Safer Schools and Campuses Best Practices Clearinghouse Home Page

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona laid out his vision for the direction the Department will follow in 2023 to promote academic excellence, improve learning conditions, and prepare our students for a world where global engagement is critical to our nation’s standing. In his address, Secretary Cardona remarked that “Raise the Bar: Lead the World” is not a list of new priorities but a call to strengthen our will to transform education for the better, building on approaches that we know work in education. Raise the Bar incorporates three pillars and two strategies within each pillar:

  • Achieve Academic Excellence through efforts to accelerate learning for every student and deliver a comprehensive and rigorous education for every student;
  • Boldly Improve Learning Conditions through efforts to eliminate the educator shortage for every school and invest in every student’s mental health and well-being; and
  • Create Pathways for Global Engagement through efforts to ensure every student has a pathway to college and career and provide every student a pathway to multilingualism.

We know that as States and districts pursue the strategies within each pillar, they seek opportunities to share with and learn from each other. The Best Practices Clearinghouse serves as one mechanism for them to do so. The Best Practices Clearinghouse remains focused on student well-being and now aligns that focus with the Raise the Bar pillars.

Over the next year, the Department will provide tools, resources, and assistance to States, districts, and schools to advance the strategies in the Raise the Bar pillars. We invite you as well to submit your best practices related to the Raise the Bar pillars and visit the Best Practices Clearinghouse to find current resources and information on how other States and districts are Raising the Bar to advance educational equity and excellence for all students.

As we move this work forward together, the Department will engage directly with parents and families about what’s working, what’s not, and what they want to see for their children’s education, and we will work to help parents and families be true partners with their child’s school. There has never been a more important time for us to intentionally collaborate so that, together, we can prepare our students to truly thrive.

Raise The Bar, Lead the World Logo

Achieve Academic

The Department supports state and local efforts to accelerate learning and deliver a comprehensive and rigorous education for every student, including through innovative teaching and learning models; high-quality individual and small-group support for students; increased access to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and arts programming; improved funding for education; more equitable student disciplinary practices; and expanded access to out-of-school learning and enrichment programs.

The Department’s YOU Belong in STEM initiative also includes information on how grantees can spend Federal funds to support STEM programming.

Raise The Bar, Lead the World Logo

Boldly Improve
Learning Conditions

The Department supports state and local efforts to eliminate the teacher shortage and invest in every student's mental health and well-being, including by promoting better pay, working conditions, retention strategies, and professional development for educators; increasing student access to school-based mental health professionals; and making available community schools that address holistic student needs.

There are a variety of strategies and best practices for addressing the teacher shortage.

Raise The Bar, Lead the World Logo

Create Pathways
for Global Engagement

The Department supports state and local efforts to create pathways for global competitiveness and engagement by reimagining college and career pathways and providing more and better opportunities for students to become multilingual, including by offering career and college pathways that provide for students to earn industry-recognized credentials and secure in-demand jobs.

The National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition offers a robust collection of resources to support student multilingualism.

Spotlight: Deputy Secretary Cindy Marten Visits Cleveland Metropolitan School District to Learn How it is Raising the Bar on Student Learning

In February 2023, Deputy Secretary Cindy Marten visited with students, staff, and parents in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to spotlight accelerated learning as part of her national Raise the Bar: Lead the World tour. Scroll through the district website to learn about all the district efforts to support student learning needs.

Spotlight: Secretary Cardona and Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy Host Youth Mental Health Town Hall

Secretary Cardona and Surgeon General Murthy speak on the importance of student mental health to academic success and how schools can meaningfully integrate mental health supports into the school day to improve learning conditions.

Jackson State University Twitter Video

Spotlight: Learn How Jackson State University Raises the Bar on Efforts to Eliminate the Educator Shortage for Students in Mississippi

Secretary Cardona learns about how Jackson State University prepares future teachers with real classroom experiences to equip them to succeed and thrive along with their students. Jackson State University Raised the Bar on ensuring a robust teacher pipeline in the state of Mississippi.

Our Mission

To develop, maintain, and continually enhance a Safer Schools and Campuses Best Practices Clearinghouse, per Executive Order (E.O.) 14000 issued by President Biden, that provides collections of lessons from the field in support of students, young children, families, teachers, early childhood providers, faculty, and staff, as schools, early childhood programs, and campuses continue to recover from the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This collection of lessons learned and best practices provides resources to identify and support the needs of all students, and particularly historically disadvantaged students, to ensure that all have access to a high-quality education.

Safe and Open Schools

African American professor teaching her students while wearing protective face mask due to coronavirus pandemic

Safe and Healthy Environments

Learn about school, early childhood program, and campus approaches to implementing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as other strategies for sustaining safe in-person operations with ARP funds. The recovery resources include all grades and ages. Teachers, early childhood providers, faculty, staff, schools, districts, early childhood programs, institutions of higher education, other educational institutions, and States can use these lessons learned, best practices, and Federal and State guidelines to plan and implement health and safety strategies with their local and State governments and community partners.

Student Supports

Elementary age boys and girls sitting at child-size desks and learning arithmetic from encouraging instructor standing at a chalkboard.

Providing Supports to Students, Young Children, and Families

Learn how communities and schools use ARP funds to support the social, emotional, mental health, academic, developmental, and basic needs of all learners. This includes providing access to food and other basic needs, with a specific focus on the most vulnerable learners and ensuring that resources provided by schools and campuses will be able to connect with and meet the needs of those disconnected from learning and those whose communities have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

Educator Supports

African-American male teacher leading discussion group of adults and teens

Teacher, Early Childhood Provider, Faculty, and Staff Well-Being, Professional Development, and Supports

Learn how to better address the well-being and professional needs of teachers, early childhood providers, faculty, and staff, including strategies to address their social, emotional, health, and other needs, with ARP funds. Teachers, early childhood education providers, faculty, staff, schools, districts, institutions of higher education, other places of educational instruction, and States may use these lessons learned, best practices, and Federal resources to create plans of action.