The COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons Learned
From the Director
Welcome to the May issue of the NSBA Center for Safe School’s Quarterly Newsletter, a benefit of your subscription. For this issue, we will be stepping away from focusing solely on one of the key areas of the Center to lean into the current COVID-19 pandemic.
These unprecedented times are impacting all areas of our nation and are creating new challenges for our schools and communities daily. You do not have to look far to hear about school closures, the spread of the virus, impacts to local businesses, and the deaths of loved ones. Physical isolation is amplifying existing and creating new mental health concerns. This crisis has also magnified the disparities and gaps of available resources and services provided to some of our students and families most in need.
Current events have, if nothing else, shown us the need to go beyond our traditional notions of how we educate and support our students and families. This is no easy task, and the struggles our communities are facing to meet these needs are most certainly real. With the ever-growing amount of new challenges being presented, we are taking this opportunity to provide additional information on the challenges our students and families are facing. We also are focusing on some of the positives that have been taking place in our schools and communities. Through perseverance and resiliency, many school districts have shown tremendous resolve in working tirelessly to meet the needs of their communities. We will be highlighting this work in the hopes of building off of these successes.
We recognize that the questions and struggles we currently face outweigh the successes we have seen so far. We know that we still have a long way to go to get back to a sense of normalcy. It is our hope that this newsletter, along with NSBA and the Center for Safe Schools, can be a resource and support during these times.
NSBA has been working to provide ongoing support during this crisis. A few resources currently available are:
NSBA Responding to Coronavirus Resources
The National School Boards Association coronavirus page contains resources aimed at supporting public schools and education leader with the most up to date information and resources.
NSBA Center for Safe Schools Webinar: Navigating Virtual Education — with Calm, Connectedness and Compassion
Hosted by NSBA’s Center for Safe Schools in collaboration with the Attachment & Trauma Network, this discussion focuses on the impact of school closures and the new normal this creates for families and educators alike. This discussion addresses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on schools and families and how we can help children and families—especially those with adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)—navigate this new environment. Read an overview of the discussion and learn more about the presenters.
NSBA COSA Families First Coronavirus Response Act FAQ
How does the Families First Coronavirus Response Act impact student meals and school employee leave? COSA, a program of NSBA, has answered common questions school districts might have regarding relief for schools.
BuyBoard Facts and Resources
Compiled by a national purchasing cooperative, this facts and resource sheet includes recommendations to minimize the spread of respiratory illnesses, cleaning and disinfecting procedures, and a directory of resources with sample guidance from county and state health agencies.
We hope the articles and resources in this issue provide some encouragement during these times.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions and comments using the online discussion group. Remember, this is your forum to engage other subscribers from around the country. You may email us at email@example.com, and don’t forget to visit NSBA’s Center for Safe Schools for new and unique resources and discussions.
Future issues of this newsletter will be published in July, October, and January.
Thank you for your continued interest and commitment to help foster safe schools for all our students and district employees.
Director, NSBA Center for Safe Schools