Virginia PTA is here to support our PTA leaders and community members as we navigate the Coronavirus (COVID-19) public health crisis together. Please remember to follow CDC guidance on social distancing to keep yourself, your family and your community safe and healthy. We will be updating resources on a regular basis on our website and on our social media sites. If you have questions, please reach out to your PTA leaders and know that we are all here to support you. Below are quick links and resources that we hope will support you as a leader in your community and as a parent and care-giver.
SCHOOL REOPENING RESOURCES
VIRGINIA PTA RESOURCES
- Virginia PTA Position on Phased School Reopening
- Virginia PTA Fall 2020 School Reopening Survey Results
- Virginia PTA Town Hall with Dr. James Lane
NATIONAL PTA RESOURCES
VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION RESOURCES
- VDOE 2021 Virginia LEARNS (Leading, Engaging, Assessing, Recovering Nurturing, Succeeding)
- VDOE 2020 Recover Redesign Restart Document
- VDOE Recover Redesign Restart webpage with videos & resources
- VDOE Frequently Asked Questions about Reopening
- Virginia Department of Education - COVID-19 Resource Webpage
-- COVID-19: A Parent Guide for School-Age Children
-- MEMO 077-20 Attachment A: Graduation Requirements, Awarding of Credits, and Continuity of Learning
-- Joint Guidance for Emergency Child Care during Statewide School Closure
VIRGINIA STATE GUIDANCE & RESOURCES
- SB1303 Establishes full in person in struction for the 2021-2022 school year
- School Reopening Phase Guidelines
- School Reopening PowerPoint
- Forward Virginia Phased Reopening Guidance
- Virginia State Coronavirus Resource Page
-- School Buildings closed for the rest of the academic year - Executive Order 53
-- FAQs about Virginia's Stay At Home Order
- Virginia Department of Health
- Virginia Broadband Resources
- CDC School Decision Tree
- CDC School Reopening Guidelines
- US Department of Education COVID-19 Resources
- US Department of Health & Human Services
TALKING TO YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT COVID-19
This can be a challenging time for our children as we face the upheaval of being at home and uncertainty of the coming weeks. Here are helpful resources that you can use to share facts about the virus and help children feel safe and supported.
- Tips for Talking to your Children (Nat'l Assoc. School Psychologists)
- Tips for Talking to your Children (PBS)
- Tips for Talking to Children (Child Mind Institute). (En Espanol)
- Quick Questions and Answers about Coronavirus (WHO)
- Video about the Coronavirus (BrianPop, for younger children)
- Video about the Coronavirus (WHO, for older children)
- John Hopkins Coronavirus Resources
- Multilingual Coronavirus Resources for Schools
- Military Family Resources
- National PTA Resources
MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES
For non-emergency mental health support contact your physician or contact your insurance company and ask for a list of in-network providers. In an emergency, call 9-1-1 and ask for a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) deputy or officer.
Free, confidential 24/7 supports are also available:
- PRS CrisisLink: 703-527-4077 or text "CONNECT" to 855-11
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255)
- SAMHSA National Helpline: 800-662-HELP (4357)
- Children's Regional Crisis Response (CR2): 844-NCrisis (627-4747) in English and Espanol
- Hopeline: Chat at http://www.hopeline.com or call 800-784-2433
SCHOOL MEALS & FOOD ASSISTANCE
Virginia's School Nutrition Programs serve approximately 112,700 million lunches, 57 million breakfasts, and 1.4 million after school meals each year. We have seen tremendous response across the Commonwealth as school divisions work hard to ensure every family has access to meals. Here is a link to the USDA guidelines and federal legislation waivers that are supporting increased access to nutritious meals for our children:
- USDA Press Release regarding meals for students
- USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service Response to COVID-19
- COVID–19 Child Nutrition Response Act (alternative title for H.R. 6201, Title II)
Parents and families can find sites approved for meal service on the School Meal Finder website and find additional details from their local school division. Families can also text “food” or “comida” to 877-877 to learn more about food options near them.
CONNECTING TO THE INTERNET
One of Virginia PTA's long standing advocacy priorities has been to address the educational inequities that our communities face with regard to the broadband availability. The COVID-19 crisis has brought that into sharp focus this past week and we are grateful for the swift work of service providers and legislators to get families connected.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Emergency Broadband Benefit Program.
- Provides a $50/month ($75/month on tribal lands) discount on the cost of internet for qualifying low-income households for 6 months.
- Eligible households can sign up for the program directly through their broadband provider or online.
- Virginia's participating broadband providers
- Speeds for all customers increased from 15/2 MBPS to 25/3 MBPS
- Free Internet service for 60 days for new families
- Comcast: Internet Essentials Program for $9.95/month.
- AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint: Removed data limits for cellular data customers
- Verizon: Offering unlimited data on hotspots and cell phones
The Child Care Subsidy Program assists families in paying child care costs for children under age 13 who are not eligible to attend public school during the part of the day when public education is available, or children with special needs under age 18 who reside with the applicant. If you are eligible and are approved for services, the Subsidy Program can pay a portion of your child care costs directly to the child care provider. Learn More
FAMILY RESOURCES FOR LEARNING AT HOME
Although the conditions are not ideal, this is a good opportunity to connect with your students and explore shared interests or just spend more time together as a family. There are great resources being shared on-line to support families learning at home. Please look to your local school division for continuity of learning resources. Virginia PTA is sharing resources daily on our Facebook page. Here are a few to get you started:
- Google Classroom Guide for Parents
- Virtual Field Trips to National Parks (through Google Arts & Culture)
- Virtual field trips to famous museums
- Big List of Virtual Field trips to national parks, zoos and mars
- Big List of Authors doing Read-Aloud and Activities (K-Adult)
- Big List of Math websites
- Card games for learning math
- Learn to Type
- Ranger Rick Free Digital Edition
LEGISLATION & GUIDANCE
The U.S. Department of Education generally does not grant statewide waivers of assessment requirements under section 1111(b)(2) of the ESEA, however, the Secretary of Education announced on March 20th that state-wide waivers will be considered. Virignia has received a testing waiver.
- U.S. DOE: Press Release on Federal Testing Waivers and links as on March 20th
- Virginia DOE: Superintendent Press Release on Virginia's intent to seek a Waiver
- The College Board: Advanced Placement Testing Guidance
- Virginia PTA voiced support for Rep. Spanberger's work leading 30 members of congress in letter to the House Appropriations committee asking that the U.S. DOE address broadband accessibility to students.
- National PTA has joined aletter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on March 12th to temporarily allow schools to utilize E-Rate program funding to provide Wi-Fi hotspots or devices with Wi-Fi capability to students who lack internet access at home
- National PTA joined a March 23rd letter to support creation of a $2B Emergency Connectivity Fund to be administered through the existing E-Rate program in order to provide schools and libraries with Wi-Fi hotspots, connected devices and mobile broadband Internet service to support continuous K-12 learning.
- Keep American's Connected Pledge: FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's initiative supported by more than 650 companies to not terminate service due to inability to pay, waive late fees and open wifi hotspots.
- Serving Rural America Act. This legislation would create a five-year pilot grant program at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), authorizing $100 million a year for a total of $500 million over five years to expand broadband service to unserved areas of the country.
- Providing Services to Children with Disabilities During the COVID-19 Outbreak (Supplement)
- Protecting Student Privacy: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Coronavirus
- Fact Sheet: Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Schools While Protecting the Civil Rights of Students (press release)
- April 3rd: National PTA, along with 70 other organizations Letter - No additional waivers should be provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Act or the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 during the COVID-19 crisis.
CONGRESSIONAL ACTION - RELIEF PACKAGES (recent to oldest)
- American Rescue Plan
- Historic $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package includes more than $120 billion to help K-12 schools safely reopen and address lost time in the classroom.
- Education and Labor Fact Sheet
- State-by-state breakdown of education and child care funding
- Coronavirus Package #4
- April 6th NPTA Letter: National PTA with 11 other education associations ask for $200 Billion in coronavirus aid. At least $175 billion in state stabilization funding for K-12 budgets. $12 billion for Title I programs, $13 billion for special education, $2 billion to promote remote learning for students through the E-Rate program, as well as ensure "explicit" support for school building modernization in any infrastructure package and include public employers in payroll tax credit.
- April 3rd, National PTA and the Learning First Alliance Letter: Urge Congress to make national and state level tax-exempt nonprofit educational associations eligible to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
- CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) [Package #3. Law on March 27th | Bill H.R. 748, 116th Congress]
Provides aid to individuals and industries most impacted by the coronavirus including air transportation, healthcare and eduction. With respect to education, the bill waives provisions of federal law, temporarily suspends payments for federal student loans and provides funding for continuity of education
- Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act (H.R. 6379)
- Would create a $50 billion fund to stabilize states' education budgets, including a minimum of roughly $15 billion specifically for K-12 school districts.
- Education and Labor Fact Sheet
- March 23rd NPTA letter: Support of creation of a $2B Emergency Connectivity Fund
- Supporting Students in Response to Coronavirus (H.R. 6275)
- March 18th NPTA Letter: Seeking policy and fiscal relief for impacted families
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Package #2. Law on March 18th H.R. 6201, 116th Congress)
Provides $1 billion in nutritional aid, expands access to COVID-19 testing and sick leave benefits.
- Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020 (Package #1 = Law on March 6th | Bill H.R.6074, 116th Congress)
Included $8.3 billion in emergency funds to support vaccine development, research and equipment stockpiles and local and health budgets.