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VDH is committed to the health and safety of students, teachers, and staff in K-12 schools. This page contains guidance on COVID-19 as well as other resources for school officials, parents and guardians, and the entire school community.
Resources for Parents
VDH in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Education has prepared helpful resources to keep children healthy this school year, including information on COVID-19, immunizations, child well visits, routine oral health, and mental health resources.
Questions about sending your child to school safely?
- AAP COVID-19 Resource Page- HealthyChildren.org : learn more from pediatricians about COVID-19 and how you can protect your family
- AAP COVID-19: What Families Need to Know - HealthyChildren.org
- AAP COVID-19 and Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) - HealthyChildren.org
- AAP The Science Behind COVID-19 Vaccines: Parent FAQs - HealthyChildren.org
- AAP Mental Health During COVID-19: Signs Your Child May Need More Support - HealthyChildren.org
- CDC COVID-19 Parental Resources Kit (cdc.gov)
- CDC Know What to Expect at your Child's K-12 School or Child Care Program
- VDH Algorithm for Evaluating a Child with COVID-19 Symptoms or Exposures (2/2/22)
- VDH Isolation and Quarantine - What's the Difference Infographic (1/25/22)
- VDH When to End Isolation or Quarantine (2/1/22)
- Isolation & Quarantine Calculator. Note: This guidance is for members of the general public and may not apply to all K-12 schools. Please follow your school policy on isolation and quarantine.
- VDH General FAQs (includes sections about Children, Schools (K-12), Schools (K-12): Testing, and Schools (K-12): Test to Stay)
- VDH COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs
- VDH COVID-19 K-12 School Testing Programs
- Guidance for Sports Participation
Resources for Schools
A customized and individualized approach for COVID-19 may be necessary for some children and youth. The CDC provides guidance for direct service providers such as personal care attendants, direct support professionals, paraprofessionals, therapists, and others who may need to consider additional protective measures.
Resources on coping with stress and building resilience among the strong emotions surrounding workplace changes due to COVID-19.
- Caring School Community Webinar Series: evidence-based social and emotional learning curriculum for elementary and middle schools
- VDOE Virginia Community Schools Framework : includes resources on basic needs, mental/emotional health, student engagement and motivation, and family engagement
- AAP Bridge2Resources VA: Open Access to Community Resources like financial assistance, food pantries, medical care, and other free or reduced-cost help
- Adolescent Connectedness | Adolescent and School Health | CDC
- A Case for School Connectedness - ASCD
- School Connectedness | Adolescent and School Health | CDC
- Adolescent Health | HHS Office of Population Affairs
- Positive Youth Development | Youth.gov
- School Connectedness: Helping Your Child Feel Connected to School | Adolescent and School Health | CDC
- Positive Parenting Practices | Adolescent and School Health | CDC
- The Power of Resilience: Sam Goldstein, Ph.D. at TEDxRockCreekPark - YouTube
- Grit: the power of passion and perseverance | Angela Lee Duckworth - YouTube
- CDC Children’s Mental Health
Increasing ventilation in indoor spaces is one way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools. The following resources offer information on how to reduce potential airborne risk of COVID-19.
- EPA Indoor Air and Coronavirus (COVID-19
- EPA Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Action Kit
- CDC Ventilation in Schools and Childcare Programs
- CDC Ventilation in Buildings
- ASHRAE Guidance for Building Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic> (PDF)
- ASHRAE Technical Resources for the Reopening of Schools and Universities .
- AIHA Reopening Guidance for General Office Settings (PDF)
If a building has been closed or unused for a period of time, there is an increased risk of exposure to hazards including Legionella bacteria and lead. Follow the EPA’s guidance for Water Quality in Closed/Reduced-use Buildings to reopen school buildings.
CDC recommends that healthcare personnel in schools and child care settings, including school nurses, follow the Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Healthcare Personnel .
- Using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Understanding the Difference Between Surgical Mask and N-95 Masks (PDF)
- OSHA N-95 Fit Testing Videos
- Contact your Medical Reserve Corp unit regarding fit testing
Considerations for Opening Schools
- U.S. Department of Education COVID-19 Handbook volume 1 (PDF) and volume 2 (PDF)
- CDC Toolkit for Responding to COVID-19 Cases
- CDC Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools
- American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Guidance for Safe Schools (01/27/2022)
- (UPDATED) Template Letter from Daycare/School: COVID-19 Exposure (2/8/22) (DOCX)
- (UPDATED) Template Letter from Daycare/School: COVID-19 Case (2/8/22) (DOCX)
- (UPDATED) Template Letter from Daycare/School: COVID-19 Outbreak (2/8/22) (DOCX)
- (NEW) Template Letter from School: Contact Tracing and/or Isolation/Quarantine Updates (2/18/22) (DOCX)
The School-Age Vaccination Playbook (Updated 12/2021) (PDF) includes resources for planning, operating, and executing vaccination clinics at schools.. The playbook covers pre-planning steps, necessary communications, mapped out day-of operations, and important legal considerations. Templates for consent forms and communications, in addition to additional tools and helpful links, can also be found in the playbook. Note that this playbook is an ongoing work in progress and will be updated in accordance with guidance from the CDC and feedback from clinic planners.
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