The Texas School Safety Center has been closely monitoring the status of COVID-19. The link above will provide Texas educators with updates regarding statewide training, data collection requirements, and efforts to support schools during this time. We will continue to post updates to this page as the situation evolves. We have also created a COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) webpage to address the most commonly requested resources and information from the Center during this crisis. We acknowledge that schools are navigating an unprecedented situation, while trying to maintain instructional continuity and provide basic needs to Texas students. Your leadership through this time is commendable and helping to ensure the public health of our communities.
The TxSSC has transitioned to telework for the safety of all staff. During this period, our staff will be working remotely and continue to be available to assist schools through this difficult time. For questions or support, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and your questions will be routed to the appropriate staff or resource.
Mandatory Drills for Schools
As required by TEC Sec. 37.114, the Commissioner, in coordination with the Texas School Safety Center and State Fire Marshal, has adopted rules for mandatory school drills for public school districts and open-enrollment charter schools. The TxSSC has updated the Drill and Exercise Toolkit and the Drill Guidance Document. The current version of the Drill Guidance Document has considerations on how to prepare and conduct drills during COVID-19.
View the Drill Guidance Document
Hurricane Quick Reference Guide
Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30, and for Texas schools that may be impacted, it requires planning and preparation on top of COVID-19. TxSSC and TEA have developed a Hurricane Quick Reference Guide to assist administrators with a high-level overview of considerations districts may need to review or implement. With 2020 predicted to be an above average year for hurricanes, addressing all five phases of emergency management as part of a district hurricane program is essential.
Download the Hurricane Quick Reference Guide
Continuity Of Operations Plan (COOP) for Schools
In Texas, school districts are required to have a district multi-hazard emergency operations plan (EOP). A vital part of a comprehensive EOP is a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP), which is a guidance document on how to continue operations under adverse conditions. The current COVID-19 outbreak has made updating or implementing a district COOP extremely important. To support these efforts we have updated the COOP template.
Download the COOP Template
Addressing Child Maltreatment During COVID-19
The TxSSC knows our Texas educators are earnest and diligent in their efforts to protect the safety and wellbeing of every student. Although we cannot yet know the full scope of the impacts the coronavirus pandemic will have on our school communities, a particular concern reverberating across the nation is the increased potential for child abuse or neglect. To assist educators facing difficult situations during remote or in-person learning, we compiled a list of state and national resources toward preventing, identifying, and reporting suspected child abuse, neglect, and trafficking. (Read more…)
Resources for School Recovery after COVID-19 Closures
Schools have been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We know much uncertainty exists in all aspects related to this crisis, including the process of recovery as schools begin resuming activities. Recovery will take time and should be considered in a holistic manner given the scope of processes, people, and places affected by COVID-19. We encourage educators and administrators to openly communicate about recovery, be realistic about the challenges they and their district face, and exercise patience in moving forward. (Read more…)
How to Reduce Testing Stress for a Safe and Productive Spring Semester
Standardized testing can bring on feelings of stress and anxiety. Students often suffer from poor sleep and impaired decision-making when stress is high, and may even put themselves in unsafe situations attempting to reduce stress. Below, we discuss these relationships and outline tools you can incorporate into class time to help students decrease stress. We encourage educators to share this information with students so they can stay healthy and safe throughout the semester, including spring break! (Read more…)