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On the Pandemic Front Line: Children and Schools

2020 Resources

Resources for Parents and Personnel, Schools and Childcares, and their Communities: 

Millions of Children in the Community - Tips for Parents

Millions of Jobs in Schools and Childcares - Tips for Employers and Employees 

  • Faculty are working on distance learning; kitchen and support staff are producing and bagging or delivering meals
  • Facility leaders and custodians have an unexpected opportunity to help: 
  • First, a few cautions if employees work in the building: 
  • "Paying School Employees During Prolonged Shutdowns Is a Major Dilemma”, Education Week, March 19, 2020, names ideas for continuing work for support staff, including distribution of meals, improving grounds, bus drivers transport student meals, athletic coaches can maintain fields, tech staffers can provide training on electronic communication platforms, and more like landscaping and repairing parking lots. A separate blog in ED Week noted janitors on overtime to clean and disinfect schools.    

School and Childcare Officials:

  • Stay connected: reach out to board and staff, parents and others
    • ​Ideas for staying virtually connected: morning Pledge; school notices; welcome to …; thank you to staff/volunteers; tips on how to talk to children; student art or music show; gym class lessons
  • Services for Children: New York City Example
    • New York City Department of Education: Learn at Home for All Students, the nation’s single largest school district with over 1.1 million children enrolled
    • NYC DoEd Regional Enrichment Centers
      • In order to successfully fight COVID-19, our first responders, health care providers, transit workers, and other key personnel must be able to come to work. That is why we have created Regional Enrichment Centers—places where the children of these front-line workers can be safely cared for while their parents continue to serve the city in this time of need.

School Leaders: While Buildings Are Empty, Get Ready for Children to Return​

  • Retain in-house facility workers: clean, disinfect, maintain building systems; assess asbestos and lead paint status; pest-proof inside and out; check water and ventilation filters; assess water damage, fix leaks. 
  • Hire local trades as needed: plumbing repairs; electrical upgrades; masonry and walkway repairs; lead and/or asbestos remediation; green-scape grounds to direct water away from foundations and reduce run-off; plant shade trees; use native species.  

Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Schools and Childcare: 

Guidance for Improving Buildings and Grounds

For Communities and Nongovernmental Organizations: