U.S. Department of Education Unveils Return to School Roadmap


Return to School Roadmap In an effort to return our nation’s school children to safe, healthy and sustainable in-person schooling, the U.S. Department of Education has developed a Return to School Roadmap. Comprising of three landmark priorities, the Roadmap encourages schools, districts and their communities to focus on (1) prioritizing the health and safety of students, staff, and educators, (2) building school communities and supporting students’ social, emotional, and mental health, and (3) accelerating academic achievement.

One component of the Department’s broader efforts to support students and their families, schools and their staff, along with the community, this Roadmap offers a variety of resources, including a Fact Sheet, a Guide, and a Checklist.

In addition to releasing the Roadmap, other initiatives by the Department of Education include:

  • Issued three volumes of the COVID-19 Handbook to support K-12 schools and institutions of higher education in their reopening efforts.
  • Prioritized the vaccination of educators, school staff and childcare workers.
  • Published a Safer Schools and Best Practices Clearinghouse, which includes over 200 examples of schools and communities safely returning to in-person learning.
  • Held a National Safe School Reopening Summit.
  • Provided $122 billion in support through the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund for K-12 schools.
  • Released over $3 billion in IDEA funds within the American Rescue Plan to support children and families with disabilities impacted by the pandemic.
  • Released $800 million within the American Rescue Plan to support students experiencing homelessness who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
  • Released a report on the disparate impacts of COVID-19 on underserved students.
  • Launched an Equity Summit Series focused on addressing school and district inequities that existed before, but were made worse by the pandemic.
  • Provided nearly $40 billion in funding for institutions of higher education within the American Rescue Plan, about half of which will provide direct aid to students at postsecondary institutions.


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