Resources during COVID-19 outbreak

Schools in Illinois are closed through March 31st in hopes of slowing the COVID-19 pandemic via social distancing. And it’s likely that they’ll need to be closed for much longer

The IL General Assembly has cancelled session this week, and in light of the major societal disruption ahead, our legislative advocacy in coming months will likely focus on emergency measures to support public school families. Sign up for alerts and updates from us here.

One initial quick thing we can do is to push the federal government cancel mandated annual testing; use this letter-writing campaign from the Network for Public Education to urge the US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to do just that.

Here's a (starter) list of resources for families during this time. Suggestions/additions/questions are very much welcome: [email protected]

Basic resources for families


Schooling in a time of coronavirus

Most schools in Illinois aren’t prepared to do e-learning. And e-learning will continue to present unresolved issues for children due to privacy and screen-time concerns. Here’s information and advice on that from national advocacy groups we work with:

Note that the IL State Board of Ed has said that schools cannot grade work assigned during March 17-March 30th unless it will improve a child’s academic standing (i.e. extra credit).

No matter what schools are able to roll out in terms of distance learning (digital or otherwise), keep things in perspective about what this time will be like. What children and families are going to experience in the coming months is unprecedented for most people. Many people are going to be dealing with concerns about shelter, food, safety and mental and physical health; those concerns will inevitably take precedence over worries about missing some months of academic instruction.

All that said, when all there is for children to do is stay home, keeping occupied is key; there are tons of free resources online for educational experiences and enrichment, including digital and non-digital activities, if you need ideas.

Here’s a few places to start:



[Photo used via Creative Commons]