USDA Distributes $1.5 Billion to Strengthen School Meal Programs Amidst Supply Chain Disruptions

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USDA Distributes $1.5 Billion to Strengthen School Meal Programs Amidst Supply Chain Disruptions

On December 17, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it is providing up to $1.5 billion to states and school districts to help school meal operators deal with the challenges of supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic.

The funding will be made available through USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation and funneled through the states for different purposes:

 

  • $1 billion in Supply Chain Assistance Funds for schools to purchase food for their programs
  • $300 million in USDA Food Purchases for states to distribute to schools
  • $200 million through the new Local Food for Schools Cooperative Agreement Program that will be used for cooperative agreements to purchase local foods for schools.

 

Find a state by state breakdown of funds here.

Supply Chain Assistance Funds—The $1 billion in Supply Chain Assistance Funds will go to states for cash payments to school districts to use to purchase food for their school meal programs. Supply Chain Assistance funding can be used by school districts to purchase unprocessed and minimally processed domestic food such as fresh fruit, milk, cheese, frozen vegetables and ground meat. Each state will allocate the funds to schools based on student enrollment, with a minimum amount per district to ensure that small schools aren’t left behind.

To strengthen local food supply chains, states have the option of using up to 10% of the Supply Chain Assistance funds to make bulk purchases of local food and then distributing these foods to schools for use in their meal programs. States also have the option of targeting the funds to areas of highest need by limiting distribution to school districts where a quarter or more of students are from low-income households.

USDA Foods Purchases—USDA will purchase about $300 million in 100% domestically grown and produced food products, known as USDA Foods, for states to distribute to schools to offset the impact of disruptions to their normal supply chains. Conducting market research and working with USDA’s qualified small to large vendors, USDA has identified a large list of available products. States will be able to order these additional foods within the coming weeks, with deliveries to occur as soon as possible.

Local Foods for Schools Cooperative Agreement Program—USDA will award up to $200 million to states for food assistance purchases of domestic local foods for distribution to schools. This program will strengthen the food system for schools by helping to build a fair, competitive, and resilient local food chain and expanding local and regional markets with an emphasis on purchasing from historically underserved producers and processors. 

USED Releases FAQ on 2021-2022 Accountability Systems

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USED Releases FAQ on 2021-2022 Accountability Systems

The Department of Education (USED) has released a FAQ on 2021-2022 Accountability Systems. The guidance, which is being published to invite public comments, is intended to support State educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), and schools as they implement accountability and school improvement requirements under section 1111 of the ESEA using data from the 2021-2022 school year. USED notes that SEAs may have to adjust their accountability systems due to the pandemic and, therefore, SEAs will have the option to amend their existing accountability systems with a streamlined COVID-19 State Plan Addendum.

The document is posted for stakeholder review and comment through January 16, 2022. Substantive comments about the content of the draft, including feedback on any additional topics that should be included, should be sent to OESE.Feedback@ed.gov. USED will consider comments in making revisions but will not provide responses to individual comments.

Biden Administration Releases Resources on Test to Stay, Vaccines and Boosters

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Biden Administration Releases Resources on Test to Stay, Vaccines and Boosters

Setting up testing for COVID-19 in schools is one of the most important things schools can do to contain the spread of COVID-19 amongst students and staff. Now, schools have a new tool they can use to keep learning in-person even if cases arise: test to stay.

Test to stay combines two important prevention strategies – contact tracing (identifying those who were exposed to COVID-19) and serial testing (repeated testing following exposure) at school – to contain spread of the virus while keeping kids safely in school. CDC studied test to stay approaches, and found that – when implemented along with other layered prevention strategies – test to stay limited transmission of COVID-19 in school buildings, while also saving valuable in-person learning time for students.

CDC emphasized some key actions for schools in implementing test to stay programs. These include frequent testing of close contacts after exposure – repeated at least twice during a seven-day period post-exposure; consistently wearing masks while in school; robust contact tracing to ensure that all close contacts are properly identified and notified of their exposure, and get tested; staying home and isolating for anyone who tests positive; and continued implementation of layered prevention strategies as described in the CDC K-12 guidance.

