Safe and Healthy Environments

Schools, early childhood programs, and campuses have risen to the challenge of rapidly adjusting educational environments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in an effort to help protect the health and safety of students, young children, families and caregivers, teachers, early childhood providers, faculty, staff, and the surrounding community. As schools, early childhood programs, and campuses continue to work through the reopening process in collaboration with their community partners, it remains important for practitioners and policy makers to follow the most up-to-date protocols and guidelines for maintaining physical distancing, disinfecting, and sanitizing; implementing proper ventilation, testing, and quarantining; and following other safety measures. This will be an important step to helping ensure a smooth transition from distance learning to full in-person learning or hybrid instruction. Proper precautions and mitigation strategies will remain essential in keeping students, young children, families, teachers, early childhood providers, faculty, and staff healthy and safe during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Image of a teacher wearing a mask in a school hallway crossing his arms

Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 for School Administrators | CDC

These updated frequently asked questions provide important information for school administrators related to vaccinations; masks; physical distancing; testing and screening; close contacts, contact tracing, and quarantine; isolation; sports and activities; mealtime; ventilation; cases, clusters, and outbreaks; community transmission; and funding. Bookmark this page for convenience to learn about any updates to these critical issues regarding safe physical facilities for teachers, students, and school staff.

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Health and Safety in Our Schools

This Web page outlines the comprehensive health and safety measures being taken by the New York City Department of Education for the 2021-2022 school year, including information on vaccinations, quarantine procedures, school visitor policy, and outdoor learning experiences.

The resources on this page share school, early childhood program, and campus approaches to implementing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) recommended mitigation strategies on preparing for and sustaining in-person operations safely. The resources include recommendations across all grade and age levels, with a focus both on reopening buildings for the first time and on keeping them open safely. Teachers, early childhood providers, faculty, staff, schools, districts, early childhood programs, institutions of higher education, other places of educational instruction, and States may use these lessons learned, best practices, and Federal and State guidelines to plan and implement reopening strategies in collaboration with their local and State governments and community partners.

Return to School roadmap

Return to School roadmap with five circles and one star. The first circle includes a white cross in a red circle icon to represent vaccinations ages 12 plus. The second circle includes a sun icon to represent summer learning. The thrid circle includes a school icon representing safely reopen schools. The fourth circle includes a brain icon to represent mental health support. The fifth circle represents address lost instructional time. And the star includes another school icon.

Landmark 1: Prioritize the Health and Safety of Students, School Personnel, and Families on the U.S. Department of Education’s Return to School Roadmap provides many resources for ensuring student and staff safety at school, along with examples from the field.

Additionally, the Biden Administration has prioritized COVID-19 vaccinations for educators, teachers, and staff, with the goal of vaccinating millions of Americans each day. The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program is designed to help rapidly vaccinate the American public through community partnerships with local pharmacies and plays an integral role in achieving the goal of keeping educators, teachers, and staff safe.

Submit Your Lessons Learned and Best Practices

Have a lessons learned or best practice that focuses on helping to ensure safe and healthy learning environments 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.

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.