Reopening Washington Schools 2020 District Planning Guide

This guidance is specific to K–12 public and private schools, regardless of what Phase of the
Governor’s Safe Start Plan their county is in. Counties in Phases 1 or 1.5 of the Plan must receive
approval to reopen from their local health authority. Changing health conditions in a county or
region may cause a local health authority or even the Governor to have to reconsider this
opportunity to open, but the primary planning of most districts should be a presumption of a fall
For some of you, in order to meet DOH requirements, your fall opening may be a hybrid face-to-face/online model or any combination of modalities and schedules that meet your local community needs, while also affording all students in your district access to their basic education rights. In addition, every district will need an alternative plan to return to full continuous remote learning in the event you cannot open or a local health authority or the Governor mandates a short- or long term closure after you open. We do not expect that, but a resurgence of COVID-19 is possible if we do not collectively do our parts to limit the spread of the virus.
The guidance provided here is the foundational framework you need to advance your reopening
plans if you have started them or to initiate them with urgency if you have not yet started. I
encourage you to engage your community in your planning efforts and bring many voices to the
table—parents and guardians, students, teachers, nurses, counselors, community-based
organizations, and many others.


Reopening TK-12 Schools for In-Person, On-Site Instruction Preliminary Guidance for School Year 2020-2021

TK-12 schools in San Francisco were closed for in-person instruction in March 2020 due
to concerns about the possibility of COVID-19 transmission in schools. Since then, our understanding of COVID-19 has evolved rapidly. Unlike influenza and other respiratory viruses where children are known to spread infection, children and adolescents do not appear to play a major role in COVID-19 transmission. COVID-19 has mainly spread between adults, or from adults-to-children. Spread of COVID-19 from children to adults, or between children has occurred but has been much less common.
Children, especially younger children, appear to be less likely to become infected or spread. Both
children and adolescents are much less likely to have symptoms or develop severe COVID-19 illness.
Our understanding of how COVID-19 spreads and how to prevent COVID-19 transmission has also increased tremendously. We now have evidence that certain precautions effectively decrease the risk of COVID-19 transmission. By coordinating and layering effective interventions, we can greatly reduce the risk of COVID-19 for students and for adult staff, whose overall risk of COVID-19 is greater than for students, and their families.
The recommendations below are based on the best science available at this time and the current degree of COVID-19 transmission in San Francisco. They are subject to change as new knowledge emerges and as local community transmission changes.


Reset and Restart Education – Planning Guide for Ohio Schools and Districts

This Reset and Restart Education Planning Guide is designed to help schools and their partners understand guidelines and considerations for reopening school buildings during the continued presence of COVID-192 in a way that protects the health and safety of vulnerable members of school communities. Its intention: to spur local-level, partnership-based discussions and decision-making that will result in locally developed Reset and Restart Education Plans.
The planning guide is organized by three distinct, yet connected sections:

  1. Health and Safety Guidelines for Schools to Reopen. This section provides a link to the Ohio Department of Health and State of Ohio guidelines for school buildings to reopen in fall 2020.
  2. Return-to-School CONSIDERATIONS for Local Planning. This section includes considerations to help schools and their partners reopen in the most effective way in fall 2020.
  3. Role CONSIDERATIONS for Associations, Educational Organizations (including Educational Service Centers) and Other State and Community Partners. This section focuses on leveraging the support of partners to implement the health and safety guidelines and return-to-school considerations for local planning.

    Together, these sections offer a comprehensive framework to help schools and partners plan to reopen and ensure each child is challenged to discover and learn, prepared to pursue a fulfilling post-high school path and empowered to become a resilient, lifelong learner who contributes to society.

    It is important to note the health and safety guidelines referred to in this document have been identified by the Ohio Department of Health and are intended to protect Ohioans. The return-to-school considerations outlined later in this guide are not mandatory and were co-designed with educators, educator-related organizations, education advocacy
    organizations, parents and students. In the coming weeks, the Ohio Department of Education will release additional tools and informational documents that also will support the reopening planning process. These will be available on the Ohio Department of Education’s Reset and Restart web page. The Ohio Department of Education will continuously update resources over the coming weeks and months in collaboration with health experts and education stakeholders as new information becomes available.


AASA, The School Superintendents Association, is committed to supporting superintendents and other school district leaders throughout the country during this challenging and unprecedented time. The following report presents a synthesis of the Guidelines for Reopening Schools recommended by superintendents throughout the United States as part of an ongoing AASA task force.
During meetings of the task force, participants shared their own leadership experiences and insights during the COVID-19 crisis and interacted with other superintendents to recommend responses to the following essential questions:
• What are current superintendents thinking about the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on their school districts and communities?
• What are their plans so far for reopening?
• How can we bring consistency and alignment to formulate a set of recommendations to address the multiple issues associated with reopening?
AASA Executive Director Dan Domenech has continually emphasized the need for a clear national plan considering the diverse approaches and conflicting messages evident in states and districts and the multiple contingencies that may arise in light of the COVID-19 crisis. At the same time, he and the other task force participants agree that this unprecedented era represents a startling new time in public education. It provides superintendents, staff, students and families the chance to revitalize education as a public institution and incorporate strategies and processes proven effective in making education for all learners equitable, experiential, engaging and authentic.
Perhaps the most striking outcome of the task force discussions is a universal commitment to
transforming the crisis we are facing into the opportunity to change public education as we know it. As Dan Domenech suggested at the conclusion of the May 13, 2020, task force meeting: This is the beginning of a powerful change in American education. We all agree that we cannot return to business as usual. This can be a watershed point in our history where we succeed in promoting equity and excellence for all learners.
This detailed AASA task force report includes recommendations for addressing the complex range of logistical and financial issues related to reopening. However, it goes beyond the traditional logistics of reopening schools and presents a comprehensive overview of the implications of reopening for transforming public education as we know it, including curriculum, instruction, assessment and professional development implications for educational leaders to consider as we move into the 2020-21 academic year.
AASA will continue to update this report and related resources posted on the AASA website as changes and updates occur at federal, state and local levels. As part of that process, we invite superintendents and staff to share with us their success stories and updates on emerging issues confronting them in this process of reopening and transforming public education.


COVID-19 PREPARED: Reopening of Santa Clara County K-12 Schools – Santa Clara Dept. of Public Health

This document is designed to assist in planning for the safer reopening of schools in Santa Clara
County for the 2020-2021 school year. We recognize the importance of returning students to
school campuses for in-person instruction, as well as the overarching need to protect the health
and safety of our students, school staff, and broader community. The goal of this document is
to help schools plan for and implement measures to reduce COVID-19 transmission in the
school setting, while meeting the educational needs of all students. This document is intended
to be applicable to all K-12 schools, public or private, throughout Santa Clara County.


EDUCATION FORWARD – Reopening Wisconsin Schools Developed by Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Responding to COVID-19 is a tremendous undertaking for schools. Schools
are tasked with re-envisioning educational delivery models in a span of
weeks and adjust practices accordingly. As we look toward the fall, the
safety and health of our students, educators, and families remains of the highest
importance. The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) is providing this guidance
to aid in school districts’ decision making as they look to build educational services
and supports in a COVID-19 environment.

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction is committed to every student receiving an equitable education—regardless of learning environment—so all students have the skills, habits, and dispositions to graduate career and college ready. As we prepare to return to school, we must begin with strengthening relationships, focusing on equity, and supporting the overall well-being of Wisconsin’s students, families, school staff, nations, and communities.
These are the essential elements that never change.
While COVID-19 impacts us all, it has been shown to disproportionately impact Black, Native, and Hispanic/Latinx communities. Therefore, collaborating with families, community-based organizations, local health organizations, and local businesses to ensure schools are ready and able to provide holistic support for all students.


