Some schools are reopening, so how do we measure each district’s efforts to keep our kids safe?
This July 29, 2020 New York Times piece, “Opening Schools Won’t Be Easy, but Here’s How to Do It Safely,” by Drs. Ezekiel Emanuel and James Phillips and Saskia Popescu, an infectious disease epidemiologist, gives some clear guidelines for parents to consider for school reopenings. The piece breaks the risks down into five categories: Transportation, routine classwork, lunchtime, arts & humanities, recess & athletics. The piece offers a graphic showing which activities pose the highest risks.
“Schools should only reopen in places (states or counties) that have fewer than 75 percent confirmed cases per 100,000 people.” It’s important to remember some states may not meet this criteria, but some counties within those same states will.
-Schools MUST abide by health guidelines to keep everyone safe.
This includes smaller class sizes with creative solutions keeping these smaller groups of students, individually, six feet apart. Students can be divided into smaller groups with outside lessons, tent lessons, pod lessons, groups spread throughout the school.
Meals should be delivered to classrooms.
Lockers shouldn’t be used.
Contact sports like wrestling basketball, football, etc. should be sidelined. The same goes for choir and band.
According to this article, recess is a go IF students wear masks. As a parent, however, the idea of monitoring regular recess infractions along with making sure every student wears a mask sounds like a heavy demand for an already overly-burdened school staff.
Schools MUST disinfect, disinfect, disinfect. Students and staff should sanitize hands every hour.