Pandemic Return to School Toolkit: A Focus on Physical and Mental Well-Being for Educators and Families

In the wake of COVID-19, this is an incredibly critical and challenging time for us to come together as a community, especially while we are physically distanced. As our school community steps onto the road to recovery and into the 2020-2021 school year, we seek tools and resources to support our journey. 

The Michigan Department of Education, in collaboration with the School Based Mental Health Professionals Coalition (consisting of Michigan Association of School Social Workers, Michigan Association of School Psychologists, and Michigan School Counselor Association), has created a Return to School Toolkit. The toolkit offers school community members and stakeholders effective tools and resources needed to help plan for the road back to the classroom. As we still do not know what school may look like, or how the school year may proceed, this toolkit provides both in-person and remote learning tools and resources. The social and economic effects of COVID-19 on our school communities remain to be seen, but there is no doubt there will be an impact which schools must consider for years to come.  The Return to School Toolkit is a living resource; any changes in public health and guidance recommendations will be updated to the resource as they occur.

Inside the Return to School Toolkit, you will find resources to help you follow the Governor’s Return to School Roadmap so you can safely bring students back to the classroom for in-person instruction. While much of the toolkit focuses on disease prevention, it also considers the underlying long-term effects of the pandemic, including the impact of collective trauma. Specifically, the trauma that some children and families historically have, or are particularly primed for, due to being part of a racial minority group hit harder by COVID-19 and inadequate access to health care. Providing resources that support school communities with being trauma-informed aides districts in understanding student behavior, family engagement, and how to best address concerns. The Return to School Toolkit includes several practical tools to foster resilience in students, families, and staff.


Teachers/Suport Staff/Classrooms

Assessing Needs of Students and Staff

School-Wide Supports (MTSS/Hygiene)

Facilities and Operations

Policy and Governance

Parent/Caregiver

Student

Social Justicte and Equity - Under Construction

Crisis Management - Under Construction

 

We extend our sincere appreciation to the volunteers that helped create this toolkit. This collaborative effort is a tremendous example of what happens when we come together to improve educational practices. All volunteers showcased their passion and expertise to identify resources that will have a profound impact on Michigan’s educators, school staff, families, and students.

Amy Chapman, School Social Worker, Utica Community Schools, President, Michigan Association of School Social Workers

Scott Hutchins, School Mental Health Consultant, Office of Health and Nutrition Services, Michigan Department of Education

Nicholas P. Jaskiw, School Psychologist, Newaygo County RESA, President, Michigan Association of School Psychologists

Judy Williams, Counselor Educator, Michigan School Counselor Association

Michigan Association of School Social Workers logo with three connecting circles labeled school, community, home  Michigan Department of Education logo with a child reading a book inside the outline of the state Michigan Association of School Psychologists logo with outline of the state Michigan School Counselor Association logo