PreK-12 Schools

Students constantly achieve new milestones in their academic and social emotional development. Schools and educators, along with families and caregivers, play a critical role in guiding students to these milestones and celebrating with students as they continue to grow and learn. Schools, and all places of educational instruction, serve as hubs of learning, development, socializing, and enrichment for their students.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted schooling for countless students, causing extended building closures, and adjusted learning environments, requiring educators, administrators, staff, and students to adjust the ways they teach, learn, and participate in PreK-12 education. Elementary schools through high schools — regardless of student makeup or geographical location — have all worked tirelessly to ensure that students have the tools, resources, and necessities they need to succeed in their studies in these challenging times. As schools continue to reopen and stay open, educators and school staff must work in collaboration with community partners to continually identify and meet students’ safety, social, emotional, mental health, academic, financial, and other needs. This work will remain, particularly for students from historically underserved communities, and it is crucial for all students’ academic and social emotional development to address gaps that existed but have been made worse by the pandemic.

Middle-school students in a classroom wearing masks

The resources on this page offer information for supporting students; maintaining safe and healthy environments; and helping to ensure teacher and staff well-being, professional development, and supports. As we know that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on specific communities, these resources contain a specific focus on supporting the students furthest from opportunity and most likely to be negatively impacted by the pandemic. Teachers, faculty, staff, schools, districts, other places of educational instruction, and States may use these best practices and lessons learned to inform their strategies for responding to student and family needs throughout the ongoing school building reopening process.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to include adolescents 12 through 15 years of age. The FDA has determined that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has met the statutory criteria to amend the EUA, and that the known and potential benefits of this vaccine in individuals 12 years of age and older outweigh the known and potential risks, supporting the vaccine’s use in this population.

Additional information on other vaccination emergency approvals is forthcoming and will be updated by the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as appropriate.

Submit Your Lessons Learned and Best Practices

Have a lessons learned or best practice for operating PreK-12 schools and school districts safely during the COVID-19 pandemic? Visit the Best Practices Submission page to view details on submission requirements, and then e-mail Bestpracticesclearinghouse@ed.gov to share your lessons learned or best practice.

Provide Feedback

Have feedback to share on a resource accessed on the Clearinghouse site? We want to hear from you. Select the button below to share your feedback with the U.S. Department of Education and the Clearinghouse team.

Regional Educational Laboratory West, “Strategies for Educators to Support the Social and Emotional Needs of Students Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Demand for Racial Justice: Plans for Reopening Schools”

In this webinar, panelists share evidence and information about social and emotional competencies that educators can use to restore and rebuild conditions of success for students upon reopening. Using a trauma-informed lens, panelists provide strategies for: creating safe and supportive school environments, promoting family and community communication and collaboration, and fostering collective care.

Boys & Girls Club of Malibu,
“Addressing Students’ Social Emotional and Mental Health Needs”

Learn about the work that the Boys & Girls Club of Malibu is doing to support students and families.

Submit Your Lessons Learned and Best Practices

Have a lessons learned or best practice for operating PreK-12 schools and school districts safely during the COVID-19 pandemic? Visit the Best Practices Submission page to view details on submission requirements, and then e-mail Bestpracticesclearinghouse@ed.gov to share your lessons learned or best practice.

Provide Feedback

Have feedback to share on a resource accessed on the Clearinghouse site? We want to hear from you. Select the button below to share your feedback with the U.S. Department of Education and the Clearinghouse team.