The American Rescue Plan provided $130 billion for K-12 schools to implement mitigation strategies like test to stay, and an additional $10 billion dedicated specifically to school-based COVID-19 testing. Schools can work with their state and local health departments to get started on test to stay right away.

CDC resources on test to stay:

For parents, the message is consistent and clear: get your kids vaccinated.

The most important takeaway for parents remains the same: getting your child vaccinated is the best way to protect them from serious illness, and to keep them safely learning in school all school year long. Vaccination is still the most important defense in keeping our schools safe from COVID. The benefits are clear. If your child is vaccinated:

  • They don’t have to quarantine after exposure to the virus, as long as they are not symptomatic.
  • They do not need to participate in screening testing.
  • They help keep kids safely in school and schools safely open, and help avoid activities they love – like playing sports and participating in extracurriculars – from getting canceled.
  • And most importantly, they are protected from serious illness.

Already, nearly 6 million kids have gotten the extra protection of a vaccine. And we have 35,000 sites designed specifically for kids, and thousands of schools nationwide have set up school-located vaccine clinics to provide direct access to the COVID shot for families. So over the holidays, even more parents can take their kids to get vaccinated, or they can visit a new family site to get a child vaccinated and get a booster themselves.

For school staff and all eligible adults: get boosted.

Everyone eligible for a booster shot should get one right away – this includes our educators and school staff. Boosters provide an improved level of protection against infected with COVID-19. We know that vaccines remain effective in preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death. As we continue to work to stay ahead of the virus, the best thing you can do right now is to go get your booster shot today.

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued updated guidance recommending that every adult get a booster. Everyone ages 16 and older can now get a COVID-19 vaccine booster. You can get your booster:

  • 6 months after your 2nd dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine; or
  • 2 months after your single dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

Boosters are free and readily available at over 80,000 locations coast to coast. You have 3 ways to find free vaccines near you:

  • Go to vaccines.gov
  • Text your ZIP code to 438829
  • Call 1-800-232-0233

Secretary Cardona Urges Educational Leaders to Use ARP Funds to Address Teacher Shortages

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Secretary Cardona Urges Educational Leaders to Use ARP Funds to Address Teacher Shortages

On December 16, Secretary Cardona sent a Dear Colleague letter to educational leaders urging them to use American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to address the severe teacher and staff shortages that schools are facing. In the letter, Cardona outlined evidence-based strategies, highlighted resources and shared examples of how districts are already using ARP funds to attract and retain teachers and staff. 

The recommendations include: 

1. Increase Educator and Staff Compensation 

Many school leaders are increasing compensation by offering hiring and retention bonuses, working towards permanent salary increases, or providing premium pay to help keep educators in the profession. For other critical staff, like bus drivers, some districts have increased pay and covered the cost of required training. 

This section also highlighted the practice of hiring retired teachers, social workers and psychologists to help meet the needs of students. The IRS recently released FAQs clarifying that, in some instances, retirees can return to work and still receive their pensions. States can also provide temporary changes to their pension program to allow for this. 

2. Build and Maintain a Cadre of High-Quality Substitute Teachers 

Secretary Cardona also recommends using ARP funds to recruit and train high-quality substitute teachers. To create some stability and certainty, substitute teachers could be assigned to a school for an entire school year. This strategy would help substitute teachers be more prepared to step into the classroom and support continuity for students when educators need to take time off. These substitute teachers can also co-lead small group learning and provide support during release time for educators to allow for teacher professional development. 

3. Support Educator and Staff Well-Bring, Including Improved Working Conditions

Stress is the most common reason educators have cited for leaving. Surveys show educator well-being is tied to feeling supported, valued, and heard by school and district leaders, as well as peers. Key strategies include: 

  • Building intentional systems that support educator and staff well-being. Prioritizing communication and collaboration between staff and leadership create a sense of connectedness that is crucial to supporting educators and keeping them in the profession.
  • Increasing the availability of qualified adults and personnel to support educators, students and staff. Districts can partner with institutions of higher education, community-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, and businesses to provide additional supports to educators and students through the use of teaching candidates and well-trained volunteers. 
  • Implementing flexible and creative scheduling to support students for full-week in-person learning while providing planning and collaboration for teachers. Districts could hold entire days focused on a single core academic subject; offer all “special” subjects (e.g., music, art, physical education) on the same day so grade-level teams can plan together; and hold shorter learning cycles, with more frequent breaks, some of which educators can use for planning.

