Lessons from the Field: Safely Reopening and Sustaining In-Person Instruction

Event Date: 
March 31, 2021 - 03:00pm to 04:00pm EDT


On January 21, 2021, President Biden issued Executive Order (E.O.) 14000 directing the U.S. Department of Education to create the Safer Schools and Campuses Best Practices Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse will be a place to highlight lessons from the field in support of students, teachers, faculty, and staff, as schools and campuses continue to reopen following closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Clearinghouse will include a collection of lessons learned and best practices submitted by teachers, faculty, staff, schools, districts, institutions of higher education, early childhood education providers, other places of educational instruction, and States describing approaches to operating during the COVID-19 pandemic that the submitters believe to have worked well in their contexts.

As part of The Clearinghouse, the U.S. Department of Education has launched a new webinar series entitled “Lessons from the Field” which will run bi-weekly through June and will discuss the following topics across early childhood, K-12, and postsecondary education:

  • Safe and Healthy Environments
  • Providing Supports to Students 
  • Teacher, Faculty, and Staff Well-Being, Professional Development, and Supports

On behalf of the U.S. Department of Education (ED), the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments (NCSSLE) hosted Lessons from the Field: Safely Reopening and Sustaining In-Person Instruction.  

After a welcome from Christian Rhodes, Chief of Staff for the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, this session included a brief overview with the latest on how to implement mitigation strategies to safely return to in-person instruction and featured a panel of practitioners from a variety of school districts. The panel shared lessons learned on preparing for and returning to in-person instruction.  Information on how they overcame complications once they returned was also shared.


  • Christian Rhodes, Chief of Staff, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education
  • Neha Cramer, Lead, Schools Unit, Community Intervention and Critical Populations Task Force at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Dr. Diana Greene, Superintendent, Duval County Public Schools (Florida)
  • Dr. Victor Simon, Superintendent, Gower School District 62 (Illinois)

Webinar Materials

Primary Referenced Materials

CDC Resources

District Leader Resources