Here are 2 ideas for reopening, and a source for many more

U.S. Department of Education launches 'Safer Schools and Campuses Best Practices Clearinghouse'
By: | April 30, 2021
Superintendents and their teams can now peruse more than 180 reopening initiatives.Superintendents and their teams can now peruse more than 180 reopening initiatives.

Superintendents can find innovative ideas for reopening safely on a new, online hub that spotlights innovative initiatives from districts around the country.

The U.S. Department of Education is launching the Safer Schools and Campuses Best Practices Clearinghouse as part of President Joe Biden’s call to reopen schools, the agency said.

“There is no substitute for in-person learning and the clearinghouse will be an invaluable resource as we continue the safe return to in-person instruction,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a statement.

The clearinghouse’s resources target the needs of students in three main areas:

1. Safe and healthy environments: District approaches to prevention and mitigation strategies to sustain in-person operations.

2. Supports for students: Strategies to meet students’ academic, social, emotional, mental health, and other needs, including providing access to food, counselors and college planning.

3. Teacher and staff well-being: Initiatives that address skills, trauma and other mental-health needs among educators, such as providing access to childcare and professional development for educators.

Innovative examples

Superintendents and their teams can now peruse more than 180 reopening initiatives that have been highlighted on the clearinghouse. Here are a few examples:

School mask tracker: Who is and isn’t loosening the rules

1. The New Mexico Public Education Department published a resource to improve the identification and protection of students experiencing homelessness. The agency is sharing case studies of promising practices on assisting homeless students and their families.

2. Marin County Office of Education in California, developed a “Rethinking Schools” webpage to serve as a one-stop-shop for parents, students, and educators seeking public health and education data. The site includes up-to-date information on in-person instruction in schools across the district, public health guidelines on safe in-person instruction, and safety plans.

The clearinghouse also features a series of “Lessons from the Field” webinars that focus on prevention strategies for safely reopening K-12 schools, new CDC guidance focused on early childhood providers, and family and community engagement.

As the department intends to update the clearinghouse, districts can submit their ideas, lessons learned and best practices to: