New Resources on the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) for Education Agencies
Thank you for all that you have done to support your school(s) and the communities that schools serve during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your dedication is evident, and we are very grateful that education agencies — public and nonpublic, K-12 and higher ed, and local, state, and regional — have risen to the occasion in response and continuity efforts. The U.S. Department of Education (the Department) Office of Safe and Supportive Schools (OSSS) and its REMS TA Center have been providing many supports to education agencies as they prepare for and engage in continuity, response, and recovery efforts related to the pandemic. As you continue to promote communication so that education agencies can stay current with and adapt to the new information and science as they become available, please know that the following REMS TA Center resources are available for your training, technical assistance, and communication needs:
- New COVID-19 Web page: Find guidance, resources, training, and tools in one centralized location on COVID-19 and infectious disease planning activities. This page is updated on a regular basis in order to provide you with the most up-to-date information. We encourage you to bookmark this page and check in daily: https://rems.ed.gov/coronavirus.aspx
- New COVID-19 forum: Access and share resources, tools, questions, and information specific to COVID-19 on the REMS TA Center Community of Practice (CoP), a virtual space for education agencies to collaborate and learn from the experiences of others in the field. We encourage you to bookmark the CoP and log in daily: https://rems.ed.gov/COP/REMSCOPforum/topics.aspx?ForumID=161
- New COVID-19 publication titled “Ensuring Continuity of Teaching and Learning During Prolonged Absences, Dismissals, and Closures”: Read about continuity of operations annexes, key considerations for continuity of teaching and learning, and educator tools to support distance education. We encourage you to download, read, and share this publication with your colleagues: https://rems.ed.gov/docs/COOPTAonContinuityofTeaching_and_Learning_COVID19.pdf
As a reminder, information on the Department’s activities and efforts related to COVID-19 may be found on ed.gov/coronavirus, and questions may be sent to the dedicated email address email@example.com. Additionally, OSSS has many TA Centers, such as the Title IV Part A TA Center and the National Student Attendance, Engagement, and Success Center. As always, the REMS TA Center is here for any of your technical assistance needs, as well, at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on COVID-19 and the efforts across the Federal government, please visit the following Websites: coronavirus.gov, cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html, and usa.gov/coronavirus.
More Infectious Disease Planning Resources
Has COVID-19 illuminated gaps in your Infectious Disease Annex? The REMS TA Center offers several free products and services that can support you through your annex development, revision, maintenance, and implementation activities. Check them out, and share them with a colleague — or, even better — your entire school safety and emergency management planning team!
- School EOPs In-Depth: Planning for Infectious Diseases Online Course: Create a profile, and get started with this 30- to 45-minute virtual training on infectious disease planning. Designed to help you learn how to incorporate infectious disease planning into a school emergency operations plan (EOP), it allows you to take notes and download job aids, checklists, and reference guides as you navigate through informative course modules.
- Infectious Disease Planning Specialized Training Package: Download this package on infectious disease planning to support your professional development and training efforts — online or in person. Designed as a 60-minute module, it contains a training presentation with speakers notes, instructions, and a resource list. The target audience for this training includes anyone who may have a role in creating or enacting an Infectious Disease Annex and/or anyone who participates in the school EOP planning process, including state and school district emergency planning officials, school staff, community partners, and first responders.
- Emergency Exercises Package: Download this package to test your plans for an infectious disease outbreak and/or power outage via tabletop exercises, which were designed to last approximately 60 minutes each. This package contains a brief introduction to the exercises, a tabletop exercise scenario in a podcast form with accompanying script, links for more information on related topics, and instructions on how to complete the exercises. The target audience for these tabletop exercises includes anyone who may have a role or responsibility in developing protocols for, or responding to, an emergency at any level of K-12 education. This includes administrators, planning teams, response teams, or community partners, such as law enforcement, the fire department, or local emergency management agency.
Topic-Specific Resources Hub
Did you know that the REMS TA Center has over 20 Web pages dedicated to various topics in school emergency management planning and that house free resources, products, and services from the Department, the REMS TA Center, and Federal partners? We call this section of our Website the “Topic-Specific Resources Hub” and invite you to explore every page, which is organized according to its topical category.