DESE-Related Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) updates this page often with new details related to COVID-19 and DESE and/or public school operations. See the topics below and click to expand each of those sections for more specific information.
- Alternative Methods of Instruction
Visit DESE’s Alternative Methods of Instruction (AMI) webpage.
- Antigen Testing
Missouri Rapid Antigen Testing Program for 22-23 School Year
DHSS will continue to make rapid antigen tests available to Missouri’s K-12 schools for the 22-23 school year. Visit the DHSS Rapid Antigen Test Kit Application and Resource Page for testing resources or to enroll in the program.
Please note the following changes to the program:Schools can choose to conduct tests in-office using ACON FlowFlex tests and/or distribute tests to the K-12 staff/students for home use using iHealth tests. Current antigen testing program participants can order additional tests for at-home use. You are not required to use the at-home testing option. If you have previously received ACON Flow Flex Antigen Test Kits for at-home distribution you may continue to use them for that purpose. Going forward, new test kit requests for at-home distribution will be fulfilled with iHealth test kits and in-office testing will be fulfilled with ACON Flow Flex test kits.
300 tests (tests must be ordered in multiples of 300); 300 tests = 300 people tested
180 tests (there are two tests per test kit; must be ordered in multiples of 180); 180 tests = 90 people receiving test kit
If you are currently administering tests within the school setting using the states’ CLIA Waiver and standing physician order and you plan to order a supply of tests for at-home distribution, please review/revise your existing testing plan to include the at-home testing option and send those new testing plans to email@example.com and cc: Cheryl.Stock@health.mo.gov. We will ensure those plans are saved with your originally approved application. Please direct questions/concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tests are shipped from the warehouse on Mondays. All orders submitted before midnight on Sunday will be included in the weekly order. When ordering tests, you will order the number needed for each testing option. (i.e. Tests for At-Home Distribution: 180, Tests for In-Office Administration: 300). See table below for more information.
At Home Testing
Schools distributing COVID-19 tests for home use may reference DHSS’s At-home COVID Test Distribution Guide, also available on the DHSS website.
- CDC & U.S. Department of Education Information
- Early Childhood Information
- Operational Guidance for Schools
The Departments of Elementary and Secondary Education and Health and Senior Services have updated the state’s Operational Guidance for K-12 Schools to Support Safe In-Person Learning.
The document contains information about:
- CDC’s Operational Guidance, which shares best practice recommendations to prevent and mitigate COVID-19
- CDC’s COVID-19 Community Levels that help communities and individuals make decisions on what COVID-19 prevention strategies to use based on their community’s classification
- Missouri’s COVID-19 Antigen Testing Program that continues to be available to any school interested
- Special Education Information & Guidance
- September 17, 2020 - New Resources for Parents of Students with Disabilities
- September 11, 2020 - COVID-19 Related School Re-entry Reminders
- July 30, 2020 - COVID-19 Related School Reopening and Distance Learning Question and Answer Guide
Early Childhood Special Education opportunities are of great value to children and their families. Attending a high-quality preschool program that is in a public school, or is community-based, provides children with rich experiences that support on-going success in school. Given these unusual times, early childhood experiences, especially for our most vulnerable populations (e.g., children with disabilities, English language learners), can help close opportunity and achievement gaps that have been persistent in Missouri. During COVID-19, guidance is being issued in response to changing circumstances and information. The ECSE COVID-19 Resource Table is designed to provide resources for early childhood special educators and parents to access as enhancements to learning. Please note that many community-based childcare programs continue to serve children safely through the COVID-19 public health emergency.
After receiving many questions from constituents, the DESE Office of Special Education developed a COVID-19 question and answer guide. The compliance team utilized information from a variety of resources, including guidance documents posted by other states and national organizations as well as questions received from Missouri educators serving special education students. State and local education agencies are testing these uncharted waters together. Our challenge is to think about the intent and purpose behind the procedural requirements for each step of the special education process, and then lead teams as they reflect on how they can fulfill that same purpose and intent in an alternate way, in light of our current circumstances. We must do the best we can to stay true to the intent of IDEA. Please remember to review the daily LRP site for new information. View the DESE Special Education Compliance COVID-19 Question and Answer Guide.
- Questions and answers document from OSEP in response to inquiries concerning implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B provision of services in the current COVID-19 environment
- Supplemental Fact Sheet from OSEP/OCR Addressing Serving Children with Disabilities During COVID-19 School Closures
- Questions and Answers on Providing Services to Children with Disabilities During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak
- Fact Sheet for Protecting Students' Civil Rights During COVID-19 Response
- Vaccine Information
Visit MOStopsCOVID.com for vaccine information.
- Webinars Hosted
Need special assistance to access this content? Submit a request to receive a captioned video or transcript.
- February 24, 2022: Click here to view DESE's webinar about ESSER III Maintenance of Equity requirements. The slides from the webinar can be viewed here. For more Maintenance of Equity information, review the ESSER III section of the COVID Relief Information webpage.
- October 22, 2021: Click here to view a webinar in which DESE provided the latest updates on COVID Relief Funds. The slides from the webinar can be viewed here.
- October 12, 2021: Click here to view a webinar in which DESE and DHSS discussed ongoing updates, challenges, and questions related to COVID-19. The slides from the webinar can be viewed here.
- September 21, 2021: Click here to view a webinar in which DESE and DHSS discussed ongoing updates, challenges, and questions related to COVID-19. The slides from the webinar can be viewed here.
- June 16, 2021: Click here to view a webinar in which DESE discussed and provided updates on COVID Relief Funds. The slides from the webinar can be viewed here.
Outdated COVID-19 information from the 2019-20, 2020-21, and 2021-22 school years has been archived here.