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COVID-19 Resources for Parents, Families and Educators

Parents, we know you are on triple duty—working, parenting and keeping your kids busy at home—all while striving to keep your household healthy, fed and mentally balanced. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with these resources for you and your kids!


Back-to-School Guidance from CDPH

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.

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

California State PTA and our partner the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE) held a series of listening and networking sessions in May and June to learn more about what was going on across the state with families and schools. We analyzed the lessons learned from the three sessions, and compiled an in-depth report which details families’ experiences during the first months of the pandemic, and identifies available resources to address the needs of parents and families. The report also summarizes key take-aways for schools around decision making in distance learning and the safe reopening of schools.

Click here to read the CCEE report, and click here to hear recordings of the listening sessions.

Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE), in cooperation with California State PTA, produced “Navigating the Uncertainty of Reopening Schools: A Guide for Parents, Families and the Public.” The report summarizes the current state of knowledge about key issues, and suggests a set of questions that parents and educators should ask when considering plans for reopening during the pandemic. It also includes a summary infographic, which can serve as a valuable handout for community discussions.

Click here to read the PACE report, and click here to download the infographic.


Just because your kids are away from school doesn’t mean learning has to end. And it doesn’t mean that you have to turn your living room into an all-day classroom, either. If you have internet access, the following websites will provide your kids with hours of self-directed educational activities, games, videos and lessons that can help them stay busy, engaged and entertained.

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 split into six categories, with at least four resources per section:

  • Integrated and General
  • Visual and Media Arts
  • Music
  • Performing Arts
  • Arts for Healing
  • Arts Educators and Professionals

Click here to see all the categories.

Learning from home sites:

Virtual field trips:

Podcasts for elementary, middle and high school students:

Free downloadable educational coloring pages:

More resources for parents:

Resources for teachers and school administrators:

  • This document from Green Schoolyards America advocates for re-purposing outdoor spaces at schools as a cost-effective way to reduce the burden on indoor classrooms while providing fresh air, hands-on learning opportunities, and the health benefits associated with increased access to nature.
  • To support local educational agencies transition to virtual learning, the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE) is partnering with technical assistance providers and expert practitioners to provide resources, guidance, training, and ongoing professional learning for schools and districts.
  • Statistics in Schools: These teacher-created resources for pre-K through 12th grade help teach kids why it’s important to count everyone – especially children – in the 2020 Census.
  • To the Extent Feasible: Strategies for Success with Distance Learning – This webinar hosted by EdSource discussed effective strategies for high-quality learning.
  • Learning Apart, Staying Connected: A Distance Learning Playbook was released on April 8th by PACE and Entangled Solutions. The Distance Learning Playbook was created for California school districts to support the development and roll-out of distance learning plans across the state. The resource is designed especially for administrators at small and medium-sized California districts and is built around integrating the needs of English Learners as the focus of any distance learning plan. The Distance Learning Playbook builds on guidance and resources provided by the California Department of Education and incorporates advice from experts on distance learning.
  • Wide Open School: Common Sense Media’s free online resource to help educators and families transition to learning at home. It features the very best resources from publishers, nonprofits, and education companies, including the American Federation of Teachers, Amplify, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Head Start, Khan Academy, National Geographic, Noggin, PBS, Scholastic, Sesame Workshop,Time for Kids, XQ Institute, and YouTube.
  • Building Powerful Partnerships with Families: This webinar series by Dr. Karen Mapp can help school practitioners partner with families to support learning at home and sustain the growth and development of children during these unprecedented circumstances.
  • Supporting Online Learning in a Time of Pandemic released on April 13th by USC’s Rossier School of Education is a new report offering guidance to K-12 teachers, principals and superintendents, as well as schools of education, on how to handle the increasing stress of adapting education systems to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Social and Emotional Learning in California, from the California Department of Education
  • Accessible Distance Learning: A guide to making distance learning accessible to students with disabilities
  • SELPA Content Lead to Support Students with Autism: Marin SELPA and CAPTAIN have created resources and guidance Padlets to support instruction during school closures in both English and Spanish
  • The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence resources to support teaching and learning in the virtual environment, including: training and best practices for integrating online tools to enhance classroom instruction, guidance and professional learning to support students with disabilities in the virtual classroom; and “Office hours” with experts focused
    on addressing specific content, technology, pedagogical needs
  • Self-Care & Thriving for Educators During a Public Health Crisis from the Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network


Here are a few things to keep in mind during this time of social distancing:

  • 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, burn off excess energy, and keep “cabin fever” at bay. Just remember to stay a safe distance from passers-by.

These insightful articles and podcasts suggested by National PTA can help families alleviate the mental and physical stress they are likely experiencing right now:

Other excellent resources:


Staying physically active and eating right while in lockdown mode is essential to getting through it. The following resources offer a road map to eating well and getting enough exercise in the less-than-ideal conditions we all find ourselves in right now:

(Please note that these links take you to websites that are neither run by nor endorsed by California State PTA.)