COVID-19 Update #1 / NYS-TEACHS Services Update

Updated: Dec 15, 2021

During these difficult times, meeting the needs of students experiencing homelessness is both more challenging and more critical. Below are new resources and the latest information to help McKinney-Vento liaisons and others better support students experiencing homelessness.

Latest News on School & COVID-19:

  • New York State Education Department (NYSED) on COVID-19

  • US Department of Education on COVID-19

  • National Center on Homeless Education’s Information on COVID-19

  • SchoolHouse Connection’ Brief on COVID-19: This brief includes strategies for meeting safety and basic needs, providing remote instruction, and addressing mental health needs of children and youth experiencing homelessness.

Connecting with Local Resources: Noteworthy Issues for Students Experiencing Homelessness:

Please share relevant information and referrals to students and families experiencing homelessness.

Food supplies / free meals. Make sure parents and students know where to get grab-and-go school meals if available in your community as well as food from local food pantries.

Computers and internet. Make sure students experiencing homelessness have access to a computer or a tablet and the internet for remote learning when schools are closed. In some communities, free wi-fi may be available (for example, see here). Title I, Part A set-asides and McKinney-Vento grant funding can be used to pay for devices and/or wi-fi hot spots if they are not otherwise available for students in temporary housing.

Targeted outreach & mental health resources. Increased stress and anxiety are common responses to the coronavirus outbreak. These responses can be more acute for students and families experiencing homelessness, because often they are already contending with other mental health stressors. Reach out to students and families experiencing homelessness to check in and make sure that they can access available mental health resources. The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) Program Directory is a good place to start.

NYS-TEACHS Trainings and Services:

  • Our Infoline is and will remain open! We welcome your calls. Please expect to leave a voicemail; we will return your message as quickly as possible.

  • NYS-TEACHS’ in-person trainings scheduled through April 17 (at earliest) will be cancelled or rescheduled. Please stay tuned for updates here.

  • Mailings of our posters and brochures are temporarily suspended until we are back in our office.

Thank you for your continued work supporting students in temporary housing. Please let us know your questions and how we can better support you during these ever-changing and challenging times.

Stay safe, NYS-TEACHS

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