Responding To Covid-19:brief Motion Steps For School Disaster Reaction Teams

Schools must be prepared for nearby and community-extensive infectious ailment outbreaks. While it is hard to expect while (or even if) COVID-19 will upward thrust to the level of a pandemic, there are actions faculties can take to be geared up for such activities. Schools need to work collaboratively with their local and kingdom health departments, and be aware of steering presented by using the CDC, to decide how to make certain secure learning environments. For exact steerage on the way to expand emergency operations plans capable of addressing pandemic illnesses consult with “Preparing for a Pandemic Illness: Guidelines for School Administrators and Crisis Teams.” This document provides guidelines for the immediate college response to the threat provided by way of COVID-19.

School Emergency Operations Plan

Ideally, faculties have a well-advanced emergency operations plan (EOP, also regularly known as disaster reaction plan) to help them reply to a couple of emergencies. In 2013 the U.S. Department of Education developed a manual to help faculties in growing an EOP (Guide for Developing High Quality School Emergency Operations Plans). The EOP offers facts which could support pandemic infection making plans. Regardless of the status of your EOP, there are a number of unique movements that school disaster reaction teams can take proper now in response to COVD-19. These include movements taken by way of what are regularly known as the Communication and Warning Annex; Public Health, Medical, and Mental Health Annex; Continuity of Operations (COOP) Annex; and Recovery Annex.

Communication and Warning Actions

The timely distribution of crisis information is the various maximum essential things a school can do when responding to a threatening scenario. Thus, the following recommendations are supplied:

  • In session with faculty and community fitness officers, and consistent with steerage offered by using the CDC, draft conversation messages for school network members that provide updated statistics approximately COVID-19 and how to stay healthy. All of these communications must consist of modern-day statistics approximately movements faculties are taking to help ensure safety and offer guidance that empowers caregivers to help college students address this health disaster.
  • Schools have to draft numerous communications and social media posts for (a) while the contamination is showed within the community, (b) when a significant range of students are found sick, and (c) whilst colleges need to close due to the contamination.
  • Identify a couple of conversation retailers (e.g., television, social media, e mail, letters domestic, voicemail) thru which those messages is probably shared.
  • Share records for dad and mom on how to speak to aid their youngsters concerning COVID-19 (Talking to Children About COVID-19 (coronavirus): A Parent Resource from NASP and NASN)

Public Health Actions

Promote day by day preventive actions for all group of workers, students, and families. For example, schools must inspire college students to engage in health-promoting behaviors that prevent ailments:

  • Wash arms a couple of instances an afternoon for at the least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t percentage food or liquids.
  • Give elbow bumps as opposed to handshakes.
  • Encourage students and college workforce members to consume a balanced weight loss plan, get sufficient sleep, and exercising often to assist them develop sturdy immune structures able to fighting infection.

Public fitness movements additionally consist of activities that help reduce the unfold of infectious sicknesses. For instance:

  • Know the symptoms of COVID-19 and make sure that information is made to be had to the school network in developmentally appropriate ways.
  • Provide schooling about flu transmission and control measures. Train students to cowl their mouths with a tissue after they sneeze or cough and throw out the tissue without delay, or to sneeze or cough into the bends in their elbows.
  • Educate employees, site visitors, and primary caregivers now not to come back to the school in the event that they have flu signs. Reinforce for households to preserve ill children domestic.
  • Establish or toughen tactics for the way families allow the college understand if their infant is unwell. These strategies have to consist of letting the faculty realize why the pupil has been stored home in an effort to be capable of track symptoms. If children are diagnosed with COVID-19, mother and father ought to allow the college recognize which will talk with, and get steering from, neighborhood health authorities.
  • School fitness experts may consider interviewing flu-like contamination instances for pandemic risk elements and following CDC tips for health experts concerning next steps.
  • Begin to behavior lively surveillance to become aware of influenza instances (e.g., evaluate temperature logs; triage “sick” calls, hospitalizations, personnel absences, unexplained deaths).

