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Planning for the Next Normal at School Playbook

As schools and districts across the nation settle back into in person learning, they are facing an even greater strain as they seek to meet the diverse academic and health needs of students, staff, and teachers.

To assist schools in proactively addressing the health needs of the school community, more than 30 nationally recognized and trusted school health organizations came together to develop a playbook support health in schools — “Planning for the Next Normal at School: Keeping students, staff, and families safe and healthy.” This guide aims to equip school and district leaders with specific, evidence-informed guidance and operating procedures for keeping school communities mentally and physically safe as we shape a new approach to learning. Each chapter of the playbook includes five “starter plays” that provide practical strategies and actionable steps for improving health in both in-person and virtual school environments.

The Planning for the Next Normal at School playbook is an evolving collection of recommendations, co-authored by Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Action for Healthy Kids, Healthy Schools Campaign, and SHAPE America to address the total health needs of the school community. The playbook provides a framework to understand, assess, and implement strategies for COVID-19 prevention; social drivers of health; physical activity, physical education, and health education; staff and teacher well-being; mental health and well-being; and family well-being.

Click the     icon within the gray toolbar below to download the playbook PDF.


“The last four months have placed a spotlight on the need to support our staff, so that they can support our students and school community. This playbook will provide our district with the framework and tools to do exactly that as we navigate our reopening plans.”

“The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a huge toll on families and the community. Thankfully, we have Kaiser Permanente and Alliance for a Healthier Generation to guide our work in supporting the physical and mental health needs of adolescents as we continue to engage students in learning. Their published playbook gives educators concrete steps to follow to support staff and students in learning as well as a wealth of additional resources. We are already using the playbook’s clearly-articulated and thoughtfully-reasoned steps to inform our planning for the coming year.”


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