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Back To School During COVID-19

As families of children with extra medical, physical, developmental, behavioral or emotional needs are grappling with decisions around when and how to send their kids back to school they need reliable and current information.

Resources and tools listed below can help families in their conversations with their child’s physicians. 

Peer support is more important than ever. Connect one on one by filling out the contact form, calling us or chatting. Join one of our virtual parent groups.

Resources & Tools For Back To School

Family Voices of MN Back to School Questions for Providers A tool to start a rich conversation with your child’s provider about when and how your individual child should return to the classroom.

MN Disability Law Center COVID-19 Distance Learning and Special Education Services in MN Public Schools The Minnesota Disability Law Center (MDLC), a division of Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, is Minnesota’s Protection and Advocacy System for people with disabilities. MDLC has created this information sheet about common issues and how to address them.

CDC Back to School Decision Checklist The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has created a helpful decision-making tool for families weighing options and possibilities when returning to learning for the 2020-2021 school year.

CDC Preparing for In-Person Classes Checklist The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) prepared a checklist for students attending in-person classes this year. The checklist includes screening and illness preparations, cloth mask wearing, mental health, and social-emotional well-being.

American Academy of Pediatrics COVID-19 Planning Considerations: Guidance for School Re-entry  Guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to support education, public health, local leadership, and pediatricians collaborating with schools in creating policies for school re-entry that foster the overall health of children, adolescents, staff, and communities and are based on available evidence.

MN Department of Education (MDE) COVID-19 Updates MDE’s main page for COVID-19 information, updates and guidance for schools.

MDE Special Education COVID-19 Resources The guidance on this MDE page relates to special education services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check back often, as the information is changing rapidly.

Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Guidance for Delivering Direct Student Support Services provides direction to school staff on the type of protective equipment that will be needed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission when delivering direct student support services that require close, prolonged contact. This guidance applies to services delivered in kindergarten through 12th grade special and general education, pre-kindergarten programs including birth to three-part C under IDEA, and school-based child care programs

MDH Best Practicesfor Masks: Considerations for People with Disabilities and Special Health Needs In certain circumstances, the use of masks may not be reasonable and accommodations can be made. Accommodations include safe alternatives such as social distancing. Acknowledgement, flexibility, and support for people with disabilities and special health needs is critical during the COVID-19 pandemic

CDC List of Medical Conditions that may have an increased risk  Children who are medically complex, who have serious genetic, neurologic, metabolic disorders, and with congenital (since birth) heart disease might be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. This page includes actions you can take to prevent and prepare for illness in your child with medical complexity.

National Association of School Nurses (NASN) COVID-19 Resources NASN is monitoring the CDC response and working with other groups to provide resources to school nurses.

CDC COVID-19 Resources for Schools and Childcare The Centers for Disease Control offers guidance and resources for schools and childcare during COVID-19

CNF video’s Teaching Children to Wear a Mask For some children, wearing a mask and being around others using face coverings can be a challenge. The Child Neurology Foundation brought together two experts from different vantage points to discuss some of the ways to teach a child to be comfortable with masks

Department of Education COVID-19 Information and Resources  Ongoing development of guidance and policies related to elementary and secondary educationspecial educationhigher education, and other essential components of lifelong learning.

Social Stories About the Coronavirus Pandemic Autism Resource Central shares social stories for young and old. Scroll down for the Social Stories for Children section of the web page. Topics include pandemics, social distancing, mask-wearing, handwashing and more.