As communities and states begin to emerge from lockdowns, afterschool and summer learning programs are developing plans to welcome young people back through their doors. There are significant considerations programs need to undertake in order to successfully and safely reopen. To help afterschool and summer learning programs through this process, we've curated a number of resources, guides, and examples to help you develop a plan — and collaborate with your school system — to safely care for children and youth.

5 Steps: Reaching out to School Leaders About Reopening

Use this simple 5-step plan to help ensure your afterschool programs are at the planning table and included in schools' reopening strategies. You'll find more factsheets, blogs, and CDC guidance below.

Identify the school districts, school board leaders and groups you will reach out to, including states superintendent, school board or community education council and school administrator associations. If statewide outreach is daunting, build a list of priority districts. Consider:

  • High need and high poverty areas (map of high poverty counties)
  • Districts where you have good working relationships with the district or afterschool programs in the area
  • Districts that have a politically influential representative in Congress or the state legislature
  • Bonus: aim to cover a variety of media markets in your state Identify any people or programs you can partner with to reach key groups on your target list.

Use these tools to contact the people and organizations you've identified. Share materials that show how afterschool can support schools for reopening and throughout the year. Request a meeting where feasible.

build_circle Sample email and letter from a network or provider to superintendent or school board

Customize this template email and letter and send to school leaders, asking to be part of their school's reopening planning discussions. Send this letter with the handout.


build_circle Afterschool and Summer Learning Programs Are Essential for Recovery

A two-page handout that describes how afterschool and summer learning programs are essential for meeting kids’ needs and addressing inequities. It also explains why COVID relief funds are needed with specific examples of how they would be used. 


build_circle Sample one pager about how afterschool can support different reopening scenarios

Customize and share this one-pager with school leaders. This explains how afterschool programs can support students and families, and what they can offer for various reopening strategies.


Afterschool networks, leaders and providers can help engage parents and ask them to contact their child's principal. State networks can also reach out to help coordinate and support programs in districts that have a politically influential representative in Congress or the state legislature.

build_circle Sample email from network to providers

A template email afterschool networks and leaders can send to programs in their state requesting that they engage parents and contact school leaders about partnering with afterschool.


build_circle Sample email from providers to families

A template email afterschool providers can send to families requesting that they email their child's principal about including afterschool in reopening plans. The email includes a sample letter from parent to principal in both English and Spanish.


build_circle NAFSCE Recommendations

For additional ideas on how to engage parents in the reopening process, take a look at these ideas from the National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement.


State networks and leaders may consider using an open letter to gather signatures of partners, supportive schools and education leaders, programs, and other supporters across the state to share with school boards and superintendents.

build_circle Sample sign on letter for afterschool networks and leaders

A template sign on letter that describes the critical resources afterschool programs can provide and urges school officials to partner with afterschool programs. Use it to gather names and email addresses; share it with school officials to demonstrate the demand for afterschool.


State networks, leaders, programs and staff can use social media channels to promote the role of afterschool programs in reopening—and share tools that programs can use.

build_circle Sample posts and tweets

Back to school comes with a lot of uncertainty. One thing we can all agree on: Kids need more support. Let's involve afterschool programs in recovery plans.
To recover from the pandemic, students will need every option on the table. Afterschool programs are ready to partner with schools where they're needed most.


A collection of graphics that can be shared on Facebook and Twitter. Click on a graphic to download.
Guidance and Resources on Partnering with Schools to Reopen
Partnering with Schools to Reopen and Meet Students' Needs: A table that describes how afterschool programs can help meet kids' needs for different strategies schools are using to reopen. This includes messages you can use to make the case for involving afterschool leaders in discussions about protocols and schedules that are being developed for instruction, transportation and safety procedures in the coming school year.
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Blueprint: A School Year Like No Other Demands a New Learning Day

Blueprint: PDF
Statement in support: PDF | Word

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Brief: Expanded Learning Programs: Principles for Reopening & Recovery
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Quick Brief: Tools to Help Plan for Summer Programs
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Factsheet: Afterschool and Summer Learning Programs Are Essential for COVID-19 Recovery
National Organization Guidance

American Camp AssociationCamp Operations Guide 2020

Centers for Disease Control and PreventionConsideration for Youth and Summer Camps | Camp Reopening Decision Tree

National Summer Learning AssociationSummer Learning: A Bridge to Student Success and America’s Recovery, a COVID-19 PLAYBOOK

National Occupational Therapy AssociationBack to School Guide in the Era of COVID-19

