COVID-19 Resources from the U.S. Department of Education: Part One


COVID-19 Resources from the U.S. Department of Education: Part One

The U.S. Department of Education added a page to its website with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) resources and updates for elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education. You can access this information at The page will be continuously updated by the Department. Below are brief overviews of what can be found in some of the K-12 materials. Advance CTE will continue to share posts with a breakdown of the resources, so check back here for future blogs!

  • Waiver Application to Bypass ESSA Required Assessment and Accountability
    U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos gave flexibility to every state for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) required assessment and accountability measures. States are able to request a waiver for the assessment, accountability and school identification requirements for the 2019-2020 academic year. Questions and waiver requests can be sent to The full letter from Secretary DeVos can be found here and a waiver template can be found here.  
  • Fact Sheet on the Implications for Assessments and Accountability Under ESSA
    This fact sheet, linked here, shares potential implications for state and local leaders to consider when waiving ESSA assessment and accountability requirements. This fact sheet discusses the impact on assessments, accountability determinations and accountability components. For state-specific questions contact [STATE NAME] (Ie. For assessment-specific questions contact For accountability and other Title I, Part A questions contact
  • Recommendations to Determine School Closures
    States are responding to school closures, and ongoing school closures are anticipated. This resource, linked here, includes: 

    • Information on the health and academic impacts of school closures (page 1); 
    • A chart to assist with how to make the decision (page 2); and 
    • A chart that outlines the factors in favor of and against school closure for less than one week, two weeks, four weeks, and eight to 20 weeks (pages 3-7).
  • Fact Sheet on Protecting Student Privacy
    The Department compiled frequently asked questions (FAQs), linked here, regarding Coronavirus and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The intent of this document is to provide clarity about how education officials can work with public health officials while still maintaining students’ privacy. The FAQs include: 

    • Information on FERPA (page 2-3) and
    • Questions and Answers on how FERPA should be applied in relation to Coronavirus measures (pages 3-7).
  • Options to Ensure Children Receive Meals During School Closures
    U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue shared ways that meal services can continue during school closures – effective through June 30, 2020. States can submit waiver requests to support meals for students. For example, schools participating in summer meal programs can give out free meals to students during this time, with the requirement that these meals must be served in a group setting waived while a public health emergency is occurring. Information on how to submit a waiver request can be found here. The full announcement by the Secretary can be viewed here
  • Information on Preventing Biological Hazard Spread at K-12 Schools and Institutions of Higher Education
    Numerous federal agencies have compiled resources on how to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in K-12 schools and institutions of higher education, all added to this web page that is being continuously updated. Midway through the web page there is the option to click on “Coronavirus Disease 2019, COVID-19.” After selecting that option you can view all documents under the following categories: Guidance; Information and Other Resources; Publications; Training and Exercise Products and Tool Box Resources. 
  • Recommendations on Cleaning and Disinfecting Community Non-Healthcare Facilities
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) compiled guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting key community environments, such as schools, institutions of higher education and office buildings. The web page with recommendations, linked here, will be continuously updated. It includes information on: 

    • Definitions; 
    • Cleaning and Disinfection After Persons Suspected/Confirmed to Have COVID-19 Have Been in the Facility; 
    • How to Clean and Disinfect; 
    • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Hand Hygiene; and
    • Additional Considerations for Employers.

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate