Coping with COVID-19: Key Resources, Information, & Guidance

In this time of global, national, and local uncertainty, it is important we recognize and utilize the myriad of resources available to us. Below, you will find a collection of links, ranging from general resources intended to keep us informed to ways we can support, educate, and entertain our children from home, along with various other sites with information for educators and concerned community members with an emphasis on how we can support Wisconsin families during this challenging time.

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Please check out our blog post, “Helping from Home: Coming Together for Kids in Isolation“, for information regarding our first online workshop, including topics covered, resources collected, as well as the video recording, chat dialogue, and presentation shared during the workshop.

Key Resources for Wisconsin Educators, Advocates, & Communities

As a primary resource, the Wisconsin Association of School Boards (WASB) has worked to compile the most pertinent information for Wisconsin school districts. This website and its resources are updated as the news and times evolve. In addition to dozens of helpful links, WASB offers webinars and video legal updates.

The Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) regularly maintains this website in an effort to communicate and inform parents, staff, and community members of any and all important district updates and FAQs regarding MMSD and COVID-19.

General Informational Resources

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides in-depth information on their site, including details about prevention, symptoms, testing, and guidance in coping with the adjustments of life during this time.

The U.S. Department of Labor has compiled fact sheets on COVID-19 and its effect on the American workplace, FAQs, and further information on employee rights.

Mental Health America shares a collection of resources, tools, and webinars intended to help individuals and communities struggling with anxiety and other mental health conditions.

Wisconsin-Specific Resources

Along with his Safer At Home Order, Governor Tony Evers has released a detailed document of FAQs surrounding the topic of school closures, specific resources regarding virtual learning, free or reduced lunch, support for students with IEPS, graduation, and more.

Dane County’s chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is offering their services online and through phone and email. Support groups can be scheduled via Zoom and their NAMIBasics program can be accessed virtually.

PBS Wisconsin is taking advantage of virtual learning with their launch of At-Home Learning, a partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). This program is intended to provide children with access to educational instruction from home and aims to support curriculum-aligned learning and resources.

District- & Educator-Focused Resources

The Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) has curated a variety of ‘Education Today and Tomorrow’ resources, focusing on professional development, virtual classrooms, the online teaching experience, and the well-being of students and educators.

This article, also published by WEAC, shares in-depth information about Governor Tony Evers’ proposal to “extend Wisconsin’s public health emergency indefinitely” and what he is doing to “prevent school districts from laying off staff during a public health emergency.”

Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has shared this sample ‘School District Pandemic Plan’ to help guide administration and staff in how to prepare and respond to pandemic outbreaks and crises.

The National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA), in partnership with Blackboard, has put together this document of guidance and best-practice examples intended to support schools in communicating with families and community members about and during the COVID-19 crisis.

The US Department of Education published this document to answer pressing questions related to the states’ responsibilities in providing services for students with disabilities and their families during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Information for Parents (& At-Home Activities!)

This article from PBS outlines how to talk with children about COVID-19, from correcting misinformation to practicing ‘germ busting’ habits like washing hands and covering coughs. This article is also available in Spanish.

NPR’s ‘Life Kit’ series published this episode and article to share tips for parents adjusting to homeschooling due to COVID-19. They also created a comic version of this episode that outlines the same information.

Jesse Hagopian, a Seattle-based teacher and the author of Black Lives Matter at School, developed this creative response project for students to explore while quarantined. This project is intended to provide students with a way to express their feelings and give them a voice amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Travel + Leisure shared a collection of virtual tours offered by famous museums all over the world to explore and navigate from home.

BBC’s GoodFood website shared this article about cooking with little ones at home, offering guidance on how to get children involved in the kitchen. The article is helpfully organized and divided into cookery skills by age.

This blog post provides insight and step-by-step suggestions on how to get young children involved with doing the laundry.

About the author: Wisconsin Public Education Network

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