Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic

As health officials take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 ("Coronavirus") into communities across the United States, schools are playing an important role. Through collaboration and coordination with State and local health departments, State and local educational agencies, other education officials, and elected officials, schools can disseminate critical information about the disease and its potential transmission to students, families, staff, and community. In addition, as schools manage closures, they can support students, their families, and staff during these uncertain times.

To help schools in communicating key information and building a safe, supportive, virtual learning environment, the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments has identified resources that can help.

Note: This webpage is updated on an ongoing basis.

Featured Resources

U.S. Department of Education Releases New Resource on Supporting Child and Student Social, Emotional, Behavioral and Mental Health during COVID-19 Era: Provides information and resources to enhance the promotion of mental health and the social and emotional well-being among children and students. 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, and presents seven corresponding recommendations.

Return to School Roadmap: Development and Implementation of Individualized Education Programs (Sept. 30, 2021): Details certain Individuals with Disabilities Education Act [IDEA] requirements related to the development and implementation of individualized education programs [IEPs].  This Q&A document from ED’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Service [OSEP QA 21-06] also offers other information that state educational agencies [SEAs] and local educational agencies [LEAs], regular and special education teachers, related services providers, and parents should consider.

Safer Schools and Campuses Best Practices Clearinghouse: Provides resources for communities, schools, educators, and families working together to continue to reopen U.S. schools for in-person learning while supporting the needs of all students, particularly historically underserved students and those who have been impacted greatest by the pandemic. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona introduced this new clearinghouse on 4/30/21, explaining “Our role at the Department is to provide guidance and directions on how to (safely reopen all schools for in-person learning, beginning with children in grades K-8), safely and equitably.”

K-12 Education

Higher Education


General Resources

American Institutes for Research

U.S. Department of Education

The contents of the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments Web site were assembled under contracts from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Safe and Supportive Schools to the American Institutes for Research (AIR), Contract Number  91990021A0020.

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