Coronavirus Information for Schools


**Blog Updated April 1, 2020**


As we practice the "art of waiting," we continue our pledge to sustain our vision and mission for every secondary school principal in Missouri. We have opened up our member-only MoASSP Messenger and other services to over 4,300 educators across our great state and throughout the country.

As you feel the weight of your school on your shoulders, we are here to help lighten the load the best we can. We have assembled Coronavirus Information for Schools in one location. We will keep updating the blog as new resources become available. We are scheduling both statewide and regional Zoom meetings to help provide a bridge to help principals get through this crisis. We have partnered with MOREnet and have expanded our available seats to 500. The main thing through all of this is to be here for each other.

As the crystal ball remains cloudy, we continue to push the pause button on the Spring Conference and the Missouri Scholars 100 program. We are still in a wait and see mode. 

COVID--19 has caught the whole world by surprise as we are living through the most disruption in our lifetime. As I reminded the MoASSP Board of Directors recently during a Zoom meeting, we will have eureka moments again very soon. Let us know if there is anything MoASSP can do for you during this unparalleled time in our history.

Clark Mershon

Executive Director, MoASSP





§  Holding Class on Zoom? Beware of These Hacks, Hijinks and Hazards

Thanks to Jostens for distributing their video series, The Harbor. Jostens is also making available their leadership curriculum free of charge.  

Jostens Renaissance 
Username: JOSTENS
Password: JOSTENS

ZOOM Virtual Backgrounds


  • Sponsored by Character Strong, there will be a FREE Virtual Summit on the Whole Child April 13-24.  The summit will include two Missouri administrators;  Beth Houf, Fulton MS and David Geurin, Bolivar High School, along with notables Angela Duckworth (Grit) and Jon Gordon (bestselling author).   
  • GRADUATION ALIANCE is offering online capabilities at no cost to districts as they try to adjust to virtual education.


  • This video depicts how caring adults absorb the distress of the child and how they need to actively refuel their emotional reserves. This resource is from the Midwest PBIS Center.
  • Self-Care Assessment

**Everything above the line was Updated April 1, 2020.**

Statewide Zoom Meeting with Beth Houf  (Link to her presentation, Video Link)

DESE Update

DESE has provided guidance to many of the questions we are hearing from around the state.  CLICK HERE.   DESE updates on a regular basis.   DESE is meeting today at 10:00 regarding graduation requirements, etc. They should be able to produce guidance fairly quickly after that.  Since Higher Education administers the student side of A+, they will give direction for A+. DESE has been in close contact with Leroy Wade from DHEWD and have worked out just about everything.  DESE is also going to clarify the need for an Algebra I.  They are still working on that issue.

A+ Scholarship

Due to school closures in response to preventing the spread of COVID-19, the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development (MDHEWD) has temporarily reduced or suspended certain A+ Scholarship eligibility requirements. Communication to Missouri high schools and college financial aid officers was sent March 19 outlining the temporary changes to the program for 2020 high school seniors and college students hoping to renew the scholarship for 2020-21. 

See recommended guidance for:·

Resource awareness is the name of the game right now. We continue to assemble resources for secondary school leaders here in Missouri. We also want to acknowledge our friends from Illinois Principals Association (IPA) and Michigan Association for Secondary School Principals (MASSP) for allowing us to share what they have found or created. Thanks Jason and Wendy!!! The Missouri School Counselors Association contributed two links for this update. Thanks Shari and company!!! Clark Mershon

Ideas for School Counselors

Special Education

We found these two documents thanks to our colleagues at the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals. U.S. Department of Education has provided the following guidance for serving children with disabilities during COVID-19 Pandemic. They have partnered with The Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE) navigating the COVID-19 crisis. We have included a slide deck and a fact sheet.

