Coronavirus Resources For Charter Schools

As COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to impact day-to-day operations of schools, the National Alliance is here to help serve as a clearinghouse of information and your connection to what's happening in Washington.

From the National Alliance

As COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to impact the day-to-day operations of schools, charter schools—particularly single-site schools without close ties to a management organization or school district—may need additional help or resources. Schools aren’t just places of learning, but oftentimes sources of food, afterschool care, health care, and other resources that are critical to vulnerable families, especially as many adults may be forced out of work temporarily. The National Alliance is here to help in any way we can, in partnership with state charter support organizations. And for those of you who have relationships with charter schools in your area, please reach out to find out if there are ways you can help them.

In addition to the resources below, the National Alliance has compiled a growing set of resources for state charter school organizations and charter school leaders. The resources include official guidance from education and health agencies, resources for remote and distance learning, sample letters and communications materials as well as resources from state associations, schools, and other education-related organizations from around the country.


NCSCvirtual Engagement Hub
National Charter School Conference Virtual

Ahead of the 2021-22 school year, NCSC21 delivered three days of content for educators, school leaders, and advocates. Check out our On-Demand sessions to hear from leading practitioners in the field and get the latest information on addressing how the achievement gap grew during the pandemic, the future of standardized testing, and reopening schools safely.

Health & Safety

Funding Resources

  • The U.S. Department of Education published an Interim Final Rule on the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act and a template for submission of State plans. See this memo from our partners at Penn Hill Group for more information. (April 2021)
  • USDA extended School Nutrition Flexibility through June 2022 to allow schools to serve meals in non-group settings at flexible meal times while maintaining social distancing consistent with federal recommendations.   
  • The Emergency Broadband Benefit is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program to help families afford internet service during the pandemic. Families can navigate the sign-up process using this toolkit and eligibility materials and a Companies Near Me tool to identify participating providers.

Teaching Supports

School Reopening

Where can I find information about reopening schools?

Federal Resources

The National Alliance and Bellwether Education Partners produced What Charter Schools Need to Know: Federal COVID-19 Response Legislation and Charter Schools.

What resources are available from the federal government?

  • The Affordable Connectivity Program provides eligible households with discounts on broadband service and a computer or tablet.
  • The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds allows several education-related expenditures, including programs that address educational disparities, premium pay for essential school employees, and more.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture built a webpage compiling all available information about their nutrition programs. Waivers to continue providing free meals to all children under 18 are extended through September 30, 2021.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidelines for reopening schools.
  • The Department of Education built a webpage dedicated to coronavirus. They also answered questions on how to provide services to children with disabilities and offered an updated guidance document.
  • The National Charter School Resource Center has created a webpage of resources to support Charter School Programs grantees during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The Small Business Administration's COVID-19 page has information about its programs, including debt relief.

Educational Equity

Where can I find resources to help develop plans to educate students with disabilities?
  • A coalition including the National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools and the Center on Reinventing Public Education is curating and developing special education resources for educators to serve students who learn differently during this time of challenge.
  • The National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools shares resources on how to better serve students with disabilities.
  • The Department of Education answered questions on how to provide services to children with disabilities. On March 21, the Department issued updated guidance clarifying that while federal law mandates that students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in everything schools provide, including online learning, districts have flexibility in reaching that goal and that federal law should not be used to prevent schools from offering online learning.
How can I ensure school closures do not increase educational inequities?
  • The Education Trust focuses on educational equity and how to help students during school closures.
  • School House Connection has put together a resource guide for schools to proactively and intentionally incorporate outreach to homeless families and unaccompanied youth.
  • The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness offers an FAQ on supporting students experiencing homelessness. 
  • The American Bar Association has a list of at-home and learning resources for foster youth.
How can I protect my students' privacy and civil rights in situations that affect the health or safety of students or other individuals?
What can I do to ensure my students are getting fed? 
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture built a webpage compiling all available information about their nutrition programs.
  • The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) and The School Superintendents Association released a new resource for school superintendents about the two options — the Summer Food Service Program and the Seamless Summer Option —available for schools to receive funding to serve meals and snacks when schools are closed.
  • Hoonuit built a school meal finder tool. Find meal sites closest to you during school closures here.

Distance Learning

Charter-Specific Resources
Additional Resources
  • Teach For America has created a list of free resources developed for educators engaging in distance learning.
  • Instruction Partners has studied early distance learning plans from districts and provides guidance for decision-makers in what is and isn’t working. They also have Grab and Go Instructional Materials which will be updated weekly.
  • The U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences’ 10 Regional Educational Laboratories collaborated to produce a series of evidence-based resources and guidance about teaching and learning in a remote environment.
  • built a distance learning playbook to address the broad needs of a diverse student population—including best practices for supporting English learners.
  • allows students to learn how to code—even without a computer. Learn more here.
  • Common Sense Media is leading an initiative at for educators and families with material from companies including Scholastic, Khan Academy, PBS, and Sesame Workshop.
  • The Barbara Bush Foundation put together a home school toolkit.
  • Learning Heroes provides parents with tools to teach at home.
  • The National Summer Learning Association has compiled a list of resources programs and families. Learn more here.
  • The team at We Are Teachers compiled a list of free resources for teaching virtually.
  • The National School Choice Week team has compiled resources for schools shifting online.
  • Emerson Collective has provided a list of online learning resources to support students here.
  • The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) has a quick start guide to implementing homeschool. Watch an HSLDA consultant share tips.
  • Girls Rising has created a Girls Rising Family Guide to support families and educators in discussing resilience in the face of challenge.

Other Information

Where else can I go for more information?