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Council Releases Two COVID-19 Reports on Communications and Air Quality

  • The Council of the Great City Schools has released two timely reports– one delineating strategic principles of communications related to the reopening of schools, the other spotlighting essential steps in improving air quality and ventilation in schools as they reopen.

    Both reports have been compiled drawing on the expertise of practitioners in urban school districts and include extensive checklists delineating steps to take, changes to make and issues to bear in mind. Communications Toolkit

    The Communications Toolkit for Reopening Schools after COVID-19,  Recommendations for Communication Departments provides sample communication materials drawn from urban school districts across the country, and recommendations for effective messaging during the COVID-19 crisis, from initial reopening through the challenges that will arise during the 2020-21 school year. The recommendations are meant to help districts cut through the noise and provide big-picture goals to keep in mind as district leaders and communications staff craft and deliver communications day-to-day. 

    In terms of communication, principles include being proactive, finding new channels and creative ways to communicate and not losing sight of internal communications to inform and reassure staff. Several school districts, including Chicago Public Schools, Orange County Public Schools, Fort Worth Independent School District and Miami-Dade County Public Schools, share approaches they have employed in recent months. The report also offers messaging do’s and don’ts and examples of how districts might handle some likely scenarios, such as reopening for hybrid learning after beginning the year remotely.

    Air Quality Report Cover Improving air quality and increasing ventilation in school buildings is one of the most important steps urban school districts need to take to prepare school facilities for the return of students, teachers, and staff during the COVID-19 crisis. The Council’s report, Increasing Ventilation and Improving Air Quality in Schools,  offers numerous recommendations related to both natural and mechanical ventilation, plus a checklist of about three dozen steps to support optimal air quality in school buildings. The report is the first in a new series created by the Council called Spotlight, consisting of shorter, more specialized reports dealing with COVID-19 issues.