Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic

During the past two years schools have played an important role in helping health officials and whole communities to limit the spread of COVID-19 ("Coronavirus") across the United States.  Through collaboration and coordination with State and local health departments, State and local educational agencies, other education officials, and elected officials, school systems have been playing a primary role in supporting students, their families, and staff during these uncertain times. Despite extraordinary efforts, both direct and secondary impacts of the deadly virus and our national public health emergency have been severe.

As schools continue to manage learning and nurture well-being for America’s students in the dynamic context of the extended pandemic, the National Center on Safe and Supportive Learning Environment [NCSSLE] appreciates the extraordinary challenges ahead for school systems and communities to both limit and mitigate adverse impacts the pandemic has generated for youngsters, their families, schools and communities. On behalf of the US Department of Education, the NCSSLE team is committed to identify and build on lessons learned to help strengthen our schools and reimagine what it means to create and maintain a safe and supportive learning environment within the context of the pandemic and its aftermath.

Note: This webpage is updated on an ongoing basis.

Featured Resources

HHS Releases New National Guidelines for Improving Youth Mental Health Crisis Care (11-10-22)  Announces issuance of SAMHSA’s new National Guidelines for Child and Youth Behavioral Health Crisis Care, which describes the urgent need to improve crisis response services for children, youth, and families and provides guidance on how communities can address the existing gaps in care for youth.  The National Guidelines offer best practices, implementation strategies, and practical guidance for the design and development of services that meet the needs of children, youth, and their families experiencing a behavioral health crisis.

CDC Streamlines COVID-19 Guidance to Help the Public Better Protect Themselves and Understand Their Risk [08-11-22]Announces the most recent revision by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] to streamline its COVID-19 guidance to help people better understand their risk, how to protect themselves and others, what actions to take if exposed to COVID-19, and what actions to take if they are sick or test positive for the virus. The CDC announcement acknowledges that, while COVID-19 continues to circulate globally, “with so many tools available to us for reducing COVID-19 severity, there is significantly less risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death compared to earlier in the pandemic… This guidance acknowledges that the pandemic is not over, but also helps us move to a point where COVID-19 no longer severely disrupts our daily lives.”

The U.S. Surgeon General's Advisory: Protecting Youth Mental Health: Calls for a swift and coordinated response to the youth mental health crisis as the nation continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued a new Surgeon General’s Advisory (12/07/21) outlining the pandemic’s unprecedented impacts on the mental health of America’s youth and families, as well as the mental health challenges that existed long before the pandemic. It provides recommendations that individuals, families, community organizations, technology companies, governments, and others can take to improve the mental health of children, adolescents and young adults.

K-12 Education

Lessons from the Field Webinar Series: Archives the full, extensive and continuing national webinar series to support educational settings in safely sustaining or returning to in-person instruction. The U.S. Department of Education [ED] is hosting a webinar series in partnership with other federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], and with the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments [NCSSLE]. The series features lessons learned and best practices from teachers, faculty, staff, schools, districts, institutions of higher education, early childhood education providers, and other places of educational instruction, describing approaches to operating during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click on an event title to access a recording and archived materials. The webpage is updated each time a new event takes place.

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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