of School and Universities – This article is very helpful to facility managers. The article includes several HVAC checklists to use when opening schools to students and staffs.
  15. Do Face Shields Protect Against COVID-19? A Mask and Shield Explainer – This article explains why face masks are effective in preventing the spread of the COVID virus and why face shields are not.
    November 2, 2020 – EdWeek
  16. School communities largely embrace masks despite lawsuits – The article describes the reactions of school stake holders to the requirement that students and others must wear masks while attending school. The reactions discussed range from active support to public demonstrations and court cases protesting such measures as a violation of individual freedom.
    November 12, 2020 – Education Dive
  17. Lessons From Europe Where Cases Are Rising But Schools Are Open – This article describes the decisions European countries are making regarding whether schools should be open or closed and how their decisions compare to the decisions made by states in the US.
    November 13, 2020 – NPR
  18. In These Reopened Schools, Students Exceed Expectations Following Safety Rules – Many schools developed safety procedures for returning to classrooms. But even the best laid plans can go awry if students flout protocols. As it turns out, many are eager to be back, and understand that breaking rules means getting sent back home for remote learning. EdSurge columnist Jin-Soo Huh looks at some schools where students exceeded expectations when it came to compliance.
    November 24, 2020 – EdSurge
  19. School Re-Opening in the Era of Covid-19 – The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Schools of Public Health and Medicine released an online educational series that aims to guide school and district officials nationwide, of best practices to reduce COVID-19 risks when they decide it’s time to have students and teachers return for in-person learning.
    Johns Hopkins Consortium for School-Based Health
  20. New Study Cautiously Suggests Schools Don’t Increase Spread of Coronavirus – This article describes a recent study published by seven academic researchers. The study links county-level Covid-19 infections in Michigan and Washington state to information on how schools were offering instruction – in-person, hybrid, or remote – to access the relationship between in-person instruction and the spread of Covid-19. The study concluded that as long as infection rates are under control, in-person school, whether hybrid or fully in-person, does not contribute to community spread. However, the study includes many caveats, and findings, though significant, are nuanced.
    December 23, 2020 – US News
  21. Will New Covid-19 Strains Mean More Cases in Schools? An Explainer – New strains of the coronavirus have been identified in several countries, including the United States. These strains are more virulent than the original coronavirus that struck the United States in early 2020. Aside from the health implications resulting from the new strains, school administrators are faced with a back to school decision-making process that has become much more difficult. This article provides basic information that all school administrators should consider when bringing students back to school for face-to-face instruction.
    January 11, 2021 – Ed Week
  22. We Are Pediatricians. Here’s How to Reopen Schools Safely – 12 principles for defining safe reopening
    January 28, 2021 – Ed Week
  23. What the CDC Guidelines Don’t Say About Classroom Ventilation and COVID-19 Spread – The new guidance focuses less on ventilation than masking or distancing, but research shows some attention to ventilation can help.
    February 17, 2021 – EdWeek
  24. Is Lunchtime the ‘Weak Link’ in School Reopening Plans? – It’s risky when students are inside and unmasked, experts say. Here are five ways to mitigate that risk and make in-school meals safer.
    February 18, 2021 – EdWeek
  25. 6 Feet or 3 Feet: How Far Apart Do Students Need to Be? – The new CDC guidelines call for spacing students 6 feet apart to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But schools elsewhere use a 3-foot buffer.
  26. Ventilation in Schools and Childcare Programs – Updated guidelines for school HVAC systems
    February 26, 2021 – CDC
  27. Testing for COVID-19 at School: Frequently Asked Questions – School-based testing for COVID-19 isn’t easy. Here are some key questions and answers to consider.
    March 16, 2021 – EdWeek
  28. CDC says three feet between students is usually enough, a change that paves the way for more in-person instruction
    March 19, 2021 – The Washington Post
  29. Do Teachers Have to Disclose Their Vaccination Status? Experts Weigh In – Experts answer four pressing questions about teachers, privacy, and COVID-19 vaccines.
    March 24, 2021 – EdWeek
  30. Contact Tracing? Sports? Experts Explain School Reopening Research and Recommendations – Two experts shared highlights, best practices, and dos and don’ts at the recent National Safe School Reopening Summit. Hosted by the Department of Education’s Jessica Cardichon, the panel featured Greta Massetti, who leads a task force on community interventions and COVID-19 at the CDC, and Donna Harris-Aikens, senior advisor for policy and planning at the Department of Education.
    March 24, 2021 – EdSurge
  31. Will 3-Foot Spacing Still Make Sense With New COVID Variants in the Community? – New, more infectious strains of the coronavirus account for a rising share of new cases, raising districts’ need to be vigilant.
    March 25, 2021 – EdWeek
  32. Going Back To School:  A guide to set up an effective and efficient process for testing in your K-12 institution
  33. Putting safety first: COVID-19 testing in schools – Are schools ready to offer a post-pandemic place to learn?  
    April 9, 2021 – EdWeek

