Collection

Woman teacher wearing mask pointing to blackboard

Return to School

These resources are designed to help Regional Centers, state and local education agencies, educators, and parents as they collectively navigate the unpredictable path back to school.  In addition to the resources in this collection, the National Center has gathered selected resources from national organizations and educational institutions, as well as a set of state plans related to returning to school, which will be updated as new plans become available and current plans are revised.

Returning to School: A Toolkit for Principals
Resource Type: Tools/Toolkit
2020
One way or another, we are returning to school. We may be in classrooms, or at home, or both. But it will be our school, and it will be different from when we left. One thing will be the same, however, our principal will be looking out for everyone—students, families, teachers, staff. This toolkit is for the principal and the team the principal assembles to help everyone return to school, whatever that may look like. Suggested actions, recommended resources, quick tip sheets—the toolkit is a handy computer desktop companion for helping people with Change, Communication, Collaboration, and Care in the time of COVID.
Reopening Instructional Programs for Our Most Vulnerable Students: A Reopening Guidebook for the 2020-2021 School Year
Resource Type: Practice guide
2020 PDF (pdf)
Earthquakes in Puerto Rico and COVID-19 lockdowns in both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) have forced educators to rethink how they can support the most vulnerable students, including the youngest students in pre-kindergarten, English Learners (ELs) in the USVI, Spanish Learners in Puerto Rico, and students with disabilities. This guidebook summarizes strategies to address today’s challenges while trying to reopen schools.
Reopening Instructional Programs for Our Most Vulnerable Students [Spanish Version]: A Reopening Guidebook for the 2020-2021 School Year
Resource Type: Practice guide
2020
Guía de reapertura para nuestros estudiantes más vulnerables: año escolar 2020-2021 Earthquakes in Puerto Rico and COVID-19 lockdowns in both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) have forced educators to rethink how they can support the most vulnerable students, including the youngest students in pre-kindergarten, English Learners (ELs) in the USVI, Spanish Learners in Puerto Rico, and students with disabilities. This guidebook summarizes strategies to address today’s challenges while trying to reopen schools. [Spanish Version]
How Districts and Schools Are Using Scenario Planning for the 2020-2021 Return to School
Resource Type: Webinar
2020
During this hour-long session, experts from Bellwether Education Partners' Strategic and Academic Advising groups introduced frameworks and related tools they have been using to support scenario planning for the return to school throughout the nation. Topics include a review of the challenges that leaders have faced due to COVID-19, the questions leaders are considering as they decide which scenarios to deploy, and recommended frameworks and best practices for this kind of planning. This program is the first in a two-part series.
Schools' First and Forever Responders: Preparing and Supporting Teachers
Resource Type: Practice guide
2020 PDF (pdf)
Schools’ First and Forever Responders: Preparing and Supporting Teachers in the Time of COVID-19 elevates a rationale and considerations for evidence-based strategies and innovative approaches to support teachers and teacher candidates during and following the COVID-19 crisis. Because teachers are the most vital in-school education resource, supporting the teacher workforce through the disruptions created by COVID-19 is essential to ensure continuity of learning for students. As schools and districts rush to meet immediate workforce needs, longer term planning is critical in light of looming budget declines. For each of the considerations highlighted in the brief, we cite re search or examples from other states and districts that can be helpful to learn more and guide decision-making.
Tackling the Fall 2020 Return to School - NAESPA
Resource Type: Webinar
2020
This virtual conference from the National Association of ESEA State Program Administrators (NAESPA) featured presenters from the Comprehensive Center Network who described resources to support states, districts, and schools in planning for the Fall 2020 return to school. The program included examples of how states are approaching decisions regarding the return to school, and resources to support states in planning for multiple scenarios in which they might return to school, both in the fall and throughout the school year should stay at home orders again be enacted.
Assessing Socioemotional Needs: Return-To-School Surveys for Teachers, School Counselors, Parents, and Students
Resource Type: Tools/Toolkit
2020
As schools prepare to reopen, district and school leaders must understand the socioemotional needs of the school community in order to plan for a safe, supportive, and equitable learning environment. These four surveys are designed to get feedback from educators, students, caregivers, and school counselors about their experience with online learning/teaching during COVID-19 related school closures. The surveys ask about concerns over school reopening, communication from school/districts, mixed modes of learning (in-person and virtual), readiness to learn, readiness to support students, and the training and resources needed. The surveys each take ~ 10-15 minutes to complete, and contain closed- and open-ended questions that can generate summary scores as well as qualitative responses that can be used in the planning process.