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Here’s What The CDC Is Saying About Schools Reopening This Fall
As a parent, we are all eager for the day our children will return to school and back to their normal routines. When that day comes, concern for their health and safety is also inevitable. If you are wondering when schools will reopen and when you will feel comfortable sending your little ones back to the classroom, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided detailed plans for the fall.
Many schools around the country have already announced their plans to reopen. Based on your school’s reopening plan, here are some guidelines from the CDC to keep in mind.
- Lowest Risk: Students and teachers engage in virtual-only classes, activities, and events.
- More Risk: Small, in-person classes, activities, and events. Groups of students stay together and with the same teacher throughout/across school days and groups do not mix. Students remain at least 6 feet apart and do not share objects (e.g., hybrid virtual and in-person class structures, or staggered/rotated scheduling to accommodate smaller class sizes).
- Highest Risk: Full sized, in-person classes, activities, and events. Students are not spaced apart, share classroom materials or supplies, and mix between classes and activities.
You should also check with the school’s administration to ensure they are following these safety and precautionary measures throughout the building, including any areas where students and teachers congregate.
Support healthy hygiene behaviors by providing adequate supplies, including soap, hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol (for staff and older children who can safely use hand sanitizer), paper towels, tissues, disinfectant wipes, cloth face coverings (as feasible) and no-touch/foot-pedal trash cans.
Discourage sharing of items that are difficult to clean or disinfect and keep each child’s belongings separated from others’ and in individually labeled containers, cubbies, or areas.
Close communal use shared spaces such as dining halls and playgrounds with shared playground equipment if possible; otherwise, stagger use and clean and disinfect between use.
Advise Staff and Families of Sick Students of Home Isolation Criteria
Sick staff members or students should not return until they have met CDC’s criteria to discontinue home isolation.
If your child’s school does reopen in the fall, it’s pretty clear things will look very differently than when they left in the spring. Based on the CDC guidelines, you can expect a combination of smaller class sizes, an integration of home and in-school learning, social distancing, and extensive cleaning measures.
You can read the full CDC guidelines online to ensure that your school is taking the right steps to keep everyone healthy.