Part of Reopening

Preliminary reopening guidance for schools

Documents needed by public, private, and parochial TK to 12 schools, when allowed to reopen.

General requirements

Schools must apply for approval to reopen. See more information from the Department of Public Health about the approval process.

Right now, elementary schools can send reopening safety plans to open grades TK to 6. Middle schools and high schools may apply to reopen outdoor classes.

Check the school reopening dashboard to see where schools are in the process.

Youth programs, childcare programs, and in-person support services at schools are available right now

Childcare programs and recreational programs outside of school are open for all children.

Schools can provide in-person support for vulnerable children and youth. These children may be:

  • In a special education program or other specialized support service (including for disabilities)
  • Experiencing homelessness, housing insecurity, or food insecurity
  • Learning English

In-person support can include:

  • Occupational and physical therapy
  • Speech and language services
  • Behavioral services if part of an individualized educational program (IEP) or individual family support plan (IFSP)
  • Educational support as part of a targeted intervention strategy

General physical distancing requirements for schools

Keep groups of children separate from each other in a different room or space.

Assign adult staff to only work with each other and with the same group of children.

Remind parents and caregivers they must wear face coverings while at these facilities, including dropping off and picking up children. Prohibit face coverings for children under 2 years, due to risk of suffocation. Encourage face coverings for children between ages 2 and 9, and only with adult supervision. Have children 10 years and over wear a face covering.


Health directive about best practices for schools.

For preparation only. Middle and high schools are not allowed to be open for indoor instruction at this time. Elementary schools must apply for approval to reopen grades TK to 6.


Preliminary health guidance for the school year 2020 to 2021, provided by the Department of Public Health. Each school district will develop their own plans and decisions to reopen from this guidance.

Action required for schools providing in-person support services: Complete and post a Health and Safety Plan from this fillable PDF.

Action required: The Health Order requires that businesses post certain signage during the coronavirus pandemic. This poster meets the requirement for communicating indoor risk, for all businesses doing indoor operations.

Action required: All businesses must post information for their staff about how to report violations of COVID-19 health orders at the workplace. It is in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Filipino. You can also download this poster in 11x17 size.

Quick Guide for schools for when someone has suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Includes sample letters to students and staff.

Guidance aimed at staff, for how to do COVID-19 health checks and what to do if a check is positive. Includes a handout for parents.

Guidance about ventilation from the Department of Public Health, for businesses, offices, schools, faith-based and similar organizations.

Other languages: [Chinese]  [Spanish]  [Tagalog]

Guidance accompanies Directive 2020-22 and provides specifics about what is allowed for outdoor instruction, administration, housing, dining, etc in Higher Education Programs, which includes colleges, universities, vocational, ESL, and other adult educational settings.


See this Guidance in 中文 | Filipino | Español

Tips for minimizing risks for people who choose to have Learning Pods

See this guidance in 中文, Русский, Pilipino, Español, Tiếng Việt 

Health Directive about best practices for institutions of higher education and adult education programs.

Health directive about best practices for schools providing specialized targeted support services.

The Shelter-in-Place Order that states what activities are allowed and prohibited during the COVID-19 emergency.

More information to prepare for reopening