What’s The Deal with That School Reopening Post on Facebook?
Maybe you've seen the post being widely shared on Facebook. It purports to be the new "CDC Guidlines [sic]" for reopening schools - but is it really what you can expect in September?
Your first clue that this wasn't issued by the CDC is the fact that 'Guidelines' is misspelled. So where does this slide come from?
On May 19, 2020, the CDC issued an updated 'guidance' document for schools entitled "Conderations for Schools" as they reopen. In it, are many of the items listed on the slide. It also includes thing like handwashing and cleaning the schools. The CDC makes a point of saying these are "considerations" for school districts. They don't even refer to them as 'recommendations' anywhere in the document.
There are several 'considerations' in the document, including common sense items: encouraging hand-washing, and regular cleaning of schools and buses; more restrictive items like asking older students and staff to wear masks, and keeping kids 6 feet apart in hallways and classrooms, and; most restrictive, like eliminating field trips, and keeping kids in their classrooms to eat lunch.
What the slide leaves out is a key paragraph:
"Schools can determine, in collaboration with state and local health officials to the extent possible, whether and how to implement these considerations while adjusting to meet the unique needs and circumstances of the local community. Implementation should be guided by what is feasible, practical, acceptable, and tailored to the needs of each community." (Emphasis added.)
Does this mean your community school is going to reopen with all the restrictions on that slide in place? No. It means your school district will decide what works for their students, and what makes sense to protect the health of students, teachers, and staff.
You may have seen some pretty extreme reactions to that slide - parents rightfully concerned what school would look like with all those restrictions in place. That's why it's so important to do a little research before you share memes with no supporting links on Facebook - inform yourself and inform your friends.
Here's the link to the full "Considerations for Schools" document: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/schools.html
If you have any questions about what your district is considering - you should call your school.