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US. Dept. of Education Launches Best Practices Clearinghouse to Highlight Innovative Practices for Reopening Schools and Campuses

“[On April 30, 2021], the U.S. Department of Education (ED) launched the Safer Schools and Campuses Best Practices Clearinghouse (the Clearinghouse), a website that highlights the innovative work underway nationwide in continuing to reopen K-12 schools, early childhood centers and postsecondary institutions. Through the Clearinghouse, the Department is providing examples of how schools and other educational institutions can safely reopen as communities continue recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic….President Biden’s Executive Order on Supporting the Reopening and Continuing Operation of Schools and Early Childhood Education Providers called on ED to develop a Safer Schools and Campuses Best Practices Clearinghouse as a way to share lessons learned and best practices from the field for safely operating schools and postsecondary institutions during the pandemic. By launching the Clearinghouse, ED aims to collect and disseminate innovative, evidence-based, or solutions-oriented approaches to school reopening and make this information available to elementary and secondary schools, early childhood centers, and postsecondary institutions across the country so they can learn from each other. Resources from ED and other federal agencies related to reopening strategies and guidance are also available on the website. The Clearinghouse includes resources that target the needs of students in, K-12, early childhood, and higher education settings in three main topic areas:  Safe and Healthy Environments: School and campus approaches to implement prevention and mitigation strategies and prepare and sustain in-person operations safely. Supports for Students: School and campus strategies to meet students’ academic, social, emotional, mental health, and other needs, including providing access to food, counselors, and financial aid for college students. Teacher, Faculty, and Staff Well-Being; Professional Development; and Supports: School and campus strategies to address skills, trauma and other mental-health needs among educators, faculty, and staff, and other support strategies such as providing access to childcare and professional development for educators…”

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