4. Make Investments in the Educator Pipeline

The final recommendation in the letter outlined strategies to support the preparation and development of new educators and encourage them to work in high-need schools, including: 

  • Providing loan forgiveness, grants, or service scholarship programs that significantly underwrite the cost of postsecondary education in exchange for a commitment to teach in a high-need field or school for a minimum amount of time. 
  • Developing and implementing high-quality comprehensive teacher residency programs that provide extensive clinical experience, which have been shown to increase teacher retention and effectiveness; and 
  • Developing and implementing professional development programs and mentoring models, particularly for newer teachers, that emphasize building effective instructional strategies and provide time for ongoing collaboration.

Read the full letter here

Guest Blog Post: How School Districts Can Help Families Claim the Expanded Child Tax Credit

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Guest Blog Post: How School Districts Can Help Families Claim the Expanded Child Tax Credit

December 15, 2021

Today’s guest blog post comes from Coalition on Human Needs and the Partnership for America’s Children.

Many families need some extra breathing room as they navigate the expenses associated with raising kids. In November, the families of 61 million children received more than $15 billion of relief through expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) payments. Most received those payments automatically. However, more than four million children live in families that have so little earned income that they are not required to file tax returns; these families may have missed out on CTC payments because they were required to take steps to claim the credit.

During the coming months, superintendents and school districts can play critical roles in ensuring that families receive the full amount of the expanded CTC for both 2021, and depending on federal legislation, 2022. Simple steps can make a big difference. To learn more, read below and join us for the webinar, “How School Leaders Can Help Connect Families to the Expanded Child Tax Credit,” on January 20 at 1 p.m. ET. Representatives from the Partnership for America's Children, Coalition on Human Needs and the Shah Family Foundation will share best practices and resources to help your districts help families claim this critical benefit. You’ll also hear directly from a school leader whose district conducted CTC outreach. Register for the webinar here.

The American Rescue Plan Act expanded the CTC for 2021. Almost 90 percent of children in the U.S. are eligible, and the expansion is expected to reduce the number of kids experiencing poverty by more than 40 percent. In October alone, expanded CTC payments kept 3.6 million kids out of poverty. The expansion is especially critical for Black and Latinx children, who disproportionately missed out on the CTC before its expansion. Many studies have shown that additional income, like the expanded CTC, is associated with better outcomes for kids in families with low incomes, including stronger educational performance, improved health, and reduced stress. 

The law expanded the CTC by increasing the amount per child that families receive (to $3,600 for kids under six and $3,000 for kids from six to 17) and making 17-year-olds eligible. A family in your district with kids aged five, seven and nine will receive $9,600 through the 2021 CTC. Critically, the CTC was also made fully refundable, meaning that families with no or very low incomes can still claim the full amount of the credit. Half the credit was made payable in advance payments in 2021.

While most families have automatically received payments, more than 4 million kids are at risk of missing out on the expanded CTC, because the IRS does not have their caregivers’ information. These “non-filers” are disproportionately immigrants, people of color, and those with no or very low incomes. And every family must file a tax return in 2022 to get the second half of the credit. If Congress passes the Build Back Better Act with its current version of the CTC provision, families will also be able to get the expanded credit for 2022, in monthly advance payments.

Schools are uniquely positioned to reach families, and with your leadership, can provide accessible resources and support in claiming the CTC. When schools took simple steps this year like texting families and conducting automated phone calls, significant numbers of families claimed the credit. A few minutes encouraging families to apply and telling them where to get expert advice can make a big difference for your students.

For now, one of the best way to help families receive the full 2021 CTC is by directing them to https://www.getyourrefund.org/k12 (English) or https://www.getyourrefund.org/es/k12 (Spanish), where they can sign up to be alerted when free tax assistance becomes available.. Next spring, an online filing portal may launch to simplify the process of claiming the CTC for individuals who are not required to file full tax returns. 

