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. United Nations estimates indicate that in April 2020, school closures affected more than 91% of the world’s student population.1 Below we discuss multifaceted ways of thinking about recovery in schools, provide resources2 for educators, and highlight considerations knowing the speed of recovery will not be uniform across student populations. 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.
“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.”
Recovery is a process to provide guidance for how to assess and manage short, medium, and long-term recovery efforts after major disaster events. Recovery is sometimes included as an annex in a multi-hazard emergency operations plan (EOP) or simply conceived and implemented as a standalone plan. EOP basic plans and annexes focus on prevention, preparedness, mitigation, and response to an event, and possibly small elements of recovery. A recovery annex or standalone plan details how to overcome crisis situations and post-event actions taken to return to normalcy.3 Recovery annexes and standalone plans often consider four fundamental kinds of recovery for school environments: academic, physical, fiscal, and psychological and emotional.4-5
“Mental health needs after a disaster should be addressed as part of recovery.”
Psychological and Emotional
Narrowing the Student Achievement Gap After COVID-19
Student Inequality and COVID-19 Slide
“Similar to ‘summer slide,’ time away from school during the COVID-19 pandemic will impact student achievement and contribute to the achievement gap.”
Impact of Trauma on Student Achievement
1UNESCO (2020). COVID-19 educational disruption and response. Retrieved from https://en.unesco.org/covid19/educationresponse.
2Texas School Safety Center (2020). Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Texas School Safety Center. Retrieved from https://txssc.txstate.edu/featured/covid-19.
3Texas School Safety Center (n.d.). High-Quality multi-hazard emergency operations plan (EOP) Toolkit: 1.4, Planning Templates. Retrieved from https://txssc.txstate.edu/tools/hq-eop-toolkit/1-introduction/templates.
4Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) (n.d.). Recovery annex. Retrieved from https://rems.ed.gov/K12RecoveryAnnex.aspx.
5U.S. Department of Education (2013). Guide for developing high-quality school emergency operations plans. Retrieved from https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/rems-k-12-guide-508.pdf.
6Kamenetz, A. (2020). 9 out of 10 children are out of school worldwide. What now? National Public Radio. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/2020/04/02/824964864/nine-out-of-10-of-the-world-s-children-are-out-of-school-what-now.
7Harris, D. N. & Larsen, M. F. (2019). The effects of the New Orleans post-Katrina market-based school reforms on medium-term student outcomes. Education Research Alliance for New Orleans. Retrieved from https://educationresearchalliancenola.org/files/publications/Harris-Larsen-Reform-Effects-2019-08-01.pdf.
8Mattina, G. L. (2018). How persistent is the effect of conflict on primary education? Long-run evidence from the Rwandan genocide. Economics Letters, 163, 32-35.
9Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020). What you need to know about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/2019-ncov-factsheet.pdf.
10Rose, L. & Westinghouse, C. (2010). Cleaning for healthier schools – Infection control handbook. California Department of Public Health. Retrieved from https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CCDPHP/DEODC/OHB/WRAPP/CDPH%20Document%20Library/CleanSchoolsHandbook.pdf.
11Romine, W. L., Filk, W. R., Barrow, L. H. (2017). How does knowledge of influenza reduce flu-like illness in high schools. Health Behavior and Policy Review, 4(3), 224-234.
12U.S. Department of Education (2007). Lessons learned from school crises and emergencies: Managing an infectious disease outbreak in a school. Retrieved from https://rems.ed.gov/docs/LL_Vol2Issue3.pdf.
13Howat, H., Curtis, N., Landry, S., Farmer, K., Kroll, T. & Douglass, J. (2012). Lessons from crises recovery in schools: How hurricanes impacted schools, families, and the community. School Leadership & Management, 32(5), 487-501.
14Texas Education Agency (2020). Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support and Guidance. Retrieved from https://tea.texas.gov/texas-schools/health-safety-discipline/coronavirus-covid-19-support-and-guidance.
15U.S. Department of Education (2020). Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos authorizes new funding flexibilities to support continued learning during COVID-19 national emergency. Retrieved from https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/secretary-education-betsy-devos-authorizes-new-funding-flexibilities-support-continued-learning-during-covid-19-national-emergency.
16Texas Education Agency (n.d.). Mental health Resources: School personnel training and classroom resources. Retrieved from https://tea.texas.gov/about-tea/other-services/weather-and-disaster/harvey-mental-health/mental-health-resources-school-personnel-training-and-classroom-resources.
17Schreiber, M., Gurwitch, R. & Wong, M. (2006). Listen, protect, and connect – model & teach; Psychological first aid for children. The Advertising Council in partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved from https://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/PFA_SchoolCrisis.pdf.
18Hechanova, M. R., Manaois, J. O. & Masuda, H. V. (2019). Evaluation of an organization-based psychological first aid intervention. Disaster Prevention and Management, 28(3), 401-411.
19Lee, J. S., You, S., Choi, Y. K., Youn, H. Y., & Shin, H. S. (2017). A preliminary evaluation of the training effects of a didactic and simulation-based psychological first aid program in students and school counselors in South Korea. PLOS One, 12(7), 1-13.
20Ornell, F., Schuch, J. B., Sordi, A. O., Kessler, F. H. (2020). “Pandemic fear” and COVID-19: Mental health burden and strategies. Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry. Doi: 10.1590/1516-4446-2020-0008.
21Texas School Safety Center (2020). March 2020 newsletter: How to reduce testing stress for a safe and productive spring semester. Retrieved from https://txssc.txstate.edu/topics/mental-health/articles/reduce-testing-stress.
22Li, D. & Sullivan, W. C. (2016). Impact of views to school landscapes on recovery from stress and mental fatigue. Landscape and Urban Planning, 148, 149-158.
23Alexander, K. L., Entwisle, D. R., & Olson, L. S. (2007). Lasting consequences of the summer learning gap. American Sociological Review, 72(2), 167-180.
24Becker, B. E., & Luthar, S. S. (2002). Social-emotional factors affecting achievement outcomes among disadvantaged students: Closing the achievement gap. Educational Psychologist, 37(4), 197-214.
25Cooper, H., Nye, B., Charlton, K., Lindsay, J., & Greathouse, S. (1996). The effects of summer vacation on achievement test scores: A narrative and meta-analytic review. Review of Educational Research, 66(3), 227-268.
26Vanderbilt University, Center for Teaching (n.d.). Teaching problem solving. Retrieved from https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/problem-solving/.
27U.S. Department of Education (2005). Closing the achievement gap: Lessons from successful schools. Retrieved from https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/pi/hs/factsh/ctag_rpt.pdf.
28Hanover Research (2017). Closing the gap: Creating equity in the classroom. Retrieved from https://www.hanoverresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Equity-in-Education_Research-Brief_FINAL.pdf.
29Blitz, L. V., Anderson, E. M., & Saastamoinen, M. (2016). Assessing perceptions of culture and trauma in an elementary school: Informing a model for culturally responsive trauma-informed schools. The Urban Review, 48(4), 520-542.
30Goodman, R. D., Miller, M. D., & West-Olatunji, C. A. (2012). Traumatic stress, socioeconomic status, and academic achievement among primary school students. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 4(3), 252.
31Texas Education Agency (n.d.). Grief Informed and Trauma Informed Practices. Retrieved from https://tea.texas.gov/about-tea/other-services/mental-health/grief-informed-and-trauma-informed-practices.
32McInerney, M., & McKlindon, A. (2014). Unlocking the door to learning: Trauma-informed classrooms and transformational schools. Education Law Center, 1-24.
33Morganstein, J. C. (2019). Coping after disaster. American Psychiatric Association. Retrieved from https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/coping-after-disaster-trauma.
34Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (n.d.). Teachers helping students: Listening and talking. Retrieved from https://www.cstsonline.org/assets/media/documents/CSTS_FS_teachers_helping_students.pdf.
35National Association of Independent Schools (2020). Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources for independent schools. Retrieved from https://www.nais.org/covid-19/resources/.