What are the 3 top priorities in ED’s Return to School Roadmap?

The Education Department outlined three "landmark priorities" for the fall, as well as tips for reaching the landmarks, resources available to schools and communities, and examples from the field.
By: | August 2, 2021

A new Return to School Roadmap released Aug. 2 by the U.S. Education Department is designed to provide a pathway to information for educators and families about safely reopening schools in the fall.

The roadmap “provides key resources and supports for students, parents, educators, and school communities to build excitement around returning to classrooms this school year and outlines how federal funding can support the safe and sustained return to in-person learning,” according to ED officials.

“We must use our renewed strength to focus on what matters most: winning the fight against COVID-19, getting our students back in classrooms for full-time in-person learning — together — and making our education system better than ever before so that all students receive the excellent education they deserve,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona in a statement announcing the roadmap. “I’m proud to be releasing these tools to help make sure students, parents, schools, educators, and communities receive the communication and supports they need to make this academic year a success, and I want all schools this year to lead with a clear focus on health and safety, student wellbeing, and academic acceleration as students return to classrooms nationwide.”

As part of the roadmap, ED outlined three “landmark priorities” for the fall, as well as tips for reaching the landmarks, resources available to schools and communities, and examples from the field. The landmark priorities are:

1. Prioritize the health and safety of students, school personnel, and families.

2. Build school communities and support students’ social, emotional, and mental health.

3. Accelerate academic achievement.

The roadmap also includes a guide on student, family, and staff safety, including information about vaccinations and implementing CDC guidance, as well as a checklist for parents to prepare their students to return safely to in-person learning in the fall.

ED said it will provide “additional resources to schools, districts, and directly to parents and students as part of the Return to School Roadmap” over the next few weeks.

Charles Hendrix covers education funding and other Title I issues for LRP Publications.

More from DA