Returning to School During COVID-19

For families deciding about the return to school, here are our thoughts:

  1. Each family needs to start with their context at home.

    • Do we have high risk members and routine contacts?

    • Do we have the ability to do home, hybrid or “at-school” learning?

Ability is an expansive term - do we have the work flexibility, the means (time, support and mental resilience) to do a specific method?

  1. What is my school/school district doing/offering?

  2. How do schools locally adjust to our current conditions? What contingency plans exist for changes when COVID-19  illness increases? For example, in July 2020 the current rates of COVID-19 in the community make return to school in Texas (and Florida) problematic.

Based on your family’s view on the above considerations here is a summary of guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

-In school learning has advantages

-The role of children and adolescents in spreading COVID-19 appears to be low

-Children may be less likely to become infected and spread infection with COVID-19

Of note:

Policies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 with school must be BALANCED with the known harms to children, adolescents, families and the community by keeping children home.

 

How to Keep Schools Safe

-Clean/disinfect high touch surfaces

-Wash Hands

-Desks 3-6 feet apart

-Fewer students and staff in the classroom

-Reduce moving classrooms of students. For example, consider moving teachers to different rooms.

-Lunches at desks

-Use outdoor spaces

-Masks for all adults and older students

-Flexibility to go virtual during surge of infection

 

Resources:

From the American Academy of Pediatrics - https://services.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/clinical-guidance/covid-19-planning-considerations-return-to-in-person-education-in-schools/

From HealthyChildren.org - https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/COVID-19/Pages/Return-to-School-During-COVID-19.aspx

Phone: 512-454-0406

Fax: 512-454-4380

Address:

5100 W Highway 290

Bldg 2, Suite 110

Austin, Texas 78735

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