Safe and Healthy Environments

Schools, early childhood programs, and campuses rose to the challenge of rapidly adjusting educational environments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic 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 collaborate with community partners to keep their communities safe, it remains important for practitioners and policymakers to follow the most up-to-date protocols and guidelines for maintaining health and safety standards such as disinfecting, sanitizing, implementing proper ventilation, and following other safety measures. This remains an important step to helping ensure safe and healthy in-person learning environments. Proper precautions and mitigation strategies will remain foundational for keeping students, young children, families, teachers, early childhood providers, faculty, and staff healthy and safe in their learning environments.

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 for sustaining safe in-person operations. The resources include recommendations across all grade and age levels, with a focus on recovering from the pandemic. 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 health and safety strategies in collaboration with their local and State governments and community partners.

Image of teacher playing with cheerful children at kindergarten

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Operational Guidance for K-12 Schools and Early Care and Education Programs to Support Safe In-Person Learning

Schools and early care and education (ECE) programs are an important part of the infrastructure of communities as they provide safe, supportive learning environments for students and children and enable parents and caregivers to be at work. Schools and ECE programs like Head Start also provide critical services that help to mitigate health disparities, such as school lunch programs and social, physical, behavioral, and mental health services. This updated guidance can help K-12 schools and ECE programs remain open and help their administrators support safe, in-person learning while reducing the spread of COVID-19.

Illustration of two masked mothers with their children at the school vaccination clinic

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Customizable Content for School-Located Vaccination Clinics

This Web page includes customizable letters, newsletters, and social media content to inform parents, school principals, and healthcare providers about upcoming school-located vaccination clinics.

Illustration of a teen boy getting vaccinated by a doctor while his mother waits

COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens | CDC

This comprehensive Web page provides up-to-date information about COVID-19 vaccines for children and teens, including current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, how to find a vaccine, how to talk to children and teens about COVID-19 vaccines, and research supporting vaccine safety.

New York City Department of Education Logo

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 2022-2023 school year, including information on vaccinations, quarantine procedures, school visitor policy, and outdoor learning experiences.

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 as students and educators continue to recover from the 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 that focuses on helping to ensure safe and healthy learning environments as students and educators continue to recover from the 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.