CCSSO Releases Framework to Assist State Education Leaders in Planning for Restart of Schools

restart and recovery

Over the last six weeks, our nation’s more than 132,000 K-12 schools have largely transitioned from a brick and mortar system to one in living rooms, bedrooms and backyards. State education leaders have worked to quickly adapt to this rapidly evolving landscape brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic by providing creative ways to meet the needs of all students and teachers – from meal delivery on school buses to partnerships with public broadcasting networks to deliver educational content.

CCSSO has supported states every step of the way as they navigate this unprecedented time and make critical decisions that must be enacted quickly.

Today, CCSSO is releasing the Restart and Recovery Framework that outlines our next phase of support to states as they plan to restart schools and recover student learning loss. Divided into two phases, CCSSO will continue its current assistance to states in the near term, and now is launching the second phase of support to create a guide and planning toolkit that states can use to address every issue that may arise in the reopening of schools. The framework is available here.

“State education leaders continue to rise to the challenge to meet the diverse needs of America’s school children during the national crisis we face because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said CCSSO Executive Director Carissa Moffat Miller. “This framework will be a comprehensive set of supports available to state education leaders as they make critical decisions ahead for student learning and addressing the needs of their most vulnerable student populations.”

As the foremost organization for state chiefs, CCSSO is uniquely positioned to lead in providing chiefs with this comprehensive set of supports and expert guidance as they plan to reopen school and envision what the next academic year will look like for students, families, teachers and staff.

CCSSO has worked closely with state leaders on a framework that outlines the decisions state chiefs will need to make before students can re-enter physical school buildings, with an emphasis on physical safety, mental health and academic success for all students and especially the most vulnerable student populations.  

The highlights of this work will include:  

  • A decision-making framework and planning template for all states to use in mapping out their plan to reopen school buildings and address student learning loss.
  • A toolkit aligned with the planning template will offer states one central place for the resources, expert guidance and best practices they need to address key questions and considerations known today, as well as customizable toolkits and templates to share with local districts.
  • The toolkit will contain expert guidance in specific areas, such as options for summer programming, diagnostic assessments to measure learning loss, social distancing protocols in the school setting, instructional material and professional learning considerations, evidence-based approaches for meeting students’ social and emotional needs, and learning supports for vulnerable student populations, including students living in poverty, students of color, students with disabilities, homeless youth and English Language Learners. 
  • All materials will draw on the great work and resources already available in the field today, and provide flexibility so state leaders can plan for unanticipated questions or decisions that may arise throughout the reopening and restart process.


CCSSO has a long history of being a convener and connector in the education community to give states the best possible supports and these events make that even more important. Most recently, CCSSO led the support for all states as they wrote, developed and implemented state plans aligned with the Every Student Succeeds Act.

We are grateful for the initial support CCSSO has received for this work, including from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative DAF, an advised fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation,  the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation to provide direct support to states in response to COVID-19. Other foundations have provided flexibility in current funding so we can respond to COVID-19, including the Alliance for Early Success, the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

We know the needs of our nation’s schools will evolve as our nation continues to address, and slowly recovers from, the pandemic. This framework serves as an important guide as states navigate this path successfully with their students, teachers and broader communities. 

For information on how CCSSO is supporting states amid the coronavirus outbreak, visit

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