New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides a blueprint for how schools can reopen safely for in-person instruction. While the CDC stresses the importance of bringing students back to the classroom, some criticize its recommendations as too stringent to allow schools to reopen fully. Ultimately the decisions on how to proceed lie with local school districts.
The extensive document lays out four categories for considering reopening, based on the extent of Covid transmission in the community; schools in the areas with the highest transmission rates are advised to use hybrid models and to prioritize elementary school students. The guidance also recommends mitigation strategies for cleaning and sanitizing; identifying symptoms; and social distancing on buses and in classrooms and cafeterias. In this graphic, FutureEd summarized the key mitigation strategies and provided examples of what schools and districts have been doing to address reopening challenges.
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For more information, read:
CDC School Operation Strategy
March 2021 Revised Guidance
CDC Mitigation Toolkit
Checklist for Teacher and Staff
How Do I Set Up My Classroom?
School Walkthrough Guide
Education Department COVID Handbook