Support for Students and Families During COVID-19 Extended School Closure

Guiding Partnerships with Schools supports educators and school staff working to meet the needs of families and students during this period of mass school closures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.  We understand that the world changed practically overnight, not only for school personnel but also for the students and families they serve. Families are not only struggling to help their children stay engaged with learning while home, many of them are doing so in the face of housing, food or economic insecurity brought on by the current crisis.  Many parents are essential workers who are now trying to cope with being on the front lines of this crisis while also caring for children full time.  Populations of students that have always been more vulnerable and have always needed more resources and support – students with disabilities, English language learners, economically disadvantaged students— are now more at risk than ever.  Connecting, supporting and engaging with families under these extreme conditions is a challenge unlike any our schools have every faced.

Guiding Partnerships with Schools and its parent organization, the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) want to make schools aware of free resources that are available to schools as they work to meet the needs of families during this unprecedented time.   The National Association for Family, School and Community Engagement (NAFSCE) has waived the fee for membership for 90 days so that anyone can access their rich bank of resources, including the practitioner message boards where family engagement professionals from around the country are sharing ideas and strategies for supporting families during the COVID outbreak.  CREC has curated a list of helpful digital tools and other outreach strategies that can be used by schools to help connect with and support families. K12 Insight, a technology and professional learning organization devoted to supporting high-quality and effective communication between families and schools, is offering a series of free series of webinars entitled Leading by Reassuring. The series is designed to help school leaders build trust with staff and families and meet critical needs in the “new normal” of K-12 education that has emerged as a result of the pandemic. to If you register for one webinar, you get access to the entire series on-demand, even if you do not attend the live broad cast. 

Register here for K12 Insight Webinars:

Link to NAFSCE:

Additional Resources:

Supporting Families During COVID-19 Extended School Closure Webinar

This unprecedented time of school closure is presenting unique and overwhelming challenges for school districts. Of the utmost concern to our schools is the safety and well-being of families and students during this prolonged physical separation. CREC Resource Group and the Guiding Partnerships with Schools initiative is sponsoring a virtual convening for school staff who are working to meet the needs of families during this time. This is an opportunity for school staff and educators at all levels —family resource specialists, teachers, directors, principals, school counselors, psychologists and others–to talk about successes and challenges, to collaborate and to problem solve. Experts from CREC and from school districts throughout the state will be facilitating dialogue, addressing questions such as:
  • What are districts doing to make sure our families and students are physically and emotionally safe?
  • How are we supporting families who are facing food, housing or financial insecurity?
  • What are the challenges our families are experiencing with accessing online learning?
  • How are we meeting the needs of students with disabilities, English language learners, and other at-risk youth?
  • Which community-based partners are schools working with to reach families?
  • How do we plan for the future with so much uncertainty?

From the 5-1-2020 Virtual Meeting “Supporting Families During Prolonger School Closure: Voices From the Field”

  • The slide deck that was shared, including links to the resources
  • A copy of the notes from the breakout room discussions
  • The video recording of the meeting

Copyright © 2020  GPS is managed by CREC