Department of Education Issues Updated Guidance on School Re-Openings in Concert with CDC
Last Friday, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) released the first in a series of handbooks on reopening schools safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to ED, COVID-19 Handbook Volume 1: Strategies for Safely Reopening Elementary and Secondary Schools (Handbook), is “based on the most recent scientific evidence to support school and district leaders and educators in meeting these ever evolving, significant challenges.”
Among its many recommendations, the Handbook includes specific information for schools and communities on safely masking, including for children and staff who may struggle to wear a mask; social distancing; and safe stakeholder engagement. The Handbooks clarifies the guidelines are intended to “assist community and school leaders with decision making around safe school reopening practices.” Finally, ED has also provided a comprehensive list of future guidance in development to support states and districts in safe reopening practices.
The Handbook compliments updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools Through Phased Mitigation.
The ED also invites you to join a briefing by the CDC and ED on new science-based resources and tools for safe in-person operation of K-12 schools. This briefing will take place on Friday, February 19, 2021 from 3-4pm EST and will include an overview of the CDC’s recently released Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools through Phased Mitigation and ED’s complementary COVID-19 Handbook Volume 1: Strategies for Safely Reopening Elementary and Secondary Schools.
This event will focus on the following documents, which registrants are encouraged to download in advance of the webinar to inform participation.
- CDC Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools through Phased Mitigation
- Operational Strategy Summary Fact Sheet (PDF)
- ED COVID-19 Handbook Volume 1: Strategies for Safely Reopening Elementary and Secondary Schools (PDF)
- Safely Distributing School Meals During COVID-19