The spread of COVID-19 has led many schools and programs to put social distancing practices in place for the start of the 2020–2021 school year. The adoption of masks, physical distancing, and other precautions has led teachers to ask how they can maintain effective interactions with the children in their classrooms.

We've used the lens of the CLASS® tool to describe some of the effective ways to interact with children in this environment. What’s most important to remember is that interactions matter—they still matter and maybe matter even more than ever. As an educator, you may be looking for new ways to connect with your learners, manage their time, and provide them with cognitive challenges, but children’s need for these kinds of interactions remains. The skills you have already built around connecting with, supporting, and stimulating children will continue to serve you as you head into the classroom this fall.

Download this new reference guide to understand how meaningful interactions might look in socially distanced classrooms. 

Download Tips for Effective Interactions in Socially Distanced Classrooms

We hope this information is helpful as you work to deliver meaningful interactions despite recent limitations, but we recognize that circumstances differ across the education landscape.

Please use the CLASS Learning Community as a way to get feedback and dialogue with others about their approaches in this COVID-19 world. If you have thoughts you’d like to share or would like to consult directly with us, we’d love to hear from you. Email us at

Note: We recently published similar guidance for in-person teaching during COVID, that can be found here: Guidance for Conducting CLASS® Observations of In-Person Teaching During COVID-19, Pre-K–K-3