During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic school closure, individuals were asked to follow safety requirements that resulted in significant adjustments for children and families. Adults and children faced notable challenges and barriers including, but not limited to:
- Changes in daily routines;
- Lack of predictability;
- Increased fears about their safety and the safety of loved ones; and
- Extended periods of isolation.
And, in some cases:
- Loss of a loved one;
- Limited access to food and safe shelter; and
- Ongoing safety and security concerns (abuse, neglect, exposure to violence).
Districts and schools will need to consider the impact of these experiences when developing their plans for supporting students and staff upon returning to school and throughout the year.
While faced with the multitude of challenges mentioned above, there is hope for recovery and growth. Schools have the opportunity to provide a variety of protective factors in the lives of students. This toolbox is designed to explore the social, emotional and behavioral considerations districts and schools may reflect upon while planning for the return to school. The following topics are included in the toolbox: