Five Questions to Ask about School Staff Wellness in the Wake of COVID-19
The pandemic increased educator stress and burnout, which has led education leaders to ask how schools were being equipped to handle the potential long-term impacts on staff health. To support and retain quality school staff and promote healthy schools, state boards of education and other policy leaders should consider policy to address the physical, emotional, and mental health of school staff.
Few states had comprehensive policy going into the pandemic to ensure that staff receive adequate supports. By September 2019, only Rhode Island had statutes requiring staff wellness programs in schools, while nine states encouraged it, according to NASBE’s State School Health Policy Database.
Yet the pandemic can be a catalyst for further action on staff wellness and support. Through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, state agencies received funds that can be directed at maintaining the health and safety of students, educators, and other staff during reopening, including through hiring school counselors and staff.
NASBE and Child Trends partnered in early 2021 to develop a webinar series on staff wellness during COVID. Discussions from these gatherings sparked five questions state board members can ask to engage their state around staff wellness. …