If you have any questions or need resources prior to the January 20th webinar, please contact Julia Beebe, Child Tax Credit Outreach Coordinator with the Coalition on Human Needs and Partnership for America’s Children: JBeebe@chn.org

Sources:

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy0482

https://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-tax/build-back-betters-child-tax-credit-changes-would-protect-millions-from

https://www.povertycenter.columbia.edu/news-internal/monthly-poverty-october-2021

https://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-tax/if-congress-fails-to-act-monthly-child-tax-credit-payments-will-stop-child

 

Guest Blog Post: AASA Learning Recovery & Redesign

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Guest Blog Post: AASA Learning Recovery & Redesign

Today’s guest blog post comes from AASA Executive Director Dan Domenech and is a second piece in our series of work related to supporting superintendents in their effort to invest and leverage American Rescue Plan dollars.

Across the country, superintendents, district staff, school leaders, educators, and all other support staff are working tirelessly to meet students where they’re at and support the communities most in need. As you recover to ensure you’re meeting the needs of each student, this moment also provides a unique opportunity to redesign school systems toward a more student-centered, equity-focused, and future-driven approach to public education.

AASA Learning Recovery & Redesign Priorities is the second installment of the AASA Learning Recovery & Redesign Guidance. While the first guidance focused on how to approach planning, this second one is designed to help district leaders reflect on what is in your recovery plans and your American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds spending choices. With the SY22-23 budget cycle upon us, district leaders should make time to reflect and revise as needed, especially in light of changed circumstances and new information gained during the first half of the current school year. 

The Priorities are organized according to the three main sections of our Learning 2025 Framework

 

  • Culture: Systemic redesign of educational system happens with an intentional, relationships-based culture.
  • Social-Emotional, Cognitive Growth: Systemic redesign of educational system encompasses the re-engineering of instruction around the needs and interests of each individual learner.
  • Learning Accelerators: Systemic redesign of educational system embraces levers for accelerating progress toward student-centered, equity-focused, future-driven education.

 

Each section includes guidance around the eleven components and how to effectively leverage ESSER funds to advance that area, along with links to high-quality, evidence-backed resources designed with district leaders in mind. These user-friendly pieces were selected to be actionable and implemented over both the short- and long-term. 

To make the most of these resources, we’ve created a Priorities Self-Assessment (Tool II), which districts can use to reflect on how their current plans and ESSER investments are helping advance toward any of the Learning 2025 components. As was true with the first installment of the Learning Recovery & Redesign Guidance and its four Guiding Principles — Plant Seeds, Center Equity, Use & Build Knowledge, and Sustain Strategically — these new tools and resources are universal enough that they apply in every district’s context. This is so for rural, urban, and suburban communities as well as for different individual district priorities. 

Whether on your own or with district teams, Board members, or other stakeholders, we encourage you to use all of the Learning Recovery & Redesign self-assessment tools to reflect on your decisions and work to date in order to increase the impact of your spending moving forward. 

This and additional, forthcoming resources have been developed in collaboration with the AASA American Rescue Plan Committee, the AASA Learning 2025 Network, and our partners at EducationCounsel. We will continue to support districts in meeting unprecedented needs in the face of unprecedented challenges. 

Please click here to provide your feedback on these resources and especially to suggest what else would be most helpful to you and your teams.

AASA Holds Second Webinar in Series for Making the Most of Your ESSER Funds

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AASA Holds Second Webinar in Series for Making the Most of Your ESSER Funds

Yesterday, held the second installment of a series of webinars helping school administrators take advantage of optimized spending of their ESSER funds. This installment of the series, Making the Most of Your ESSER Funds: Targeted Changes in FY23 Budgeting to Optimize ESSER Impact, was lead by Katie Roy and Jonathan Travers from Education Resource Strategies, who shared six recommended adaptations identified through FY23 budget development process and provided examples/illustrations from a variety of districts to show the specific changes leading districts are making this year.

You can access an archive recording of the webinar here and the presentation here.

The AASA American Rescue Plan Committee and our partners at the EducationCouncil have created accompanying resources to assist with learning recovery and redesign for schools districts:

Please let us know what would be most helpful by filling out the feedback form here.

You can access recording of the first webinar, Making the Most of Your ESSER Funds: Reflecting on Recovery & Redesign Plans Before Finalizing SY22-23 Budgets, hosted on November 16, here and access the presentationhere.

