Parents, if we have learned nothing else through the months of the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s that life is often less than predictable. The things we hope for or expect may not be what we have to deal with. Keeping our kids happy and thriving can be a challenge in that reality. On this page we have collected resources that we hope will make it all a bit easier for you and for your kids.
SCHOOL REOPENING INFORMATION
Last updated August 2021
Back-to-School Guidance from the California Department of Public Health
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) website offers up-to-the-minute information, guidance and recommendations for the safe reopening of K-12 schools, including vaccine and quarantine recommendations, masking, social distancing, testing, and more.
- Click here to visit the CDPH’s COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in California for the 2021-22 School Year home page, which contains links to numerous other related pages (updated 8/2/21).
- Click here to jump straight to CDPH’s K-12 Schools Reopening Framework and Guidance Q&A, which has recently been updated with additional questions and answers.
CA Safe Schools for All
California’s Safe Schools for All website consolidates key resources and information related to COVID-19 and schools. New resources are added to on a routine basis. Click here to visit the homepage, or click here to go directly to the Parent Page.
CCEE and PACE Reports on Distance Learning and School Reopening
- Click here to read the CCEE report, and click here to hear recordings of the listening sessions.
- Click here to read the PACE report, and click here to download the infographic.
SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING
Last updated February 2022
Here are a few things to keep in mind as this time of uncertainty and social distancing continues:
- Children take their cues from the adults around them, so it is important to remain calm and talk to them about what is going on in an age-appropriate way. Children become anxious when the adults around them are anxious.
- Experts say children feel better when they have some control over what is going on. By letting them choose what they eat, wear, read and watch on TV, you are helping to keep them calm and confident.
- Spend some time outside running, walking or bike riding to get fresh air and burn off excess energy. Throughout the pandemic health experts have shared that being outside, including gathering with others outside, is a safe and healthy option.
These insightful articles and podcasts suggested by National PTA can help families alleviate the mental and physical stress they are likely experiencing right now:
- 5 Ways to View Coverage of the Coronavirus, The American Psychological Association (Page created January 2020)
- Supporting Children’s Emotional Well-being During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Child Trends (Page created March 2020). The latest research from Child Trends is available here.
- Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource, National Association of School Psychologists (Published in 2020.) On this page you’ll also find a guide for parents about talking to their children about Covid-19 which is available in multiple languages.
- Promoting Positive Mental Health for Teens Feeling Isolated, Erika’s Lighthouse (Page updated regularly)
- Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope with the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), National Child Traumatic Stress Network (Updated January 2021)
- Helping Children Cope with Emergencies, CDC (Updated Sept. 2020)
- Notes from the Backpack: Tackling COVID-19 Anxiety Together – This April 2020 episode of the popular podcast from National PTA features timeless advice from psychologist Dr. Erlanger “Earl” Turner about how to stay happy, healthy and learning during this difficult time. He shares tips for setting routines, managing your mental health and coping with uncertainty.
Other excellent resources:
- Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19 from the Centers for Disease Control
- The Help for Students in Crisis web page from the California Department of Education (CDE) includes crisis and warm line numbers, along with other COVID-19-related resources for providing virtual mental health services and information for mental health providers, families, and youth. (Updated July 2021)
- Teen & Youth Help Hotline: An advice, crisis and depression helpline where teenagers can talk to other teens
- Good Sleep Habits: Information about children’s sleeping habits (Spanish version here) (Published in 2018)
- Using Mindfulness: Information about how to use mindfulness as a tool to reduce toxic stress (Spanish version here) (Published in 2018)
- The Benefit of Supportive Relationships: Information about maintaining supportive relationships (Spanish version here) (Published in 2018)
- ACEs Aware Self-Care Tool: A tool to develop a self-care plan to enhance well-being and decrease stress for children and families (Updated August 2020)
- Caring for Children: Tips to Keep Children Healthy While School’s Out, CDC (Updated regularly)
- Resources for Supporting Children’s Emotional Well-being during the COVID-19 Pandemic from Child Trends (Published March 2020)
LEARNING AT HOME RESOURCES
Last updated August 2021
The pandemic made clear that learning doesn’t start or end at school. Parents have always been their children’s first teacher and now we all understand how important that is. Facing closed schools, many organizations created wonderful resources for learning at home, resources that remain valuable for families even when schools are open again.
If you have internet access, the following websites will provide hours of great educational activities, games, videos and lessons.
If your family (or a family you know) doesn’t have internet access at home, please click here to learn about low-cost and free options in your area.
Our partners at Create CA have curated an amazing selection of resources that allow kids to learn about and engage with the arts while homeschooling, or just stuck at home. Not only are they educational, but they can relieve stress and allow kids to pass time in fun and productive ways.
The #CreateAtHome website offers a comprehensive – but not overwhelming – array of collections and activities.
CA State PTA Resource Library
Here you’ll find a searchable online library that includes a wealth of learning activities, including everything from virtual museum tours, to reading lists, to fun hands-on science activities families can do at home. We add new resources all the time and also welcome your suggestions. Take a few minutes to explore now, but be careful! Our Resource Library can be habit forming!
(Please note that these links take you to websites that are neither run by nor endorsed by California State PTA.)