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 info@nspra.org 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

NPSRA Insight logoNSPRA Insight

NSPRA Insight is a free, members-only professional development program featuring virtual panel discussions by leading school communication professionals. The most recent sessions, listed here, focused on challenges for school communicators during the COVID-19 pandemic.

NSPRA Live homepageNSPRA Live 2020

NSPRA Live 2020 featured 24 live sessions, 5 live sponsor sessions and 14 on-demand presentations on a variety of school communication topics, including the following sessions on COVID-19 communications. Register now to access recordings of these and other virtual sessions:

  • Pandemic and Protests: The Power of Communications and Engaging Stakeholders webinar (July 2020)
  • The Pandemic and Public Schools: Coronavirus Crisis Communications and Response panel discussion (July 2020)
  • Ensuring Educational Equity and Access During a Pandemic panel discussion (July 2020)

NSPRA's PR Power Hour logoNSPRA PR Power Hours

PR Power Hour webinars provide insights and best practices from top experts in school communications. NSPRA members save $30 on the registration fee for each program. Register now to access these or future sessions:

Partner Resources

Last spring, NSPRA partnered with Blackboard to offer a free panel discussion and tool kit on how to effectively manage communications about COVID-19.

More recently, AASA, the school superintendents association and a fellow member of the Learning First Alliance, hosted a webinar with representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to discuss new COVID-19 tools for school administrators.


Communicate the Transition to 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 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: