As COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to impact the day-to-day operations of schools, charter schools—particularly single-site schools without close ties to a management organization or school district—may need additional help or resources. Schools aren’t just places of learning, but oftentimes sources of food, afterschool care, health care, and other resources that are critical to vulnerable families, especially as many adults may be forced out of work temporarily. The National Alliance is here to help in any way we can, in partnership with state charter support organizations. And for those of you who have relationships with charter schools in your area, please reach out to find out if there are ways you can help them.
In addition to the resources below, the National Alliance has compiled a growing set of resources for state charter school organizations and charter school leaders. The resources include official guidance from education and health agencies, resources for remote and distance learning, sample letters and communications materials as well as resources from state associations, schools, and other education-related organizations from around the country.
Where can I find information about the coronavirus relief legislation passed by Congress?
- The National Alliance hosted a webinar examining what the CARES Act means for charter schools. The recording and PowerPoint presentation are available online.
Can charter schools access low- or no-cost loan programs through SBA?
- The National Alliance has information about the loan programs available to charter schools, including eligibility requirements.
- The Small Business Administration's COVID-19 page has information about its programs, including debt relief.
What can I do to ensure my students are getting fed?
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture built a webpage compiling all available information about their nutrition programs.
- The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) and The School Superintendents Association released a new resource for school superintendents about the two options — the Summer Food Service Program and the Seamless Summer Option —available for schools to receive funding to serve meals and snacks when schools are closed.
- Hoonuit built a school meal finder tool. Find meal sites closest to you during school closures here. (as of 3/25 the site includes data for Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, California Louisiana, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Virginia)
Where can I find resources to help develop plans to educate students with disabilities?
- The National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools shares resources on how to better serve students with disabilities.
- The Department of Education answered questions on how to provide services to children with disabilities. On March 21, the Department issued updated guidance clarifying that while federal law mandates that students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in everything schools provide, including online learning, districts have flexibility in reaching that goal and that federal law should not be used to prevent schools from offering online learning.
How can I protect and support my staff?
- The U.S. Department of Labor has resources to help inform employers.
How can I ensure school closures do not increase educational inequities?
- The Education Trust focuses on educational equity and how to help students during school closures.
- School House Connection has put together a resource guide for schools to proactively and intentionally incorporate outreach to homeless families and unaccompanied youth.
- The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness offers an FAQ on supporting students experiencing homelessness.
- The American Bar Association has a list of at-home and learning resources for foster youth.
How can I protect my students' privacy and civil rights in situations that affect the health or safety of students or other individuals?
- The Department of Education offers guidance about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and COVID-19.
- The Department of Education produced a fact sheet about protecting students' civil rights during COVID-19.
How can students have access to high-quality learning resources at home?
- This TNTP blog offers strategies and resources to help with planning for school districts.
- Instruction Partners provides action steps to prepare for continued student learning.
- EdSurge has 10 tips on how to prepare to take school online.
- The team at We Are Teachers compiled a list of free resources for teaching virtually.
- The National School Choice Week team has compiled resources for schools shifting online.
- Emerson Collective has provided a list of online learning resources to support students here.
- The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) has a quick start guide to implementing homeschool. Watch an HSLDA consultant share tips.
- Medium shares advice from a pioneer from the Charter School Growth Fund on transitioning to online instruction. See their approach to instruction during school closures here.
- Code.org allows students to learn how to code—even without a computer. Lear more here.
- The Barbara Bush Foundation put together a home school toolkit.
- Learning Heroes provides parents with tools to teach at home.
- The team at Prepared Parents developed a guide that helps families create new stay-at-home routines.
- The National Summer Learning Association has compiled a list of resources programs and families. Learn more here.
- Common Sense Media is leading an initiative at WideOpenSchool.org for educators and families with material from companies including Scholastic, Khan Academy, PBS, and Sesame Workshop.
What distance learning platforms are available to my school and students at no cost?
- Newsela is offering its entire product suite, free of charge, to all districts and teachers through the end of the school year.
- Great Minds—the group behind Eureka Math and Wit & Wisdom (ELA)—is offering free daily video lessons of all their programs starting on Wednesday, March 18.
- The New York City Department of Education’s Learn at Home website has resources for students of all ages.
- Zearn, a top-tier math program, has resources for districts, teachers, and parents.
- Khan Academy offers guides for teachers and parents and will offer daily live streams for students, teachers, and parents navigating school closures.
What ways can the coronavirus impact state assessments and accountability systems?
- The Office of School and Secondary Education has a fact sheet discussing potential implications.
How do I discuss the coronavirus with children?
- The CDC provides tips on how parents, school staff and others working with children should explain the topic.
- The National Child Traumatic Stress Network provided a guide to help families cope with COVID-19.
What can charter schools do before, during and after a pandemic?
- The CDC has created a pandemic flu checklist for K-12 school administrators.
- The CDC offers guidance for schools and child care centers, including a school closure decision tree.
How can charter schools help prevent the introduction and spread of the coronavirus?
- The Department of Education provides information on what schools can do.
Where else can I go for more information?
- The PIE Network will regularly update the resources listed on this page for Districts, Schools, & Educators and Families.
- Charter School Capital is hosting a webinar series on COVID-19 featuring expert presenters.
- Save the Children provides resources to support parents, caregivers, teachers, and school administrators.
- KIPP created an open-source repository of resources, templates, guidelines to help support staff, students and families.
- ExcelinEd has a map and database with state-by-state updates on actions education systems have taken in response to COVID-19.
- Chiefs for Change have listed resources for education system leaders.
- Education Week maps all school closures by state.
- CommonLit is hosting virtual webinars to make digital learning easier.
- Your state's charter support organization is a great place to turn to for more information.