Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources

The start of this school year will be like no other, as our school communities ended last year in an unexpected state of remote-learning. In the midst of the ongoing pandemic, we are also witnessing a massive push for social justice to change systemic racism that disproportionately impacts the black community. Our work to foster both physical and psychological safety in our school communities will be more critical than ever to address these challenges.

We recognize that the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) presents challenges for public health to stop the spread of the respiratory illness. Restore Illinois provides a five-phase plan to reopen the state. The plan divides the state into 11 smaller geographic regions to allow each region to move through each phase independently and help to avoid widespread restrictions and shutdowns. Although in-person instruction is encouraged in phase 4 it is critical to note that this does not signify a return to pre-pandemic operations. ISBE and IDPH recognize that it may not be safe or feasible in every school community or for every child. Decisions for considering in-person, remote, or a hybrid approach are left to each school district. ISBE has also noted that school districts must allow parents who are uncomfortable with the in-person learning environment, an option to choose a fully remote instruction for their child.

ISPA recognizes each school district and surrounding community has unique needs and resources therefore we will strive to provide resources and guidance that are flexible to a variety of formats for each school's return to learn this fall.

Guidelines and State Data

Return to Learn

Promotion of COVID-19 precautions to stop the spread of germs will be important for students and staff returning to schools. Proper methods to don and doff masks, wash hands, and maintain social distancing will need to be taught. Additionally, schools will need to be prepared to address trauma related to COVID-19 and social justice issues individuals may have been exposed to since the closure in March, while still working to meet social emotional and academic needs. The COVID-19 School Adjustment Risk Matrix (C-SARM) provides a great framework for initial triage in considering support.

Promoting Masks, Hand washing, and Social Distancing

Mental Health and Social Emotional Learning

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 being made locally to keep them safe during learning.

Professional Practice During the Closure

NASP has created a series of 30-45 minute webinars to help school psychologists address challenges related to remote delivery of school psychological services, including academic screening, SEL considerations for reentry, suicide prevention, and more.

Conducting Evaluations

We recognize that precautions for in-person learning, such as requirement of face masks, social distancing, and increased cleaning and disinfection presents difficulty for conducting evaluations in-person while adhering to test standardization. Likewise, practitioners must consider limitations of virtual or remote delivery as it relates to test reliability and validity, available technology for the practitioner and client, and issues of confidentiality and privacy.

Crisis Response and School Safety

Remote School Psychological Services

Licensure, Internship, Supervision

Professional Development & Learning Activities

Publisher Resources

Remote Work Tools

Getting Help & Self Care

Maintaining your mental health through good self-care is essential in times of crisis. Do you or someone in your family need support during the pandemic? The Illinois Call4Calm Text Line is free and will link you with a local counselor. 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.

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.

Supporting Challenging Behavior at Home

Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention