Insights on COVID-19, School Reopening Procedures, and Mental Wellness: Pilot Interviews With School Employees

Alicia M. Hoke, Krista L. Pattison, Alissa Molinari, Kathleen Allen, Deepa L. Sekhar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused interruptions to the K-12 US school landscape since spring 2020. METHODS: In summer 2020, we completed a pilot study utilizing interviews (n = 13) with school staff (ie, nurses, educators) from across the United States. We aimed to understand the status of school operation and re-entry plans after the primary period of school closure, along with resources needed for students and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. RESULTS: All interviewees described their school's re-entry plan as complete or in-development. Ten plans included strategies to meet students' mental health needs. Only 3 clearly planned for staff mental health resources. Interviews suggest gaps in planning and execution of mental health resources for school staff, a group already vulnerable to stress, anxiety, and burnout. IMPLICATIONS FOR SCHOOL HEALTH: Several school staff mental health resources were developed as a result of the pandemic, though ongoing impacts necessitate integration of these supports into school operation plans. This is particularly important as schools continue to navigate periods of altered operation in response to elevated community COVID-19 infection rates. CONCLUSIONS: As schools implement strategies to support students, similar consideration should be given to the adults in the school environment who teach and support school-aged children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1040-1044
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of School Health
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Philosophy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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