Ojo 01

March 18, 2020

Dear parents,

We know that concerns over COVID-19, otherwise known as the Coronavirus, can make children and families anxious. We recognize that addressing your concerns requires more than just providing facts, it also involves that parents are better prepared to deal with the virus. We hope we can help.

It is very important to remember that children look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events. If parents seem too worried, children’s anxiety may rise. That is why we recommend that you:

  • Consider limiting the amount of media exposure you get of the Coronavirus.
  • Monitor social media for the same.
  • Be aware that information designed for adults can cause worry, particularly in young children.
  • Engage your children with books. Sites like Scholastic have published lists of books that you can read with your children, for example. Or you may want to consider an audiobook or two.
  • Engage your children with games and other interesting activities instead. Get out all those old-fashioned board games or share an electronic game.
  • Watch old family videos or, if you have a printer, put together a new family album of photos. Connecting with happier times is always good for our mental health.
  • Stay in touch with your community via phone or internet. Consider setting up a community of friends and family, and a designated time to check-in with each other.
  • Make yourself available. Children will need extra attention from you and may want to talk about their concerns and questions. It is important that they know they have someone who will listen.
  • Create a daily schedule for your children and ask for their input. Include a time for breakfast, lunch, reading, watching television, academic activities, physical activities, and free time.

While we don’t know how the virus may affect our area, we do know that it is contagious, that the severity of illness can vary from person to person, and that there are steps we can take to prevent the spread of infection. Some useful recommendations include:

  • Put distance between yourself and other people. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Know how it spreads and that the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
  • Take steps to protect yourself and clean your hands often.
  • Take steps to protect others. Stay home if you’re sick. Cover coughs and sneezes.

We hope that the common reactions to this distress will fade over time. But, if children continue to be very upset then parents may want to speak to someone who specializes in children’s emotional needs. Also, please remember to keep safe.

Lastly, remember to communicate with our school and monitor our website and/or social media sites.


Ojo Amarillo Elementary School

One Vision, One Mission

Department of Education's COVID-19 Webpage

United States Department of Education (Department) established a COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) webpage to provide its stakeholders and the general public with a “one stop shop” for cross-government guidance on COVID-19 as it relates to early intervention, public and private childcare, and K-12 schools. The site includes guidance specific to children with disabilities, including the provision of early intervention services and the provision of FAPE when schools are closed because of a COVID-19 outbreak. We encourage you to review each piece of guidance. Additional resources will be posted as they become available. [Click here for more information]

Federal COVID-19 Resources

Health officials are currently taking steps to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19 ("Coronavirus") into communities across the United States. Coronavirus.gov offers the most up to date information about this rapidly evolving situation. Education-specific resources are available on the Department's website.

Through collaboration and coordination with State and local health departments, State and local educational agencies, lead agencies for Part C and early intervention providers, other education officials, and elected officials, schools and early intervention providers can disseminate critical information about the disease and its potential transmission to students, families, staff, and community.

Of particular note, on March 21 the Department released a supplemental fact sheet addressing serving children with disabilities during the COVID-19 national emergency. The supplemental fact sheet makes clear that ensuring compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504), and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act should not prevent any school from offering educational programs through distance instruction. 

OSEP-funded TA Center COVID-19 Resources

OSERS’ technical assistance centers are ready to address your questions regarding the IDEA and best practices and alternate models for providing special education and related services, including through distance instruction. For questions pertaining to Part C of IDEA, States should contact their Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center State Contact.  For Part B of IDEA, States should contact the National Center for Systemic Improvement.
Early Childhood
The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center is providing State Part C and Part B, Section 619 programs with the latest information on funding and guidance, as well as information on talking to children and families during the COVID-19 national emergency.
School Age
The National Center for Systemic Improvement's web page provides a resource hub for supporting students with disabilities during the COVID-19 national emergency, including educator resources to support remote learning. Online and At Home Transition-Focused Activities. The National Technical Assistance Center on Transition hosted a webinar for practitioners and family members on transition planning and intervention resources. Materials are available on the center's web page.
Professional Development
The IRIS Center offers free professional development modules on various topics, including distance learning.
Social / Emotional / Behavioral
The Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports and The Center for Parent Information and Resources developed resources for parents support their children's social and emotional growth and minimize behavioral disruptions in the home and during distance learning instruction.
Tele-intervention and Distance Learning
The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center hosted a webinar and explored Part C policy and infrastructure issues for States to consider addressing in order to establish and fund early intervention through video-based tele-intervention.

The CARES Act and IDEA

On March 27, the President signed H.R. 748, The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act into law.

The CARES Act establishes the $30 billion Education Stabilization Fund, which includes the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund, the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, and the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.