PlayworksPlayworks School Re-Opening Workbook

Promising Practices for Reopening

State Guidance

State Resource
AL Guidelines for Child Day Care Facilities
AL Guidelines for Day and Overnight Youth Summer Camps
AL Roadmap for Reopening Schools
AK Day Camps
AK Licensed Child Care Facilities
AK Alaska Smart Start 2020 Restart and Reentry Framework Guidance for K-12 Schools
AZ Roadmap for Reopening Schools
AR Ready for Learning
AR Directive Regarding Summer Day Camps
CA Stronger Together: A Guidebook for the Safe Reopening of California's Public Schools
CO Summer School Considerations During COVID-19
CO Planning for the 2020-2021 School Year - A framework for feedback
CT Detailed Guidance for Summer Camps
CT Adapt, Advance, Achieve
DE Youth Sports Reopening
DE Working Groups and Draft
DE Summer School Guidance for Delaware Schools
FL Reopening Florida's Schools and The Cares Act
GA Interim Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Guidance for Child Care Settings
GA Georgia's Path to Recovery for K-12 Schools
GA Interim Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Guidance for Day Camp Settings
HI DOE Reopening School Guidelines
ID Protocols for Daycares and Childcare
ID Idaho State Board of Ed - School District and Charter Re-Entry
ID Protocols for Youth Activities
IL Reopening Plan
IL Summer School Guidance for Schools and Districts
IN General Recommended Guidelines for Summer Day Camps
IN Indiana's Considerations for Learning and Safe Schools (CLASS)
IA COVID-19 Childcare Summer Program Guidance
IA Reopening Guidance
IA Childcare Guidance in Response to COVID-19
KY Initial Reopening Guidance for Schools and Districts
KY Reopening Resources
KY Requirements for Childcare Programs
LA Strong Start 2020
LA Guides and Supportive Guidance for Summer School, Camps, and Extracurriculuar Activities
ME Return to Classroom Instruction Framework (draft)
ME Guidance for Summer Programming
ME Guidance for Child Care Providers
MD Maryland Together: Maryland's Recovery Plan for Education
MA Initial Fall Reopening Guidance
MI Safe Return to Schools Plan
MI Michigan State University - Reopening School
MI Legislature Return to Learn Plan
MI Supporting Summer Learning, Pandemic or Not
MN MDE Planning Guidance for Minnesota Public Schools
MN Dept of Health Planning Guide for Schools
MN Guidance for Social Distancing in Youth and Student Programs
MS Considerations for Reopening
MO School Board Reentry and Reopening of Schools
MT Re-opening Montana Schools 2020
NE Launch Nebraska
NV Nevada Dept of Ed: Path Foward Plan
NH Reopening Task Force - Drafted Recommendations
NH COVID-19 Reopening Guidance
NJ The Road Back: Restart and Recovery Plan for Education
NM New Mexico Guidance for Summer Youth Programs
NM ReEntry Guidance
NY Reopening Task Force
NC Interim Guidance for Day Camp or Program Settings
NC Lighting our Way Forward: NCs Guidance for Reopening Public Schools
ND North Dakota K-12 Smart Restart Guidance
OH Responsible RestartOhio: Childcare
OH Reset and Restart Planning Guide
OH Responsible RestartOhio: Youth Day Camps
OK Return to Learn Oklahoma: Framework for Reopening Schools
OR Guidance on Summer School and Limited Learning in Person
OR Ready Schools, Safe Learners
PA Summer Recreation, Camps, and Pools
PA Preliminary Guidance for Phased Reopening of Pre-K to 12 Schools
RI Reimagining RI Education Fall Reopening Plan
RI Phase I Guidelines for Child Care
RI Phase II Guidelines for Summer Camp
RI Health and Safety Guidance to Reopen Rhode Island Schools
SC Interim Guidance for Day Camps
SC DRAFT: AcceleratED Task force for 2020-2021 SY
SC Interim Guidance for School Operations
SC Final AcceleratED Task Force
SD Starting Well: 2020
TN Summer Day Camps
TN Online Toolkits for School Reopening
TN Reopening Schools: Overview Guide for LEAs
TX Summer Instruction, Activities and School Visits: Guidance for Reopening and Student Interaction
UT Planning Requirements and Recommendations for K-12 School Reopening
VT Safety and Health Guidance for Reopening Schools
VT Health Guidance for Childcare Programs, Summer Programs and Afterschool Programs
VA Recover, Redesign, Restart School Reopening
VA Phase Guidance for VA School
WA Reopening Washington Schools 2020
WV Considerations for School Re-entry
WI Education Forward
WI Department of Children and Families: Guidance for Licensed Day Camps for Children
WY Smart Start Guidance