View the Slides

View the Fact Sheet

Other Resources

Information above the line is NEW as of March 25, 2020

MoASSP continues to add resources for principals to use and share as appropriate through our MoASSP Connect Blog. We have opened up our member-only MoASSP resources to over 4,300 educators and education companies throughout our state and nation. We appreciate our colleagues from the Illinois Principals Association, and Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals, for sharing their latest resources with us. If you have ideas or resources to share via our MoASSP Connect Blog, contact Doug Mirts

Coronavirus Updates for All College Board Programs.  Get up-to-date information on all the changes for students and educators affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). The College Board announced Friday that for the 2019–20 exam administration only, students can take a 45-minute online AP exam at home rather than testing in person. Read More

Teachers (and at-home adults) can share the day's webpage directly with students. 

LeaderinMe Resources: 

Good Morning Leaders!

We are aware that our Missouri schools have closed for quite some time. We can imagine the stress and worry this has created for you, your students, staff members and families. Please know that we are here to support you any way we can and we are excited to share several resources that are now available to all our schools, not just Leader in Me (LiM) Schools.  We hope the ideas and suggestions below will help support your schools community during this time:

  1. Leader in Me COVID-19 Response Center: As COVID-19 continues to spread, we want you to know that we want to support you any way we can.  Leadership, resilience, trust, and synergy- all are the very essence of Leader in MeThese resources in the links below are available for no cost through the end of the academic year.  We will update the links regularly.  Here you will find bite-sized lessons, activity blogs, family resources, videos and much more! If staff members are looking for things to send to parents (or use with their own children), they can download and email out the resources they wish to share.

Click here for Family Resources

Click here for Staff Resources

Click here for Administrator Resources

  1. NEW Resources: We’re all in this together. As we confront this time of uncertainty, it is more important than ever to remain rooted in an abundance mindset that prioritizes proactivity, innovation, and third alternatives while continuing to honor our circle of influence and building our resilience. We have and will continue to developed content to support schools during this time.  
  1. Specific support and content for Superintendents and Administrators. CLICK HERE.
  2. LiM weekly is now providing support around virtual learning and supporting schools during this change.  This virtual newsletter will be available to non LiM school until the end of the academic year. CLICK HERE.  I strongly encourage you and your staff to sign up for this amazing resource!
  3. Support: FranklinCovey Education is here for you during this trying time…no strings attached! Please do not hesitate to reach out to us for anything you need. We want to do our part in alleviating as much stress as possible. If you would like to connect with us to discuss our Leader in Me resources, please click here to sign up for a date/time that is convenient for you.  

Finally, be on the lookout for additional resources from FranklinCovey Education surrounding virtual learning, support for families, working from home, team strengthening, and more. 

Because Life is Better When You're Laughing (from our friends in Washington!)

We post this not to make light of the situation. The coronavirus and school closures is painful for families, our students, and that's saying nothing of the massive impact on the economy as a whole and the individuals feeling the economic consequences. With all that said, this video brought a much needed smile to our face, and who couldn't use a moment of laughter right now. Sometimes it really is the best medicine. 
20-Second Parodies for Handwashing (YouTube)

Our administrative preparation classes didn’t prepare us for these extraordinary times we are living in.  On behalf of MoASSP, please accept our shouts of praise for each of you as you help lead your school community and calm the fears of your stakeholders.  As we monitor several regional online communities, principals from all corners of Missouri are confirming what we already knew.  Missouri principals are purpose driven, servant leaders, and resourceful. 

We have warehoused a plethora of resources for you to access all in one location.  We will continue to add resources as they become available.  Please use and share as needed.  As we practice social distancing, how about posting on social media a picture on how your school is meeting the needs of the community.  Use the hashtag #MOStepUp.  We are grateful to work and serve on your behalf.  We plan to remain open for now from 7:30-4:00 Monday-Friday.  Don’t hesitate to reach out to us.  We are here for you. 

District Communication Examples
Academic Resources:
Links to Resources: 

Facts about Coronavirus 

Keeping Up With Closures 

Message from Kim Marshall

In this extraordinary national emergency, millions of students are unable to go to school, and teachers are stretched thin attending to students' learning needs, in many cases while home-schooling their own children. I'm sending along a variety of materials that might be helpful. First are some of my own classroom writings that are available free online. Then I've pasted in an excellent 2019 article by Nancy Flanagan from Knowledge Quest (summarized in Memo 802) with online links to free reading and instructional materials. I'm also attaching the list of online suggestions from the last item in this week's Memo.

Here's another idea. For teachers who are using Zoom with their homebound students, there's a feature that allows the teacher to have up to 250 people in the "room" (for example, a seventh-grade teacher could assemble all 125 students from her five sections), deliver a mini-lesson, and then ask Zoom to split them into 42 three-person breakout groups, give them ten minutes to discuss a question, and then call the whole group back together for sharing and discussion. During breakout sessions and whole-class instruction, it's possible for students to throw in ideas via the Chat function. Pretty neat!

One more idea. You might encourage colleagues to use this homebound time to explore the Marshall Memo archive, which has more than 8,000 article summaries from the last 16+ years. This might be for a study group, action research, or problem-solving in classrooms or teams. The powerful search engine at can find article summaries by topic, keyword, author, publication, and level (elementary, middle, high). Let me know if you need a reminder of your password so you can encourage maximum use of this resource.

I hope at least some of this will be helpful. And I hope you and yours are well and safe.

All the best,



  • Reading Stories, Book 1: 92 high-interest stories with comprehension questions originally published by Educators Publishing Service, now open 
  • Reading Stories, Book 2: 94 high-interest stories with comprehension question, originally published by Educators Publishing Service, now open 
  • English: 36 Cumulative Units in Grammar, Writing Skills, and Word Analysis, Book A, originally published by Educators Publishing Service, now open 
  • English: 36 Cumulative Units in Grammar, Writing Skills, and Word Analysis, Book B, originally published by Educators Publishing Service, now open 
  • Math: 35 Cumulative Units in Concepts and Skills, Book A, originally published by Educators Publishing Service, now open source 
  • Math: 35 Cumulative Units in Concepts and Skills, Book B, originally published by Educators Publishing Service, now open source 
    (Teacher guides to the English and Math workbooks are available at, click Kim Published Writing and scroll down to Curriculum Materials.)
  • The Story of Life, from the Big Bang to You: Written for middle- and high-school students (with illustrations by Ingrid Johnson), this is a comprehensive history of the origins of the solar system, the Earth, and life on Earth (originally published by Holt, Rinehart, & Winston, the updated 2019 edition is open source) 
  • Guns, Germs, and Steel Summary: Written in consultation with author Jared Diamond, this 14-page summary (with maps and illustrations) of the Pulitzer Prize-winning history of the origins of worldwide wealth inequality is suitable for high-school students in world/global studies courses 


In this article in Knowledge Quest, Nancy Flanagan Knapp (University of Georgia/Athens) suggests five areas in which teachers and school librarians can make effective use of technology, with free links in each:

Making basic literacy skills practice effective and fun:

Increasing the number and variety of texts available for readers at all levels:

Scaffolding texts for struggling readers and writers of all ages:

Bringing out the social in reading:
  • Goodreads for students 13 and up; librarians can create private groups with restricted membership: 
  • Biblionasium, which allows users to share their reading preferences; for students age 
  • Library Thing: lets students create a private but shareable personal bookshelf, for kids 13 and 
  • Poetry-Free-for-All: for poets of all ages:
  • Teen Ink:
  • Book Crossing: a forum for sharing actual print books in a unique way:
  • Epals: A reputable global pen pal site that can encourage reading and writing: 
  • Using Technology to Foster Real Reading in the School Library and Beyond by Nancy Flanagan Knapp in Knowledge Quest, September/October 2019 (Vol. 48, #1, pp. 54-60); Knapp can be reached at, summarized in Marshall Memo 802
  • Free digital books are available at Bookshare -

Educational Apps if you have a sick child at home (or if school is closed) 

Sometimes screen time is a necessity if we have children at home and work we need to do. Here are three apps that make screen time a learning time:

  • CodeMonkey: a game-based education program that teaches children to code. It comes with a membership fee, but there's a free 14-day trial that doesn't require a credit card.
  • BrainPop: Online learning across subject areas for children in kindergarten through middle school and ELL learning for all age groups. Free.
  • Khan Academy: Online learning in math, science, and literacy for all age groups. Standards-aligned. Free.