Safer Schools and Campuses Best Practices Clearinghouse Home Page

Since Day One, the Biden-Harris Administration has worked aggressively to safely reopen schools, help students recover academically, and support their mental health and well-being. President Biden knew that a once-in-a generation pandemic would have a once-in-a-generation impact on our nation’s students. This year’s National Assessment of Educational Progress results show the impact on our students and should be a rallying cry to local, State, and national leaders to redouble their efforts to support learning recovery. The results also show how critical the Administration’s work was and continues to be to get and keep students back in classrooms and to get American Rescue Plan (ARP) dollars into communities to accelerate academic recovery and provide mental health and other supports to students.

ARP provided an unprecedented investment in America’s preschool through 12th-grade (PreK-12) schools to help them safely reopen and remain open for in-person learning and to provide the academic, mental health, and social and emotional support that students, educators, and schools need to recover from the pandemic.

ARP included $122 billion for PreK-12 schools in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) funds, as well as an additional $8 billion to States and school districts to meet the needs of certain student populations, including over $3 billion for students with disabilities and $800 million for children and youth experiencing homelessness.

Across the country, we already see the significant impact ARP has on schools and communities. Since its passage, States, school districts, and schools have used these funds to safely reopen and sustain in-person instruction, support academic learning, and address student mental health needs. To help deploy funds strategically, States and school districts have been engaging with their communities — including parents, families, community groups, and educators — to develop the best plan for their schools.

The U.S. Department of Education remains committed to academic recovery efforts. To learn more about the promising practices helping students across the country, keep scrolling!

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.

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.

Principal Spotlight: Nolan Elementary, Signal Mountain, TN

From expanding the school day to providing interventions and personalized tutoring, Principal Ashley Aldridge Wilson’s school used American Rescue Plan funds to address pandemic-related learning loss by meeting students’ specific academic needs.

Spotlight: Deputy Secretary Cindy Marten’s Call to Action

At the kickoff event for Raising the Bar: Literacy and Math Series, Deputy Secretary Cindy Marten provided closing remarks and a call to action in support of accelerated learning in math and literacy and highlighted four additional forthcoming sessions in this series to share best practices and resources to help students succeed.

Principal Spotlight: Beech Hill Elementary School, Summerville, SC

Principal Rene Harris’ school used American Rescue Plan funds for math and literary coaches who work with both teachers and parents to support students’ academic recovery at school and at home.

National Partnership for Student Success Logo

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Implementation Stories

National Partnership for Student Success (NPSS)

NPSS is a cross-sector connector focused on helping national, State, and local student support efforts. The NPSS focuses on five categories of evidence-based student supports: postsecondary transition coaches, academic tutors, high-quality mentors, student success coaches, and wraparound/integrated student support coordinators.

Research shows that these five evidence-based student supports can meet the needs of students across the country and lead to gains in reading and math, high school and college graduation rates, reductions in chronic absenteeism, and improved student well-being and mental health.

Engage Every Student logo

An illustration of the text Engage Every Student on a yellow background above the text Student. All text is on a dark blue background

Innovative Spotlight

Engage Every Student Initiative

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona launched the Engage Every Student initiative on July 14, 2022. With support from five coordinating partners and more than 20 allied organizations, this initiative aims to ensure that every student can access a spot in a high-quality out-of-school-time program.

From the Engage Every Student home page, scroll down to the Technical Assistance section to learn how to get support for your specific entity (child, school, district, or State).

Supporting Recovery with Evidence-Based Practices banner

An image of an apple on a stack of books with the text Supporting Recovery with Evidence-Based Practices. IES is the nation's premier source for research, evaluation and statistics that can help educators, policymakers and stakeholders improve outcomes for all students.

Federal, State & Local Resources

Institute of Education Sciences (IES): Supporting Recovery with Evidence-Based Practices

IES hosts an online repository of research, resources, and tools that are grounded in evidence and that support States, districts, schools, and postsecondary institutions in improving student outcomes.

The Website includes resources focused on the foundations of evidence-based practice, afterschool and out-of-school-time learning, and data science education, as well as a suite of resources from the What Works Clearinghouse.