Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources

We recognize that the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) presents challenges for public health to stop the spread of the respiratory illness. On January 21, 2020 a public health emergency was declared for the U.S. Gov. JB Pritzker issued a disaster proclamation March 9, 2020. The World Health Organization noted COVID-19 as a global pandemic on March 11, 2020. On March 12th, 2020, President Trump declared a National Emergency and on March 20th, 2020, Gov. J.B. Pritzker extended the mandatory closure of Illinois schools effective March 17th through April 30th, 2020 and ordered all non-essential businesses closed.COVID-19 resources by topic are provided to aid in proper response in your school community. Most resources are linked to source websites instead of direct documents given the dynamic updates being provided for best practices.

Talking with Children

We recognize concern over COVID-19 with increased media coverage and federal, state, and local responses can make children, families, and staff feel anxious in your school communities. It is important to remember that children will look to adults to model how they should respond. Parents and teachers should reassure their children with factual information on the disease and efforts health and school officials are making.

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) with the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) have released a resource for parents and caregivers, which is available in multiple languages. The NASP/NASN parent resource is also linked in the COVID-19 Family Letter template provided by the Illinois State Board of Education. The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) - Division of Mental Health has also compiled resources from the National Childhood Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the World Health Organization (WHO), with guidance on talking with children, stress, and mental and behavioral health self-care.

Self-Care

Maintaining your mental health through good self-care is essential in times of crisis. Consider NASP's extensive self-care resource list to maintain a healthy routine with your activities, meals, and sleep. If you are a school employee consider taking advantage of Headspace for Educators which gives you free subscription access to guided meditation and mindfulness activities for personal, family, and school use.

COVID-19 General Information

For general information about COVID-19 please refer to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) or the CDC which provides resources for frequently asked questions, steps to take for prevention, and guidelines for schools, households, businesses, communities, long-term care facilities, pregnant women & children, and travel. IDPH also provides information regarding the number of persons tested for COVID-19 in Illinois.

Professional Practice During the Closure

Check out some of the resources below for professional activities and guidance on issues, including meeting internship requirements virtual service delivery from NASP's COVID-19 Resource Center and online professional development or other training activities from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Childhood Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), Illinois Resource Service Center (ISRC) and more.

Publisher Resources

Working Remotely

Learning While at Home

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has a large listing of free resources to assist districts, teachers, and parents to provide learning activities during the school closure. Additional free resources and tools are listed, with many providers are offering special free access in response to the pandemic.

Guidance for Schools

By order of the Gov. J.B. Pritzker, there is mandatory closure of all schools, public and private, serving preschool through 12th grade starting 3/17/2020 through 4/30/2020. Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) guidance notes days during the mandatory closure will be considered Act of God days up till 3/30/2020, and Remote Learning Days will begin for schools 3/31/2020.

The National Association of School Psychologists has provided multiple resources for actions steps by school crisis teams, tips for countering COVID-19 stigma and racism, and other tools for pandemic preparedness in school Emergency Operation Plans.

The U.S. Department of Education Office of Rehabilitation Services and the Office of Civil Rights have also issued guidance regarding bullying and stigma related to COVID-19 and guidance on implementation of services under IDEA or Section 504 in the event of extended school closures.

IDPH and the CDC are providing on-going guidance for school closures, cleaning and disinfection, and checklists for teachers and parents.