Returning To School

States, districts, and schools continuously review all scenarios when planning the return to school following a significant disruption. The factors impacting a return to school during a global pandemic sometimes change by the day. Additionally, schools may experience multiple “returns”, both at the beginning of the school year and periodically throughout as educational instruction and delivery changes due to changing circumstances. Every school continues to try to make the best “right” decisions for all students based on the information at hand.

The Department of Education and its technical assistance (TA) centers work to provide content expertise and resources to effectively address State and local needs and assist with implementation of federal programs that support students’ in returning to school based on the individual needs of students and school communities.

Within each section of this page, you will find resources developed by OESE TA Centers and other federal partners to support returning to school, including brief descriptions and links to each highlighted resource.  Explore each section to learn more about the available resources from these Centers.

Please note that the materials presented concerning resources available are being provided for your convenience as a potential resource for parents, students, schools, teachers, and other educators to use during this challenging time. They were not developed by the U.S. Department of Education, and we do not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of this information. Furthermore, the inclusion of any hyperlinks and the content presented is not intended to convey their relative importance, nor is it intended to endorse any views expressed or products or services offered. The Department does not control, direct, or encourage any particular curriculum or the information related to curriculum. The use of materials or information by a school or educator is strictly a State and local matter.

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Featured Technical Assistance Centers

Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools TA Center. The Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) TA Center’s primary goal is to support schools, districts, and institutions of higher education in school emergency management and planning, including the development and implementation of comprehensive, all-hazards, high-quality emergency operations plans.  The REMS TA Center disseminates information about school emergency management and planning to help school communities learn more about developing, implementing, and revising high-quality emergency operations plans.  In addition, the REMS TA Center helps the Office of Safe and Supportive Schools (OSSS) coordinate technical assistance meetings and share school emergency management and planning information and responds to direct requests for technical assistance and training. Visit the REMS TA Center website to learn more and request support.

Comprehensive Centers. The Comprehensive Center Network includes 19 Regional Comprehensive Centers (RCCs) and one National Center that provide capacity-building services to State educational agencies (SEAs), regional educational agencies (REAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), and schools that improve educational outcomes for all students, close achievement gaps, and improve the quality of instruction. Each RCC works with two to five states individually, while the National Center provides services across all states. The Comprehensive Center Network is working alongside state educational agencies to anticipate needs and plan for multiple return to school scenarios. The National Comprehensive Center has additionally compiled a list of State Plans for Reopening Schools for the 2020-2021 School Year. This list will be updated periodically. States may request support directly from their assigned RCC.

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Last Modified: 09/04/2020