COVID-19 INDUSTRY GUIDANCE: Schools and School-Based Programs – California Dept. of Health

Communities across the state are preparing for the forthcoming school year. To assist
with that planning process, the following guidelines and considerations are intended
to help school and community leaders plan and prepare to resume in-person
This guidance is interim and subject to updates. These guidelines and considerations
are based on the best available public health data at this time, international best
practices currently employed, and the practical realities of managing school
operations; as new data and practices emerge. Additionally, the guidelines and
considerations do not reflect the full scope of issues that school communities will need
to address, which range from day-to-day site-based logistics to the social and
emotional well-being of students and staff.


MARYLAND’S RECOVERY PLAN FOR EDUCATION – Covid 19 Response and the Path Forward

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and state of emergency declared by Governor Larry Hogan, Maryland schools have been closed since March 16, 2020, and will be closed through the end of the 2019-2020 school year. There is an understanding that education as we know it today will be changed tremendously in numerous unprecedented ways. It is incumbent upon educational leaders to begin taking concrete steps to restore, reconstruct, and re-design
education as we know it today. The COVID-19 pandemic has in many ways changed our educational, economic, societal, and everyday way of life. As a result, we are now faced with an extraordinary challenge that will require the deployment of our individual and collective expertise to address the needs of students, families, staff, faculty, and school communities. Now is the time for each and every one of us to show conviction and courage in the decisions that are
made, based upon historic changes not only in the state of Maryland, but also worldwide.


Initial Fall School Reopening Guidance – Massachusetts Dept. of Education

With this memo, we are providing districts and schools with initial guidance on reopening for the
fall. In this guidance, we:
• Clearly state our goal for this fall: the safe return of as many students as possible to
in-person school settings, to maximize learning and address our students’ holistic
needs. If the current positive public health metrics hold, we believe that by following
critical health requirements, we can safely return to in-person school.
• Provide a clear set of health and safety requirements for in-person learning this fall,
grounded in the most up-to-date scientific literature and discussions with expert
medical advisors. While subject to revision as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves and
more scientific evidence becomes available, these requirements will serve as an initial
planning blueprint for the in-person return of students and staff this fall.
• Require districts and schools to prepare a reopening plan that addresses three
possible learning models for this fall: in-person learning with new safety requirements,
a hybrid of in-person and remote learning, and the continuation of remote learning (to
ensure continuity of learning throughout the school year, even if circumstances change).
Schools will also need a focused plan for special student populations. Districts and
schools will be required to submit a comprehensive reopening plan to the Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) in August that addresses these three
models. More information will follow shortly.
• Outline the future guidance and other supports that DESE will provide in the
coming weeks.


ROADMAP FOR REOPENING SCHOOLS JUNE 2020 – Arizona Dept. of Education

This document presents several strategies and considerations intended to provide public and
private schools, local educational agencies (LEAs), guidance in preparing for and conducting a
successful re-entry into School Year 2020-2021. Because experts are continuing to learn more
about COVID-19 and the conditions surrounding the crisis are continually evolving, this
guidance will likely change, be amended, or augmented. LEAs should coordinate with local
authorities, such as state and local health departments, health centers, consulting physicians,
and health-care providers, and apply this guidance in accordance with the guidance they
receive from these stakeholders. LEAs should always adhere to the most recent
recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Local contingency plans are only effective through a collaborative effort by all community
stakeholders, as school communities move forward together to embrace the new normal of
conducting school operations during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. These guidelines are
not designed to be prescriptive but seek to provide LEAs with parameters and options as they
develop their own contingency plans using local health trends and statewide data.
Procedures outlined within this document are based on recommendations from federal and
state resources, collaborative partners, and institutional best practices, and are not, unless
otherwise indicated, required by statute or regulation. Some LEAs will not be able to address or
implement all the strategies included. Each LEA should use this document as a guide and
consult with district or school counsel and all relevant stakeholders to determine which
procedures the LEA is able to address and the best way to proceed.
We recognize the need for uniform parameters and considerations that are specific enough to
be actionable, but broad enough to be adaptable. This guide will be revised and updated
regularly as more data and resources become available.