9.2.21 CCSSO Coronavirus Update

USED Lost Instructional Time

  • USED releases Lost Instructional Time resource. See the Federal Resources and Advocacy section for more information.
  • The Learning Policy Institute released numerous Safe School Reopening resources. See the Other Resources section for more information.
  • IES Director Releases Blog on Use of ARP Funds. See the Federal Resources and Advocacy section for more information.
  • CCSSO’s ESSER Use of Funds discussions will move to every other week. Check out the CCSSO Resources section below for details and to update your calendar.
  • Strategies for Leveraging Schools as Vaccination Sites: A group of researchers and education practitioners have created a new issue brief and will co-host a webinar on innovative strategies for leveraging schools as COVID-19 vaccination sites. Check out the Other Resources section below.

There are many more updates provided below, including news from KY, MN, OR and WI. Here are this week’s updates as of 5 p.m. ET on Thursday, September 2:

CCSSO Resources

  • ESSER Use of Funds Discussion: CCSSO will move to host bi-weekly open discussions on Thursdays, 2-3 pm EST, to respond to states’ questions on ESSER uses of funds and grant management considerations. Please use this this Zoom link (same link as previous ones) to join and feel free to forward to other members of your state agency.
    • There will not be a call next week, 9/9 and we are rescheduling the Thursday, 9/16 one to Friday, 9/17 from 2-3 EST. Please use the same link hyperlinked above. The next ESSER Use of Funds Discussion will focus on the July 2021 Compliance Supplement, including discussion of key provisions like instructions for auditors on ESSER time and effort requirements. Please feel free to send questions in advance to Zamora@ccsso.org
    • Today we discussed initiatives states are launching with state ESSER funds to support and promote students’ mental health, social emotional learning, and overall well-being. Please see here for the recording and PP slides. (Please email communications@ccsso.org if you need to be granted access.)
  • Deputies Network Calls: CCSSO Deputies are invited to attend our continued series of peer networking calls with the Deputies Network. Please mark your calendars for future Deputies calls listed below.  All calls will use the same Zoom link, and if required, the password is Deputy21!
    • Thursday, September 9 at 3:00 p.m. ET
    • Thursday, October 7 at 3:00 p.m. ET
    • Thursday, October 21 at 3:00 p.m. ET
  • CCSSO’s Inclusive Leadership Webisode: CCSSO’s next inclusive leadership webisodeBuilding a Culture for ‘All’ for Inclusive Schoolswill highlight the theory of action, evidence-based design principles, and lessons learned from the All Means All School Leadership Program. The co-founders of the program, Ben Marcovitz and Lindsay Kruse, will be joined by two leaders currently in the program who will share how inclusive practices are shaping their schools’ ability to serve all students well—and students with disabilities in particular. Join us on Thursday,16 at 2 p.m. ET, learn more and register for this webisode here.
  • CCSSO Annual Policy Forum Save the Date: Chiefs and senior state education agency leaders should save the date for CCSSO’s next annual member meeting, the Annual Policy Forum on November 8-10, 2021 in Orlando, FL.  The Annual Policy Forum this year will be focused on Response and Recovery.  Attendance this year will be limited to chiefs and up to two additional senior leaders from each state and registration information will be sent out in early September. As part of state membership, CCSSO covers the travel, lodging, and expenses for all chief state school officers to participate in the Annual Policy Forum, and states cover the travel costs for additional state leaders attending. If you have questions about the Annual Policy Forum, please contact Millar@ccsso.org.

 State Updates

  • KY Guidance on Hybrid Schedules for Public Schools: The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) released a new guidance document, Guidance for Offering a Hybrid Performance-Based Schedule, to support districts in implementing a hybrid schedule for grades 5-12 by utilizing their board’s policy on performance-based courses. Districts may use a hybrid schedule at the request of students and families as an additional COVID-19 mitigation strategy to assist with social distancing.
  • MN Launches Statewide System to Support Student Learning Recovery: The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) announced a new statewide system, called COMPASS, to support learning recovery as students head into another school year that is impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. COMPASS, which stands for Collaborative Minnesota Partnerships to Advance Student Success, aims to accelerate learning by meeting students’ academic, social-emotional and mental health needs as Minnesota school communities continue to navigate the pandemic.
  • OR Prioritizes Care and Connection: As the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) is welcoming staff and students back to school, they are devoting the first weeks of the school year to building relationships and community and creating welcoming spaces for everyone. During Care and Connection Week and beyond, the ODE is asking school administrators to provide staff, educators and students with permission and ample time to build care, connection and community with you, with each other, and with students. learn more and explore their tools here.
  • WI Allocates $10.9 Million to Support Mental Health Resources: The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s Student Services/Prevention and Wellness team recently distributed $10.9 million to support student mental health and Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse programs in schools. After completing an internal and external review process, the DPI awarded $10,008,828 in School-Based Mental Health Services Grants to 153 applicants, representing 144 individual public-school districts, eight consortiums, and three charter schools. Funding will be used to provide additional support and mental health resources to students, in collaboration with community health agencies.

