Coronavirus Preparedness Guidance
In the last few weeks, the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), which causes the respiratory illness COVID-19, has become a topic of concern nationwide. Being proactive is key to prevention and mitigation.
Below, you will find a list of resources on all aspects of preparedness, including guidance on communication planning, policy, emergency management and disease control. Use these resources to help you make decisions regarding the safety and health of those in your school district.
I. PSBA Coronavirus Updates
- 8/31/20 – PSBA testimony to the House Democratic Policy Committee on cost savings through improved efficiency
- 8/5/20 — PSBA testimony to the House Education Committee on legislative support needed for public schools during the pandemic
- 7/28/20 – PSBA, PASA & PACTA letter to the governor seeking liability protections for schools
- 6/17/20 – PSBA testimony to the House Education Committee on school reopening in fall 2020
- 5/11/20 – PSBA testimony to the Senate Education Committee on continuity of education
- 5/5/20 – PSBA letter to the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation seeking funding and flexibility for schools
PSBA Crisis Communications, a member benefit supported by The Donovan Group is available 24/7 at no cost to PSBA member districts, for guidance on how to communicate with communities, families and the media. Communication templates available here.
III. FAQ Updates
- 4/2/20 – Act 13 FAQ's
- 4/1/20 – Frequently Asked Questions on COVID-19
- 3/24/20 – Considerations for School Boards Contemplating Furloughs of Non-Teaching Staff
- 3/20/20 – FAQ’s – From PSBA Regarding School Closures
IV. Finance & Funding
V. Legal & Policy Insights
- 5/21/20 – Policy 824 Maintaining Professional Adult/Student Boundaries – Considerations for a Digital Learning Environment
- 4/8/20 – Policy Update: PSBA Guidance on Remote School Board Meetings
- 3/21/20 – ED – Supplemental Fact Sheet Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Preschool, Elementary and Secondary Schools While Serving Children with Disabilities
- E-rate list for school and community free or low-cost Internet connectivity resources
- NSBA COVID Preparing For Widespread Illness in Your School Community, A Legal Guide for School Leaders
- What You Should Know About the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act and COVID-19
- Department of Labor – Employee Rights: Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
- Policy 805 Emergency Preparedness and Response
The Board is responsible to provide facilities, equipment and training necessary to protect against hazards and emergencies, including but not limited to natural disasters, hazardous chemicals, fires, weapons, bomb threats, intruders, terrorism, communicable diseases and pandemics. Advance planning, training, practice and comprehensive implementation are key components in protecting the safety and security of the school community. Each school entity should have an emergency preparedness plan in place that was developed in cooperation with the county Emergency Management Agency and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA). The emergency preparedness plan should include provisions for the continuity of student learning during school closings or excessive absences.
VI. News Updates
Information on potential PPE fraud scheme
Criminal actors continue to use the pandemic to target the healthcare sector through fraudulent schemes, including a recent PPE fraud scheme. Indicators include unsolicited advertisements for PPE, the request to contact an FBI asset verification line, and/or vendors who claim they possess a substantially large amount of PPE. There is no FBI asset verification line, and the FBI is not involved in the sale of PPE. Fraudulent activity can be reported to email@example.com.
From the Office of the Governor
- 3/27/20 – Special Update: School Construction Projects
- 3/27/20 – Gov. Wolf Signs COVID-19 Response Bills to Bolster Health Care System, Workers, and Education and Reschedule the Primary Election
Pennsylvania Department of Education
- 7/21/20 – Letter to Superintendents from AG Josh Shapiro
- 7/14/20 – Emergency Instructional Time Template
- 7/8/20 – PDE issues updated guidance for calculation of CARES Act funds to private schools
- Instructional Days/Hours During the 2020-2021 School Year | Implications Related to COVID-19
- 7/6/20 – Roadmap for Education Leaders Cover Letter
Roadmap for Education Leaders – Creating Equitable School Systems
- 7/1/20 – Order Requiring Universal Face Coverings
- 4/22/20 – PDE Evaluations & Virtual Assessment Guidance
- 4/9/2020 – Act 13 Order
- 3/31/2020 – Continuity of Education Resources from the Pennsylvania Department of Education
- 3/19/2020 – Pennsylvania Department of Education Cancels Statewide Assessments
- 3/15/2020 – Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) COVID-19 Resources
Pennsylvania Department of Health
Other Educational Entities
- 6/26/20 – The American Institute of Architects (AIA) releases strategies for safer buildings and offers science-backed public health solutions in the reopening of public buildings. For the full report on school reopening strategies: Reopening America: Strategies for Safer Schools.
- Disaster Preparedness and Response – Child Welfare Information Gateway
VII. Disease Management
- 3/24/20 – The Education Trust – Child Hunger and the Coronavirus Pandemic
- 3/20/20 – NAMI – Coronavirus: Mental Health Coping Strategies
- Pennsylvania Department of Health COVID-19 Testing Fact Sheet
- More information and resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Mental Health America – Mental Health Effects of COVID-19
- Resources from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
- Institute for Research on Poverty – Poverty & COVID-19
VIII. Additional Questions?
Please use the form below to submit any additional questions about coronavirus preparedness.