This Return to School Communication Toolkit has been developed by the Michigan School Public Relations Association (MSPRA) to support schools in their communication to students, parents, staff, union leaders, board representatives, community members, the media and others about their individual return to school roadmaps (which includes their official Response Plans).

The document is designed in three parts to coincide with the Opportunity Labs Roadmap and the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators General Education Leadership Network Continuity of Learning -Back to School Guidance timeframes:

  1. Do First: Communicating with target audiences to highlight work being done over the summer to prepare for various return to school scenarios.
  2. Do Before Schools Open: Section II of the toolkit will help you communicate with target audiences to help them understand what school will look like in the fall, describe health and safety procedures, outline educational options and explain closure processes, should they be needed.
  3. When Schools are Open and Operating: Section III of the toolkit provides communication resources to support schools as they share important information and updates relative to school operations as Michigan moves through the six (6) phases of the MI Safe Start Plan.

It has been reviewed by representatives from the Michigan Department of Education, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators, and the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators. All sample materials have been used with permission.

We are grateful to everyone who contributed to its development.


  • As your district communicates about this important issue, always consider your school policies, codes of conduct, local community needs, and your local climate as you address the information needs of your stakeholders. When in doubt, consult legal counsel.
  • This toolkit is designed to be a communication guide. It highlights some of the ways school districts may choose to communicate about this important issue. Samples are intended to serve as examples of what could be tailored to individual district situations and needs.
  • It is important to recognize that COVID-19 is a public health issue. Please direct questions or inquiries about health guidelines to your local health department.