Also, attend to the faculty constructing itself. For instance:

  • Consider converting the air con device filters; at some point of the day, wherein feasible, boom ventilation.
  • Following each faculty day, the college need to be thoroughly ventilated and wiped clean. This can be executed via beginning all doorways and home windows or turning the air conditioning or heating structures up.
  • Ensure that faculty directors can manipulate get entry to to the buildings. Each college should have a plan to close certain entrances and exits, and to reveal others. To prepare for disorder outbreaks, become aware of a chief entrance and an indoor vicinity in which college students and team of workers can be screened previous to shifting to school rooms or different areas of the school.

Medical Actions

If they have got not already accomplished so, faculty fitness specialists need to:

  • Assess adequacy of contamination-manage supplies and evaluate distribution plan.
  • Identify areas in the college facility that may be used for isolation and quarantine.
  • Develop plans for stockpiling and distributing infection-manipulate resources.
  • Initiate screening for flu-like illnesses at the the front desk and nurses’ places of work.
  • Isolate and send domestic staff or college students with flu-like symptoms, making use of supervised isolation areas inside the faculty—get admission to to this room have to be strictly constrained and monitored (i.e., mother and father choosing up their unwell youngsters have to be escorted to and from the isolation region), and a carefully monitored scholar checkout machine ought to be activated.

Mental Health Actions

School employees need to offer caregivers with data concerning how to deal with the stress that might be generated by way of COVID-19. In addition to being told who to contact in the event that they want help addressing their infant’s tension about this virus, they need to be advised that striving to locate ways to make the hazard associated with COVID-19 extra predictable and controllable reduces how threatening their youngsters will view the state of affairs. Specifically, kids have to be supplied with developmentally appropriate information that (a) facilitates them to appropriately gauge the hazard supplied via this ailment and (b) reduces their hazard of having ill. In addition, giving college students concrete matters they could do to maintain themselves and others healthful will lessen stress. And subsequently, spotlight the actions that adults are taking to ensure pupil protection. See the associate record “Preparing for Infectious Disease Epidemics: Brief Tips for School Mental Health Professionals.”

Continuity of Operations Actions

Administrators ought to begin to remember how they would hold crucial operations need to COVID-19 have an effect on their college. Previously issued steerage, supplied through the U.S. Department of Education, titled Preparing for the Flu: Department of Education Recommendations to Ensure the Continuity of Learning for Schools (K–12) During Extended Student Absence or School Dismissal, will aid such issues. Among the issues this emergency operations plan (EOP) should cope with are the continuity of getting to know activities (e.g., how to preserve gaining knowledge of activities if there are school closures or extended absences), order of succession and delegation of authority (e.g., who makes selections must faculty directors get ill), a way to hold important school operations (e.g., what are the vital activities that should not be interrupted, inclusive of payroll, and how will they be maintained at some point of faculty closures), and pointers for college body of workers contributors (e.g., who needs to continue running even at some stage in faculty closures).

Recovery Planning

Finally, begin to recollect actions that could be taken must COVID-19 truely be present inside a college. The partner document “Preparing for a Pandemic Illness: Guidelines for School Administrators and Crisis Response Teams” provides such steering.

Additional Resources

  • Preparing for a Pandemic Illness: Guidelines for School Administrators and Crisis Teams: ready-for-a-pandemic-contamination-guidelines-for-faculty-directors-and-school-disaster-response-groups
  • Preparing for Infectious Disease Epidemics: Brief Tips for School Mental Health Professionals: ready-for-infectious-disease-epidemics-brief-hints-for-school-intellectual-fitness-professionals
  • Talking to Children About COVID-19 (coronavirus): A Parent Resource:

Interim Guidance for Administrators of U.S. Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools to Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19):

  • Handwashing and Hand Sanitizer Use at Home, at Play, and Out and About:
  • How to Disinfect Schools to Prevent the Spread of Flu:


For more statistics associated with colleges and physical and mental fitness, visit and

© 2020, National Association of School Psychologists, 4340 East West Highway, Suite 402, Bethesda, MD 20814, 301-657-0270,

Please cite this record as:

National Association of School Psychologists. (2020). Responding to COVID-19: Brief action steps for faculty crisis reaction teams [handout].

COVID-19: Brief Action Steps for School Crisis Response Teams

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