GUIDANCE FOR SCHOOLS AFFECTED BY A DISASTER

Temporary Closures Beyond the Control of an Institution - Disaster Guidance

If your school is located in one of the Federally Declared Disaster Areas as a result of a disaster like Hurricane Harvey and you are unable to open, you must contact your regional school participation division for assistance.

When a school experiences a natural disaster, the school participation division can offer relief from some statutory and regulatory requirements. One of those regulations, specifically §668.26 says that a school’s Program Participation ends on the date that the institution closes or stops providing educational instruction for a reason other than a natural disaster. Unlike when a school ceases a program (or programs) for other reasons, closure due to a natural disaster does not automatically result in a loss of eligibility or participation but this is one of those times you’ll need to work with ED.

Institutions should promptly contact their School Participation Division to discuss their situation. Department staff will work with the institution to determine when it plans to reopen and what impact that interruption will have on its students.

That’s also why it’s important for schools to keep their emergency contact information up to date. Following a disaster, ED officials may actually call and check on you. That’s why it’s also important to keep school contact information, including emergency contact information current.

For a list of School Participation Division Offices, click here: