Story at a glance
- The Trump administration has advocated for the reopening of schools despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released a checklist for families deciding whether and how to go back to school.
- Each school district will have different procedures and plans in place for reopening.
Last time the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released guidelines for school reopening, President Trump called them tough, expensive and impractical.
I disagree with @CDCgov on their very tough & expensive guidelines for opening schools. While they want them open, they are asking schools to do very impractical things. I will be meeting with them!!!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 8, 2020
Since then, the agency has revised their guidelines for school districts, but now it has released a new checklist of considerations for families deciding whether or not to send their children back to school. While children are generally believed to be less susceptible to COVID-19 than others, the potential for spreading the disease could endanger other family members, especially those who are older or have preexisting conditions and are therefore at higher risk for infection.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CORONAVIRUS RIGHT NOW
The decision-making tool includes how your school district is preparing for the upcoming school year, whether virtual or at-home learning is feasible for your family, your child's academic and social-emotional well being as well as access to school-based services.
A recent report by researchers at the University of Michigan showed one-third of parents in three states — Michigan, Ohio and Illinois — might not send their children back to school for in-person classes due to the coronavirus pandemic, with parents from low-income households being more likely to do so than those from higher income households. Those who don't want to send their children back to school have varying options, depending on where they live and what accommodations their school districts are willing to grant them.
Even if you are sending your children back to school, however, back-to-school shopping and preparation will look different this year. The CDC has also published a checklist for going back to school that covers preventative measures, such as face masks and sanitary practices, as well as developing plans in case of potential exposure or sickness.
Here are a few of the CDC’s recommendations:
- Check in with your child each morning for signs of illness including a sore throat, cough, diarrhea, severe headache, vomiting or body aches. If your child has either been exposed to a COVID-19 case or shows a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher, they should not go to school.
- Identify your school point person(s) to contact if your child gets sick and be familiar with local COVID-19 testing sites in the event you or your child develops symptoms.
- Make sure your child is up-to-date with all recommended vaccines, including for flu. All school-aged children should get an influenza flu vaccine every season, with rare exceptions. This is especially important this year because we do not yet know if being sick with COVID-19 at the same time as the flu will result in more severe illness.
- Have multiple cloth face coverings, so you can wash them daily and have back-ups ready. Label your child’s cloth face coverings clearly in a permanent marker so that they are not confused with those of other children.
- Talk with your child about how school will look different as well as the precautions they need to take and why. Keep the line of communication open throughout the school year and watch for signs that they are struggling with stress or anxiety.
BREAKING NEWS ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC