COVID-19 Resources

This school year (2020-2021) has been unlike any other, with schools back and forth from full in-person to remote only, some combination of the two, or just closed until further notice. As the Reddit resource below notes, teacher frustration, anxiety and resignation is the norm, not the exception.

Check the Related Topics box at the end of this page for more help and ideas.

Back on Feb. 26, 2020, we started this page to help teachers and administrators get a handle on the coming COVID-19 pandemic. At that time, we looked at questions like if we might have to close some schools.

Seven (7) weeks later (mid-April, 2020), it turns out 90% of schools world wide had shut down.

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A Few Schools Reopen, But Remote Learning Could Go On For Years In U.S.

This post from NPR is another look at the current challenges facing schools as they try to reopen. Even in states where school reopening has been OK'ed, few schools have actually re-opened. A few districts have chosen to end the school year early, putting an end to their efforts with remote learning. The American Federation…  learn more

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A History of Past Pandemics

Some people comparing this event to the 1918 Flu Pandemic. The CDC has a great resource documenting the 1918 pandemic and other pandemics over the years including ones in 2009, 1968, and 1957-8. It helps to put things in perspective. Make sure to check out the Pandemic Basics link.  learn more

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Building a Sense of Community during School Closures

This post by Amy Takabori explains why building a sense of community for your school during a school closure is important and gives 4 tips on how to do it. A strong sense of community can mitigate loneliness that is likely to arise when students are consigned to quarantined home learning.  learn more

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CDC Guidelines FAQ for Administrators, Teachers, and Parents

The CDC has put out a FAQ for Administrators, Teachers and Parents to help everyone understand the new guidelines. This is a good place to start.  learn more

CDC Interim Guidance for School Administrators

The CDC has published interim guidance is intended to help administrators prevent the spread of COVID-19 among students and staff at both the school/facility and district level. The guidance is split into 2 sections: Guidance for schools which do not have COVID-19 identified in their community and Guidance for schools with identified cases of COVID-19 in their community. It is worth going thru the items in the second section and making sure your school's plan addresses the issues listed. Having a school or district plan is no longer optional.  learn more

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CDC's Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Portal

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has set up this page to provide information, recommendations, and up-to-the minute news on the coronavirus outbreak. This resource includes current information on how it spreads, symptoms, a situation summary updated daily, and information for groups including schools, heath departments and businesses.  learn more

Check your state's Department of Education web site

Check with your state's Department of Education web site for information, guidelines and resources for dealing with Covid-19. Many departments now have links on their home page to Covid-19 resources. If your state does not yet have a resource link, check the web sites for neighboring states. Washington state, California and Florida are exemplars.  learn more

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Coping with Stress during COVID-19

Students (and teachers) can be stressed out even during the best of times. The COVID-19 pandemic has made stress pretty much universal, even for younger students. This post outlines specific coping ideas, suggestions, and signs-to-watch-for in adults, children and teenagers. Worth a few minutes of your time. This pandemic is stressful for everyone. Fear and…  learn more

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Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now

With everything that's happening about the Coronavirus, it can be very hard to make a decision of what to do today. Should you wait for more information? Do something today? What? In this article, Tomas Pueyo looks at the following questions and describes what's coming with charts, data and models with plenty of sources: How…  learn more

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COVID Symptom Study

Want to help advance the understanding of COVID-19? An easy way to help is downloading the COVID Symptom Study app onto your smartphone. It takes a few minutes to download the app and answer a series of medical demographic questions. Once set, it takes less than a minute a day to check in and let…  learn more

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COVID-19: K-12 Schools and Childcare Programs

Here are the new COVID-19 guidelines from the CDC. It's broken out into 2 sections: When and Under What Conditions to reopen and Implementing Mitigation Strategies. There are separate sections for with information for Teachers and Administrators, and includes printable posters and graphics providing guidance for teachers, school nurses and parents. There are no easy…  learn more

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Disease Modeling Simulator

This free article from the Washington Post looks at disease modeling and why the models vary so widely. It takes you thru a disease modeling simulation showing how seemingly small changes in a model's assumptions or inputs can cause a large variation in the results. Makes a good real-world example for math and statistics, showing…  learn more

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Does Your Mask Work?

Given the wide variety of face coverings that people are wearing, how do we know which are effective? After explaining why masks are important, this post outlines two simple tests that can go a long was to identifying masks that work and don't work. The vaping test gives a very graphic idea of how well…  learn more

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Exploratorium COVID-19 Science

Use the current outbreak as a learning opportunity. Check out these activities and videos from The Exploratorium. Questions covered include what are viruses, how does soap inactivate coronaviruses, how big is a virus and how does it compare to other small things, can you believe it (how to evaluate claims), and how do virus tests…  learn more

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Graduation, Financial Aid, Admissions – For This Year's College-Bound, The Future Is In Turmoil

To say things are "up in the air" regarding fall college admissions is an understatement. This article from NPR outlines some of the current issues for H.S. seniors looking to go to college this fall. Some of the issues include extended admissions calendars, SAT & AP testing issues, and last minute adjustments to financial aid…  learn more

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Graphics: Exponential growth and how to "flatten the curve"

This tutorial from The Washington Post uses animations and graphs to explain the math behind the current drive for social distancing to slow down community transmission. The simulation looks at four options, from no restrictions at all to a forced quarantine (think Hubei province in China) and with two different buy-ins of social distancing (75%…  learn more

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Here's what astronauts and submariners say about coping with self-isolation

Billions of people around the world are stuck at home due to coronavirus lockdowns. How do you, your students and fellow staff members cope when your places of work, worship and relaxation are off-limits? Normal routines have been disrupted, and regular activities are no longer available. Sean Fleming at the World Economic Forum talked with…  learn more

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How do you study online without a computer or internet access?

The current stay-at-home environment is challenging for learning on a number of fronts. This article talks about how school districts in Colorado are trying to overcome the disparities when not everyone has reliable WiFi or access to a computer.  learn more

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How long will social distancing have to last?

How long are we going to have to keep this up? How long will schools stay closed? It's an especially hard question for science to answer. The best and most honest reply, according to epidemiologists and virologists, is simply: "It depends." It's not going to be over anytime soon – a matter of months rather…  learn more

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How To See Germs Spread

Mark Rober, a former NASA engineer and current "YouTuber and friend of science", put together this video showing how easy it is to spread germs, including the COVID-19 virus, using a bunch of third graders. Using Glo Germ powder (see the video and YouTube link for more details) , Mark shows how easy it is…  learn more

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How to stop a virus from spreading

Here's a great animated graphic showing how staying home can help break the paths of transmission. You're not only helping yourself, but everyone in your community. This post is part of Reddit.com's lively community on the Coronavirus outbreak. This moderated group includes both news and personal perspectives.  learn more

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Is School Safe? NPR Answers Back-To-School Questions

Parents, teachers and students across the country are gearing up for the new school year. But, as of mid-July, what schools and the school day would look like is still a mystery. Some districts, like many in California, have announced plans to teach remotely only for the start of the school year. Other districts and…  learn more

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Mike Rowe's Unsolicited Commencement Speech

Mike Rowe's recorded a commencement speech to all those graduating from a trade school, and to those high school graduates about to enter one. In these uncertain times, Mike explores the option of pursuing a trade rather than college and makes a good case for it. Something to pass on to your H.S. students trying…  learn more

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Minnesota Dept of Health

PROTECTING, MAINTAINING AND IMPROVING THE HEALTH OF ALL MINNESOTANS  learn more

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mRNA Vaccine explained using Star Wars

Randall Munroe at xkcd uses the Star Wars' Death Star to explain how mRNA vaccines work, like the ones currently available for COVID-19. While you may feel a little sick for a day or so after getting the vaccine, inside there's a whole crazy battle going on. Worth the time for yourself, fellow teachers and…  learn more

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NSBA Covid-19 Resources

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is tracking the coronavirus pandemic is indexing resources and information that administrators will find helpful. They continue to update this post as new resources and information become available.  learn more

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Reddit - Teachers

Reddit is, among other things, a discussion website. The r/Teachers "sub-Reddit" is a section dedicated to the practice of teaching and receiving support from fellow teachers. Scrolling down the list of current topics can give you an idea of what your fellow teachers are going thru. Topic titles on July 16th, 2020 included: Today, I'm…  learn more

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School closings and the needs of low-income children

The CDC is telling parents, "You should think about what you would do for child care if schools or day cares closed." For low-income and housing insecure students, a prolonged school closing can be especially harmful. While schools cannot do everything, even just raising the issue with other government agencies and community service organizations may…  learn more

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School Leaders Debate Solutions For an Uncertain 2020-21

This article by Sarah Gonser highlights some issues that we will all face as states start to prepare contingency plans for a highly unpredictable Fall 2020 school year: Will schools even be able to open Extending online learning Staggered start times and continued social distancing Medical interventions and surveillance Prepare for learning loss  learn more

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Teacher Licensure During COVID-19: Barriers to Student Teaching, Renewals, and More

This post by Krista Kaput looks at issues specific to Minnesota, but is a reminder that the COVID-19 crisis has caused ripple effects across the education system, raising significant questions and challenges for the teacher licensure process. With school buildings closed, student teaching and assessments for new teachers were interrupted. And many current teachers are…  learn more

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Top 10 risks and opportunities for education in the face of COVID-19

At the end of March, 2020, 185 countries had closed their schools, affecting 90 percent of the world's students. The speed of these closures and the rapid move to distance learning, according to the Brookings Institute, has allowed little time for planning or reflection on both the potential risks to safeguard against and the potential…  learn more

Watch out for discrimination

"We have this tendency to confuse people who are sick with entire groups of people, and that's what makes it discriminatory. When you single out entire groups of people, that becomes prejudice." – Gilbert Gee, professor at UCLA's Fielding School of Public Health  learn more

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What face masks actually do against coronavirus

Over the past couple of months, the world has received more evidence that face masks really can play a crucial role in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. It's a significant shift from earlier this year. New studies coming out over the past few months increasingly favor both individual mask-wearing and policies requiring universal masking.…  learn more

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What is R0?

When a new disease emerges, health organizations turn to a seemingly simple number to gauge whether the outbreak will spread. It's called the basic reproduction number—R0, pronounced R-nought—and though useful for decision makers, it's a nightmare for public communication. In brief, R0 is the average number of people who will catch the disease from a…  learn more

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WHO Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) portal

The World Health Organization (WHO) has an information portal of their own with the latest information on the COVID-19 coronavirus, updated daily. Of particular interest will be the Technical Guidance section.  learn more

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Why flattening the curve for coronavirus matters

This quick video from ABC News (posted March 10th) explains why officials are banning crowds, closing schools, and encouraging anything to avoid a lot of human contact. It's called "flatten the curve". At this point, it appears that a majority of the population will contract the virus. By slowing down the rate of new cases,…  learn more

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xkcd: Pathogen Resistance

You've probably seen xkcd comics before – Randall Munroe has a very different outlook on life. In this installment he looks at the current COVID-19 battle from the virus' point of view. We won't give things away, but now we know why all the pasta was all gone. ????  learn more

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Your Guide to Internet Service During The COVID-19 Outbreak

With schools turning to the Internet to facilitate education activities, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are stepping up to the plate, providing free Internet hotspots and continued service during financial hardships. Check with your local ISPs to see what services they are providing during this outbreak. Your cell phone providers may also be a source of…  learn more