(2021, April) | Useful to all those concerned about and involved with the safe reopening of elementary and secondary schools

The U.S. Department of Education has released two handbooks to assist states, schools, and communities in safely reopening America’s schools for in-person learning of students, including those with disabilities.

Volume 1 | Strategies for Safely Reopening Elementary and Secondary Schools
This first handbook was originally released in February 2021 and updated in April. It focuses on health and safety measures that schools can use to successfully implement the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) K-12 Operational Strategy. See its Table of Contents further below.

Volume 2 | Roadmap to Reopening Safely and Meeting All Students’ Needs
The second COVID-19 handbook provides additional strategies for safely reopening all of America’s schools, while promoting educational equity to address long-standing opportunity gaps that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. The volume spotlights research-based strategies for addressing the social, emotional, mental-health, and academic impacts of the pandemic on students, educators, and staff. See Volume 2’s Table of Contents below.

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A Closer Look at the Content of the Volumes

Getting a look at the Table of Contents for each of the volumes will give you a valuable preview of what information each provides, as follows:

Volume 1 | Strategies for Safely Reopening Elementary and Secondary Schools
27 pages, divided into these chapters:

    • Introduction
    • Summary of CDC’s Operational Strategies and Steps for Safe School Reopening
    • Safe Practices for In-Person Learning
    • Masking Practices
    • Physical Distancing Practices
    • Cohorting/Podding and Staffing Considerations for Physical Distancing
    • Transportation Considerations
    • Encouraging Families and Staff to Check for Symptoms at Home
    • Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette
    • Safety Considerations Related to Music, Arts, and Athletics Programs
    • Supporting Ongoing Engagement with Educators, Families, and the School Community

Volume 2 | Roadmap to Reopening Safely and Meeting All Students’ Needs
67 pages, divided into these chapters:


I. Creating Safe and Healthy Learning Environments

    • Meeting basic needs; providing school meals regardless of educational setting
    • Meeting the social, emotional, and mental health needs of students
    • Providing all students with access to a safe and inclusive learning environment

II. Addressing Lost Instructional Time

    • Accelerating learning through instructional approaches, tutoring, and expanded learning time
    • Supporting equitable access and effective use of technology
    • Using data about students’ opportunity to learn to help target resources and support
    • Addressing resource inequities

III. Supporting Educator and Staff Stability and Well-Being

    • Stabilizing a diverse and qualified educator workforce
    • Supporting educator and staff well-being

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