Department of Education Hosts National Summit on School Reopening
On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) hosted a virtual summit to elevate COVID-19 mitigation strategies in schools. The summit, hosted by Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, featured students, educators, and Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Dr. Rochelle Walensky. Walensky laid out five key strategies for safe reopening: universal and correct mask wearing, physical distancing, handwashing, cleaning, and using testing and contact tracing.
The summit included a panel discussion with officials from Cleveland and New York school districts who shared their best practices for conducting in-person education. Following last week’s CDC guidance reducing the distancing requirement in classrooms from 6 to 3 feet, stakeholders had concerns and questions that were addressed by Dr. Walensky during a question and answer session with ED officials. During that session, Dr. Walensky also conveyed the CDC’s stance that all school personnel should get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as the vaccine is made available to them.
This week’s summit was one part of ED’s multi-step plan to help K-8 schools safely return to in-person instruction by the end of April.