GAO Report Finds a Rise in Violent Crimes and Hate Speech in Schools Pre-COVID

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GAO Report Finds a Rise in Violent Crimes and Hate Speech in Schools Pre-COVID

Violent crimes and hate speech motivated by race, national origin and sexual orientation had been on the rise in nearly every school prior to the pandemic, according to a report recently published by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO). The study surveyed 4,800 school administrators and found that annually in school years 2014-15, 2016-17 and 2018-19, one in five students between the ages of 12-18 encountered bullying related to their race, national origin, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation.

In response to the surge of violent crimes, nearly every school district has adopted or increased social emotional learning (SEL) programs, according to GAO. An additional 18,000 schools adopted SEL programs between 2015-16 and 2017-18, and the use of school resource officers had increased by 2,000 schools. Staff training played a critical role in improving school climate and safety.

At the same time, rising awareness of racism and sexism in schools and society in general might be leading more people to report some incidents stemming from them, said James A. Densley, a professor of criminal justice at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minn. He wrote to EdWeek, “We could take any reported increase in hate crimes at face value and as a bellwether for the state of our society right now, or we could say that hate crimes have always been under-reported and these data represent a course correction that includes changes in public perception.”

This study does not address the school years affected by COVID but provides an accurate baseline for pre-pandemic school climate. Looking at long-term data, a joint report from USED and DOJ in 2019 shows that school climate and safety has significantly improved over past decades, including decreases in theft, assaults and other violent offenses.

You can find the full report from GAO here.

Biden Administration Announces Upcoming COVID-19 Plans for Family Vaccinations, Schools and the Omicron Variant

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Biden Administration Announces Upcoming COVID-19 Plans for Family Vaccinations, Schools and the Omicron Variant

Today, President Biden spoke at the National Institutes of Health to deliver remarks on their plan to continue the fight against COVID-19 as we enter the winter months and face the Omicron variant.

Firstly, the administration announced a new effort to launch family vaccination clinics across the country. These clinics will be held at community health centers, schools and other trusted locations, and some will be mobile to reach further into hard-to-reach communities and "vaccine deserts." The President also declared new steps to ensure that the nearly 100 million eligible Americans who have not yet gotten their booster shot, get one as soon as possible in accordance with guidance released by the CDC earlier this week. Families can text their zip code to 438829 to find an available vaccine location near them or visit vaccines.gov.

Second, Medicaid and CHIP (the Children’s Health Insurance Program) will start paying health care providers to talk to families about the importance of getting their kids vaccinated. Together, these programs cover 82 million people and nearly half of all children in the country and can be counted on as trusted sources of information for families.

Finally, the President announced that the CDC will be releasing new findings and guidance in the weeks ahead on “test to stay” and quarantining policies to keep kids in the classroom and a new Safe School Checklist detailing a set of actions that every school can take to get their staff and students vaccinated – including hosting school-located vaccination clinics, hosting community-based and family vaccination clinics and events, implementing vaccination requirements for school staff and getting eligible vaccinated school staff booster shots. President Biden stressed that the best tool to stop transmission and keep our schools open is to vaccinate everyone who is eligible.

The administration also released a new School Communities Toolkit with resources for school district leaders, teachers, parent leaders and school supporters that want to help increase confidence in and uptake of COVID-19 vaccines in their school communities, answer questions, and outline school guidance.

You can read the full release here.

The Advocate December 2021: Data, Data, Everywhere

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The Advocate December 2021: Data, Data, Everywhere

When it comes to federal education programs, a common element of these programs includes some portion of data reporting, whether to help illustrate how and where dollars were invest, what the dollars were invest in or who was involved. Ultimately, the data collected—whether via state education agencies, local education agencies or a combination of the two—at best, the data illustrate what a program was able to accomplish, provides a mechanism for transparency, reporting and evaluation, and informs future decisions related to the program. At worst, the data collection is cumbersome, clunky, disjointed from the realities of school processes and can be weaponized to fuel harmful narratives, often devoid of context, about schools and public education.

The infusion of funding via the Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds (three rounds of federal funding for schools as part of Congress’ response to the COVID pandemic) is coming with two extensive rounds of data collection—one about ESSER in general and one focused on the Maintenance of Equity provision. These data collections are in addition to another extensive data collection, the USED’s Office of Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), which is actually being administered in back-to-back years for the first time in recent memory. You can read what’s in store for districts regarding data collection in the CRDC here.

The superintendents we represent and the public school systems and students they serve have endured a year and a half unlike any other in their careers or lifetimes. Faced with the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it up-ended everything considered normal meant educational leadership was vital. Related to this, the school superintendents remain grateful for the assistance provided to support local education agencies via the three appropriations of ESSER funds. School superintendents are putting ESSER funds to use in myriad ways focused on equity; learning recovery; safe reopening; COVID mitigation; and addressing community, family and student needs, among others. The important work of investing these dollars responsibly works in tandem with the effort to ensure detailed information on how and where those dollars are spent is collected and available to support evaluation of the policies and funding available from Congress, as well as the efficacy, equity and efficiency of the programs, supports and services schools access. 

We appreciate USED’s willingness to receive and incorporate some changes to their proposed data collections. Even with those tweaks, though, the collections remain problematic for state and local education agencies (SEAs/LEAs) alike. While the ESSER data collection largely rests at the state level, the reality of implementation means that the responsibility will be shared by state and local education agencies (SEAs, LEAs) alike. State data collection does not happen in a vacuum and the scope of data collection—that is, the extent to which the data collection requires LEA-level detail—means that the data collection form has a direct impact on LEAs. It is important these data collections avoid unnecessary burden, complication or overreach. 

AASA’s advocacy team has engaged with USED on three major data collections in recent months, working to strike a balance between a well-intentioned federal focus on transparency with the reality of how data is available and collected, and ensuring data is valid, reliable and can actually be useful as intended. You can read our more detailed comments on ESSER and Maintenance of Equity, and continue to follow for updates via the AASA Advocacy blog and app.

HHS Releases Interim Final Rule on Vaccine Mandate for Head Start Programs

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HHS Releases Interim Final Rule on Vaccine Mandate for Head Start Programs

On November 30, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an interim final rule for vaccine and masking requirements for all Head Start programs. Effective immediately, all individuals ages 2 and older must wear a mask at all times. Exceptions to masking include when children are napping and individuals with disabilities who cannot safely wear a mask. Programs must make masks available to children.

By January 31, 2022, all Head Start staff, contractors whose activities involve contact with or providing direct services to children and families, and volunteers working in classrooms or directly with children must be vaccinated for COVID–19. Staff is defined as “paid adults who have responsibilities related to children and their families who are enrolled in programs.’’ The rule goes further to clarify that staff refers to all staff who work with enrolled Head Start children and families in any capacity regardless of funding source.

Although an individual is not considered fully vaccinated until 14 days (2 weeks) after the final dose, individuals impacted under the rule who have received the final dose of a primary vaccination series by January 31, 2022 are considered to have met the vaccination requirement, even if they have not yet completed the 14-day waiting period.

There are the usual exceptions to the vaccine mandate which include individuals who cannot get the vaccine due to a medical condition or disability and are who have a sincerely held religious belief that contradicts with getting the vaccine. Staff who cannot get vaccinated must undergo weekly testing.

The rule clarifies that the purchasing of masks and the costs associated with regular testing are allowable uses of Head Start and American Rescue Plan Funds.  

Additional requirements for Head Start programs under the rule:

Record-Keeping/Documentation: Head Start programs but maintain documentation of all staff vaccination statuses and exemptions. The CDC provides a staff vaccination tracking tool that is free to use.

Develop Processes:

  • Head Start programs must establish a process for reviewing and reaching determinations regarding exemption requests (e.g., disability, medical conditions, sincerely held religious beliefs, practices, or observances). Programs must have a process for collecting and evaluating such requests, including the tracking and secure documentation of information provided by those staff who have requested exemption, the program’s decision on the request, and any accommodations that are provided. Requests for exemptions based on an applicable federal law must be documented and evaluated in accordance with applicable Federal law and each program’s policies and procedures. Recommended Resource: What You Should Know About COVID–19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws
  • Programs must also develop a written testing protocol for those with exemptions. Programs should consult with their Health Services Advisory Committee (HSAC) and local public health officials, along with recommendations from their agency’s legal counsel and Human Resources department. Programs are encouraged to review CDC and FDA guidance about selecting COVID-19 tests and developing related protocols.

 





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