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. 

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. 


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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. 


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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: 

Published on Aug 04, 2020