Educators need to consider so many different factors as they try to determine the best time to reopen schools. Every state, every county, and heck, every district will be different. That’s because the needs of each student population is different.
Even so, the CDC has released some guidelines for reopening schools. These guidelines are designed to help, but they are also asking for a lot from our already struggling educational system.
Recommendations From the CDC For Reopening Schools
These guidelines are a starting point to figuring out if a school is ready to reopen, but they’re just that. A starting point. They are also recommendations, but at the end of the day, as the CDC mentions on their website, every district and school needs to make decisions based on what’s best for their students and community.
One of the biggest suggestions? Making sure kids continue to follow social distancing suggestions.
That means separating each student’s belongings and supplies…. and keeping kids separate from each other as much as possible. This is in line with all their previous suggestions for social distancing, like keeping desks six feet apart and facing the same direction.
This effort at social distancing also means creating an individual cubby hole or container for each child. Every child should have their own supplies, and there should be no sharing, whatsoever. No electronic devices, toys, games — nothing — is supposed to be shared.
The CDC recommendations also provide suggestions on how schools should look too… like putting tape on sidewalks and walls to keep kids six feet apart, and to create one-way routes through hallways. They say even playgrounds shouldn’t be shared.
Just in case those efforts aren’t enough, the CDC also recommends increased cleaning and disinfection schedules. They also think all kids over the age of 2 should wear masks, unless a disability or medical condition prevents it.
Is any of this feasible with the current state of our educational system? So many schools can’t even afford paper towels! And the idea that they’re asked to install partitions between children is so hard to fathom.
The only way these CDC recommendations could even possibly work is if schools start implementing staggered schedules to reduce the size of their classrooms…. and if our schools have more funds. Otherwise it would be physically — and financially — impossible for students. But even then, it would be a huge change, one that is so hard for parents and educators alike to fathom.