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Promoting Positive Learning Climates Online and at Home

This resource list was developed to support educators' and parents' efforts to maintain a positive learning climate while students are physically separated from their teachers and classmates due to the COVID-19 school closures. The resource list is organized by the three elements of a positive learning climate - safety, support, and social & emotional learning - that have been shown to contribute to welcoming schools and support positive youth development.  Since the community impacts of COVID-19 may be similar to what occurs during a natural disaster, many of the resources are specific to the unique needs of children impacted by an infectious disease outbreak or another community trauma.  Please pay careful attention to these resources and use them to inform your interactions with students. Other resources are more generic and can be used flexibly and in combination based upon the specific needs of learners.  

NOTE: links shared that take users beyond the Pennsylvania Department of Education's website to a non-PDE website, organization, product, process, service, manufacturer, or company do not constitute endorsement or recommendation by PDE, and, PDE is not responsible for the content featured on any of the sites or pages referenced. Educators should be mindful of digital resources that require teachers or students to create online accounts. Please check with district policies and consider HIPPA, FERPA, and COPPA laws with regards to student privacy BEFORE implementing any of these resources.

Strategies to Promote Safety/Wellness Online and at Home

Maintain norms and routines to the greatest extent possible

Education First: Making the Most of Going Virtual - ideas for teams

Edutopia: Extending Classroom Management Online

Huffington Post: sample at-home learning schedules Family Media Plan

Provide age/role appropriate information to caregivers and children


PA Department of Education: Talking to Children About COVID 19

Talking with Children about COVID-19 (CDC)

Talking With Children: Tips for Caregivers, Parents, and Teachers During Infectious Disease Outbreaks: SAMHSA

National Association of School Psychologists' COVID-19 Parent Resources

Online safety and digital citizenship

Applied Educational Systems digital citizenship resources

Coronavirus, Online Learning, Social Isolation, and Cyberbullying: How to Support Our Students (Cyberbullying Research Center)

Department of Justice: Children Internet Safety and Resources

REMS Guidance on Online Safety Considerations for K-12 School Districts

Safe sibling supervision

Red Cross Babysitter Training Handbook

Parent resource to support child development

Parent Toolkit

Ensure safe homes and workspaces

Safe Kids resources

Attend to physical and emotional safety needs through tiered systems of community support

National Traumatic Stress Network: Coping in Hard Times Together

211 essential services referral line

Support Strategies for Children, Families and Remote Teachers

Physical supports

Feeding and other services in conjunction with local service agencies

211 essential services referral line

Action for Health Kids COVID-19 and At-Home Resources

Exercise and wellness activities

Healthy Kids Healthy Future website

Move Your Way

Nemours Kids Health in the Classroom

PE Central

SHAPE America's Virtual Resources for Health and PE

Common Sense Media "Best Nutrition Health and Fitness Apps"

28 Days of Activities for Kids: Staying Sane During Covid-19 (Born to be Adventurous)


Digital K-12 Platform (PDE)

Mental and behavioral health supports

Implement self-care routines for adults

America Meditating Radio

American Psychological Association: Building Your Resilience

Care for your Coronavirus Anxiety Toolkit

Developing Your Self-Care Plan

Feeling Stressed About Coronavirus (COVID-19)? Managing Anxiety in an Anxiety-Provoking Situation

Manage Anxiety and Stress (CDC)

Mental Health and COVID-19: Information and Resources (Mental Health America)

Mindful Teachers Self-care Resources

National Association of Social Workers: Self-Care During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope with the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

SafeSpace: Resources and Tools to Create an Emotionally Safe Environment

SAMHSA: Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health

Support for Teachers Affected by Trauma

Teacher Well-Being Workbook

Provide developmentally appropriate information and support

Just for Kids: A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus (NPR)

National Council on Family Relations' list of resources on how to talk to children about tragedies

National Institutes of Mental Health: Health Children and Adolescents Cope with Natural Disasters and Other Traumatic Events

NAESP Helping Kids Cope with Tragedy

NASP Large-Scale Natural Disasters: Helping Kids Cope

Use online platforms for social connection

Common Sense Media Coronavirus Resources

UNESCO Distance Learning Solutions

Conduct periodic check-ins with students who have known needs

Edutopia's "Personalizing Engagement: Checking in with Students Before They Check Out"

Offer virtual counseling

Planning for Virtual/Distance School Counseling During an Emergency Shutdown

The School Counselor and Virtual School Counseling

Proactively address potential for coronavirus racism and harassment

How to Respond to Coronavirus Racism (Teaching Tolerance)

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Strategies for Children

Resources for adults on modeling and promoting social emotional learning in the home

PA Career Ready Skills: Implementation: Specific Practices and Strategies

CASEL Signature Practices Playbook

Commonsense Media Educator Toolkit: SEL

Confident Parents Confident Kids

Learning Heroes for Parents

Parent's Guide to SEL

SEL Parent Toolkit

Recorded SEL or mindfulness videos (examples only)

8 Amazing Videos to Teach and Practice Mindfulness with Kids

5 Incredibly Fun GAMES to Teach Self-Regulation

Mood Meter Intro

Sesame Street: Empathy 

Social and Emotional Learning: What is SEL and Why It Matters

Yale Emotional Intelligence: Emotion Words

Online Story Times (examples only)

100 Read Alouds to Teach Social and Emotional Skills


Practicing Social and Emotional Skills Remotely (examples only)

Good Housekeeping: How to have remote playdates and keep kids social during the COVID-19 Outbreak

Middle Web: Promote Book Talks with Online Literature Circles

CNN: The art of the socially distant birthday party

Scholastic: Writing Letters to a Pen Pal