 Federal Resources and Advocacy

  • USED Releases Lost Instructional Time Resource: On Wednesday, September 1 USED published guidance on lost instructional time during the pandemic. To learn more, click here. The guidance document is attached.
  • IES Director Releases Blog on Use of ARP Funds: On Tuesday, August 31 Mark Schnieder, the Director of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), released a blog outlining the current and upcoming IES investments in education research around COVID-19 related learning loss funded by the $100 million IES received through the American Rescue Plan. To read the blog, click here.
  • USED Announces Approval of Five More ARP Plans: USED announced the approval of Connecticut, Illinois, Alaska and Louisiana and Minnesota’s state ARP plans and released their remaining ARP ESSER funds. Congratulations! USED has now approved 34 State ARP plans.
  • USED OCR Investigates Five States over Masking Mandates: On Monday, August 30 USED’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) opened direct investigations in Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah exploring whether statewide prohibitions on universal indoor masking discriminates against immunocompromised students with disabilities by preventing them from safely accessing in-person education. To learn more, click here. You can see many of the state responses in this Education Week article.
  • IES Releases 2021-2022 School Year Data: On Friday, August 27 the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) released a National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) report highlighting valuable K-12 school and higher education data from the 2021-2022 school year. Please note that most of the data was collected before the COVID-19 pandemic. To read the blog, click here.
  • President Biden Proclaims August 26 Women’s Equality Day: On Thursday, August 26, President Biden proclaimed the date Women’s Equality Day. To read President Biden’s remarks, click here.

 Other Resources

  • Innovative Strategies for Leveraging Schools as Vaccination Sites Issue Brief: The Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, the COVID Collaborative, the Council of the Great City Schools, AASA: The School Superintendents Association, the National Rural Education Association, and the Rural Schools Collaborative have released a new issue brief, “Innovative Strategies for Leveraging Schools as COVID-19 Vaccination Sites.”  This issue brief features case examples of innovative district-level approaches for engaging families and increasing access to COVID-19 vaccines and key takeaways for school leaders. They also will co-host a webinar to share promising approaches to school-located COVID-19 vaccination events, strategies for engaging families and communities to build vaccine confidence, and key lessons learned. The webinar will take place on Friday, September 10, from 1:30-2:30 pm ET. To view the agenda, click here and to register, please click here.
  • Learning Policy Institute Safe School Reopening Resources: The Learning Policy Institute (LPI) is has released several new resources:
    • Resources for Reopening Schools website: Using this regularly updated website, LPI is continuing to prioritize providing the field with access to a hub of curated health and safety resources, including profiles of districts that have reopened safely, research, guidance, news updates, and information on hot topics, including vaccines.
    • Back to School: Lessons Learned About Safe School Reopening: This blog emphasizes the continuing importance of multi-layered mitigation strategies for ensuring that students can safely return to—and remain in—in-person learning this fall. It also highlights critical lessons learned from the past 18 months of pandemic schooling, which has shown what works for supporting a safe return to school: multilayered mitigation strategies; actively engaging families and staff to cultivate trust and buy-in; and prioritizing not only the physical safety of students and staff, but their social-emotional safety as well.
    • Tulsa Public Schools: Prioritizing Physical, Social, and Emotional Safety to Support Reopening and Recovery: This brief describes reopening efforts in Tulsa Public Schools, which stands out as a district that developed a nimble reopening strategy to respond to changing conditions. The district managed its COVID-19 recovery process by implementing school-level social and emotional learning and wellness initiatives, opening a new virtual academy, and introducing extensive summer and before- and after-school programming, drawing significant support from federal COVID-19 relief dollars. Similar to other districts we have profiled for their safe reopening efforts, Tulsa’s reopening strategy leveraged strong partnerships and implementation of evidence-based COVID-19 mitigation protocols, including universal masking, testing, and contact tracing.
  • Real Talk: Taking NOTE of Learning Challenges in the New School Year (Virtual Town Hall Discussion): On Thursday, Sept. 9 at 10 a.m. ET, Understood, with the American Academy of Pediatrics, UnidosUS, and 2021 National Teacher of the Year Juliana Urtubey, will help get these conversations started in a free, virtual Town Hall forum. The event will be live-streamed via Understood’s YouTube channel and syndicated across its Facebook page. The event, available in both English and Spanish, will feature discussions with parents, pediatricians, teachers, and experts about how to address academic and emotional challenges that may arise this school year, and ways to make it a positive experience for all. Learn more and register here.
  • Seek Common Ground Family Guides: Seek Comme Ground (SCG), the innovation incubator that supports state and community facing organizations pursuing equitable and sustainable education policies, announced the release of Family Guides for grades K-5 in English and Spanish. The Family Guides were created with mathematics and English Language Arts experts at Student Achievement Partners (SAP), an organization dedicated to improving student achievement through actions grounded in research and evidence. The Guides are designed to help parents, grandparents, caregivers, friends — anyone helping a child learn during the Covid-19 pandemic. The final guides are available on Seek Common Ground’s website, in English here and in Spanish here.