Reimagining Schools Through School Restart Plans & COVID Relief Funds

  1. Trauma-Informed Schools During COVID-19 Infographic – This engaging infographic gives important information, practical ideas, and proven strategies to develop action steps to support trauma-informed practices, in both distance learning and in brick and mortar schools.
    Infographic Provided By: 321 Insight
  2. In video classes teachers parse clues to student wellbeing – The coronavirus pandemic and virtual instruction raised the stakes considerably for school personnel, along with health care workers and other professionals, to report any suspicions of neglect or abuse in accordance with Child protection laws. In the absence of daily in-person school and extracurriculars, a teacher’s video contact may offer the only window to spot potential problems in students’ lives. This article provides suggestions for teachers regarding their carrying out their legal responsibility to report potential instances of child abuse when their report is based on what is seen remotely.
    October 23, 2020 – AP News
  3. Supporting Student Mental Health Now and in the Future – The coronavirus pandemic has taken a significant toll on students’ mental health as they cope with stressors at home and anxiety and uncertainty about the future — including what their school year will look like. Now, as students go back to school — whether it’s in-person, online or a hybrid model, we must make sure students are getting the mental health support they need. Schools must have the right tools and technology to stay on top of wellbeing concerns — from suspected abuse to anxiety and depression — even if students aren’t physically in classrooms. This article discusses student anxiety and depression and what schools should consider to successfully address such students’ needs.
    October 22, 2020 – The Journal
  4. What Shouldn’t Return to ‘Normal’ When Schools Reopen – This EdSurge article includes several school superintendents’ thoughts and recommendations about what the “new normal” should include and exclude in school operations. The  superintendents identified practices and policies forced on schools by the pandemic that should become common practice when schools adjust post-pandemic.
    November 10, 2020 – EdSurge
  5. Will 2020 Nurture Transformation, or a Return to Normal? – This article discusses what it will take for changes in education, brought about by the global pandemic, to stick during the post-pandemic period. The article takes a historical perspective to change citing several interesting examples.
    November 12, 2020 – Education Next
  6. The Big Lessons From History – In this article, the author shares 5 lessons from history that he has learned that have significance for the future. The COVID-19 Pandemic motivated his interest in exploring these lessons to learn from the Pandemic and the consequences of disregarding these lessons.
    November 12, 2020 – Collaborative Fund
  7. School Social Workers Are Begging Us to Remember Their Vital Role – This article considers the role of the school social worker during the current COVID Pandemic and the changes necessary to address students’ increased social and emotional needs.
  8. 4-Ways Covid-19 Could Alter Long-Term Curricular Approaches – This article discusses many district leaders’ opinions about the likelihood that the shifts made over the past several months to accommodate all options, both at the administrative and academic levels, are likely to remain after the pandemic wanes — and that these changes are for the better.
    November 18, 2020 – Education Dive
  9. Why the Pandemic Forces Administrators to Rethink Attendance and Interoperability – Recent changes to the learning environment brought on by the pandemic forced schools and districts to redefine student attendance. Among many things, the changing learning environment created a growing need to report on student activity more holistically. A binary data capture system that fails to incorporate student engagement measures and participation no longer suffice to characterize a student’s presence at school. This article discusses the changing education environment, the changes being made to student attendance taking, and the need for systems interoperability to link multiple measures of student engagement.
  10. Want to Improve Learning Outcomes? Give Students More Time – An extended school year, multiage classrooms, and other strategies can address learning loss, says Penn Graduate School of Education dean.
    March 11, 2021 – EdWeek
  11. When School is Back in Session, Where Will We Begin? – A novel approach to the question, When school is back in session, where will we begin?
    June 22, 2020 – Thomas R. Guskey
  12. Lessons From the Pandemic That Can Improve Leading and Teaching – Video feedback, prioritizing student well-being, and deeper grade-band collaboration have proven promising, educators say.
    March 16, 2021 – EdWeek
  13. As Districts Reopen For In-Person Learning, What Schools May Look Like Going Forward – With more and more districts reopening for in-person learning, when will schools reach a new normal — and what might it look like?
    March 22, 2021 – NPR
  14. How School Districts Plan to Spend $130 Billion in Federal Stimulus Money – Schools will soon receive an influx of federal funds. Special education training, technology improvements, and facilities upgrades are on the shopping list.
    April 05, 2021 – EdWeek
  15. Absenteeism Is the Wrong Student Engagement Metric to Use Right Now – In a post-pandemic era for school accountability, let’s focus on measuring what matters.
    April 09, 2021 – EdWeek

CDC Resources

  1. Operating Schools During COVID-19: In this update, the CDC offers updated considerations for mitigation strategies that K-12 school administrators can use to help protect students, teachers, and staff and slow the spread of COVID-19. These updated Considerations for Schools are intended to aid school administrators as they consider how to protect the health, safety, and wellbeing of students, teachers, staff, their families, and communities.
    Updated Sept. 1, 2020 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – CDC CHILDCARE
  2. CDC’s Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools Through Phased Mitigation Facts Sheet
  3. K-12 Schools Covid-19 Mitigation Toolkit
  4. ED COVID-19 Handbook Volume 1: Strategies for Safely Reopening Elementary and Secondary Schools
  5. CDC’s Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools Through Phased Mitigation
  6. Ventilation in Buildings
  7. ED COVID-19 Handbook VOL. II

Summer School '21

  1. Five Best Practices for Effective Summer School Programs
    May 3, 2017 – Edmentum
  2. Can schools make summer programs more fun, effective by focusing on accelerated learning?
    April 7, 2021 – K-12 Dive