Responding to COVID-19: Resources for Our Community
This past spring, all Washington school districts faced the challenge of shifting their educational model to an entirely online and remote experience, as in-person schools were forced to close due to COVID-19. Many teachers, families, school leaders, advocates, and community members worked urgently and tirelessly to ensure that students were able to access their education and basic needs during a time of unprecedented change. As the school year ends and summer break begins, however, our work is far from over.
This summer presents a critical moment for schools. School closures have already widened gaps in resources and access among kids and families, especially those without access to technology, students with disabilities, students who are learning English, students living in poverty, and students in early learning programs. As schools take time this summer to develop reopening plans for the fall, we must work collaboratively to continue supporting children over the summer months and ensure this opportunity for adaptation results in system-level change. This page is a working resource for parents, families, teachers, students, and other community members as we respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on education, equity, health, and wellness of children and families. Currently, we are researching and centralizing districts’ programs this summer as way to centralize information, as well as track the quickly-changing educational landscape in the state.
You can also click here to view our past LEVinars, which feature discussions with Superintendent Reykdal, WA State Teachers of the Year, and more about supporting children and families during the COVID-19 crisis. Visit our Lunchtime LEVinar page for more.
Where in Washington do you live?
Click on your region to find resources specific to your school community this summer, such as meal service, extended year service & summer programming, and district reopening plans. This research is in progress and will be updated frequently.
Check out this comprehensive map of school lunch programs across the state, put together by the NWESD 113.
= Grab-and-Go Meals
= Drop Off/Meal Delivery
Interested in additional distance learning resources for your child?
Click here to access LEV’s ongoing collection of supplementary distance learning programs, materials, and resources.
Does your junior or senior need help finding college, career, scholarship, and financial planning resources?
Click here to access LEV’s ongoing collection of resources for juniors & seniors on test prep, scholarships & financial planning, college & career exploration, and more.
See below for general guidance and resources for Washington families:
OSPI has released guidance, resources, and information on several topics, all of which can be accessed by visiting the OSPI website. Below are some of the topics addressed by the office so far:
- OSPI FAQs about school closures.
- OSPI guide for parents about the virus and what you can do during this time.
- OSPI FAQs & guidance about special education during the time of the coronavirus, including some updates about IEP Reviews and, most recently, a Q&A guide about supporting students with disabilities during school closures.
- OSPI guidance about distance learning for superintendents & school leaders and a continuous learning update.
- OSPI guidance about graduation requirements for the Class of 2020.
- OSPI child care guidance during coronavirus.
- Superintendent Chris Reykdal’s letter to superintendents and labor leaders across the state about establishing priorities during this crisis.
GENERAL INFORMATIONAL RESOURCES:
- The Washington State Coronavirus Response page is a one-stop guide that addresses many concerns about the outbreak and its repercussions.
- A new Washington call center has been set up to answer your questions about COVID-19. If you have questions about how the virus spreads, what is being done in Washington state, and what you can do if you or your family have symptoms, call 1-800-525-0127 and press #
- The NAACP has published Ten Equity Implications of the Coronavirus COVID-19 Outbreak in the United States.
- This Q&A with Bill Gates addresses many common questions about coronavirus and its impact on society. You can also access his TEDTalk on the virus and healthcare systems here.
INTERNET & TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT
- Comcast announced they would offer 60 days of free internet service to low-income families and continue with discounted service afterwards. You can learn more about this and other discounted internet service providers here.
- Child Care Aware can help you find trusted, local child care that suits your needs during this time of crisis, as well as supports for child care providers who are struggling.
EMPLOYMENT & FINANCIAL SECURITY
- The Washington State Employment Security Department added a page addressing many employment-related concerns during the outbreak, including an easy-to-read COVID-19 scenarios & benefits chart.
- The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries published a page with common questions & answers about paid sick leave during the coronavirus.
- Governor Jay Inslee’s office has published a COVID-19 resource list for impacted Washington businesses and workers.
SUPPORT GROUPS & MENTAL HEALTH
- Washington parents have created a Facebook groups you can join (SPS Covid 19 School Closure Parent Survival Page & Eastside & South King County COVID 19 School Closure Parent Survival Page) as a places to get information about child care, wrap-around services, and homework during the shutdown.
- The CDC has published guidance about coping, stress, and mental health during the coronavirus outbreak.
- Special Minds Education Consulting has scheduled free Zoom calls for parents of students with disabilities to provide an open forum to share needs, concerns, and solutions related to our Washington state students who require special education services.
- Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities is a place where parents of kids with disabilities can connect with one another and ask experts questions about educating & supporting their child during this difficult time.
- Academic science journals are publishing articles like this one to guide parents and kids through challenges like anxiety, stress, and misinformation during the outbreak.
- Committee for Children and Second Step developed a host of social-emotional resources to help children cope with the events associated with the coronavirus.
- The Edge Foundation aims to give each student an executive-style coach so they can complete their education, realize their full potential and pursue their passion. The foundation focuses on children, teens and young adults who are non-traditional learners with executive function challenges that can come from ADHD and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
Please know League of Education Voters is here for you. Let us know if you have programs or ideas, leads, or innovative approaches, and we will share them with other parents. Come to us if you have ideas for how we can help or for what is or is not working. If you have resources to share with others, please contact us.
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