COVID-19 Considerations for Reopening Schools Supporting Student and Staff Wellness

(FRANKFORT, KY) – The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) released a new guidance document May 26 about how districts can support the social and emotional health of students, faculty and staff when schools reopen in the fall.

The document – “COVID-19 Considerations for Reopening Schools Supporting Student and Staff Wellness” – addresses planning considerations for the social and emotional well-being of students and staff during the transition when schools reopen.

While the usual transitional concerns will be present when schools reopen, it is anticipated that this fall’s return to school will be particularly challenging due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Teachers and administrators should operate on the assumption that everyone will have experienced some degree of anxiety and stress, uncertainty, illness, grief and loss.

For some students, the experience of social distancing and being home during COVID-19 will have been traumatic. Schools will likely see an increased number of learning, behavioral and emotional problems from more students. For those who already have emotional and behavioral challenges, these may be exacerbated.

“This extended period of closure has had a tremendous impact on every member of Kentucky’s education family,” said Interim Education Commissioner Kevin C. Brown. “It is our hope at the department that this guidance will help districts think through the challenges they may face this fall and be ready to provide the services Kentucky’s students will need to succeed and thrive in this challenging environment.”

As the COVID-19 situation evolves, new guidance documents will be created to meet the needs of Kentucky’s schools and districts. More guidance and resources can be found on the KDE COVID-19 website.