While incoming data shows most children do not appear to be at a higher risk for COVID-19 than adults, children and youth in Tennessee have felt the serious impact of the virus.
The Tennessee Department of Education has formed a statewide COVID-19 Child Wellbeing Task Force that aims to support the holistic needs of children and youth who have been impacted by the extended school building closures. The Task Force was formed in response to the pandemic’s long-term effects on school districts across Tennessee and its students, with the goal of helping communities come together to check on our children and youth.
The Task Force will operate with the following concrete objectives:
Empowering Local Implementation: Identify local infrastructure, relationships, and resources to promote supports for students and families.
Supporting Rapid Response for late summer and back-to-school 2020: Develop a set of action items that local communities may utilize over the summer and throughout the traditional back-to-school season to support the needs of children.
Determining Ongoing Support for Academic Year 2020-2021: Develop a set of action items that local communities may utilize to support the needs of children when school resumes in the fall of 2020.
The Task Force is hitting the ground running;
· By July 6, 2020 the Task Force will produce a report on the impacts of the school closures on critical services to children that have occurred and will identify opportunities to establish and maintain local infrastructure.
- By July 10, 2020, the Task Force will provide guidance for conducting child wellbeing checks during the summer and/or throughout back-to-school season as children begin a new school year.
· By July 24, 2020, the Task Force will provide guidance for community-based child wellbeing checks, services, and supports throughout the academic year.
· By October 2, 2020, the Task Force will develop the Pandemic Preparation Toolkit, outlining a more comprehensive set of recommendations, action items, and planning tools for local communities for any future school closures.
- By December 11, 2020, the Task Force will produce a report to the Governor summarizing the work of the group and making recommendations for the future.
The Task force will meet bimonthly through July 2020, with monthly meetings in August through December. You can view the members who were chosen to be on the Task Force here.