COVID-19 Communications Tool Kit

The National School Public Relations Association offers a variety of resources to assist public school leaders and school PR professionals during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Those resources include virtual professional development for school communicators; communication examples, templates, tip sheets and plans from a variety of school systems; and free consultations with NSPRA staff who are Accredited in Public Relations (APR). 

NSPRA members, access your COVID-19 Communications Digital Tool Kit below or email to schedule a 30-minute crisis communications consultation with an accredited member of your NSPRA staff.

Not an NSPRA member? Learn more about the benefits of NSPRA membership.

 Virtual Professional Development for School Communicators

NSPRA Webinars

The following NSPRA webinars feature virtual panel discussions and presentations on challenges for school communicators during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are available free to all association members in the On-Demand Professional Development webinar library under "Crisis Communication."

  • School Communication Best Practices and Challenges in a Pandemic panel discussion (September 2021)
  • Maintaining Trust in Controversial Times panel discussion (November 2020)
  • Communicating Constant Change in the COVID-19 Era webinar (September 2020)
  • Proving the Value of Communication in the Next Era of Budget Reductions panel discussion (May 2020)
  • Coronavirus Crisis Communications Best Practices panel discussion (March 2020)

Communicate About In-Person Learning

Graphic of re-entry to flexible in-person learning process

The following resources were curated for NSPRA members to aid in the development of strategic communication plans and the identification of strategies and tactics related to a return to in-person learning. Here is  CDC's Operational Strategy for Reopening Schools

School District Communications

Vaccine Communications

The U.S. Health & Human Services WeCanDoThis campaign released a Guide to Hosting COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics at School and Resources About COVID-19 Vaccinations for Children Ages 5+ outreach materials in November 2021.

The American Academy of Pediatrics developed a COVID-19 Vaccine Campaign Toolkit in November 2021.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has developed videos for parents and families on:

The Frameworks Institute issued a report on Communicating About Vaccination in the United States: A FrameWorks Strategic Brief in September 2021.

The Institute for Public Relations has released A Communicator's Guide to Covid-19 Vaccination (PDF), which addresses research, theories, models and recommendations to consider if you are developing communications related to staff, students and families getting vaccinated.

The National Press Club hosted a panel discussion on "COVID vaccine – How to communicate reliably and combat disinformation" in January 2021.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the following resources in March 2021:

Virus Testing Communications

In August 2021, the CDC released a School Testing for COVID-19 Communication Toolkit for Schools. It includes materials to teach parents, students and staff about school testing programs and to encourage participation.

In February 2021, the Rockefeller Foundation released the COVID-19 Testing in K-12 Settings: A Playbook for Educators and Leaders. It includes a communication plan outline, tips for messaging best practices and a sample communications timeline (see pages 58-61) to assist schools that are planning to have an in-school virus testing program for students and staff.

Family Guide coverCommunicate the Start of the School Year

As public schools prepared for the start of the 2020-21 school year, NSPRA compiled resources on the reopening of schools following COVID-19 shutdowns. Sample communications in the following areas still may be helpful today:

Communicate Your Coronovirus Crisis Response

Howell Schools social media postIn the early days of the crisis,  many school systems were scrambling to prepare themselves for the unknown. NSPRA compiled members' sample communications about coronavirus-related emergencies to help those not yet affected gear up for the challenge. Sample communications in the following areas still may be helpful today: