The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines for reopening schools. Some of the key strategies concern universal mask use, social distancing, cleaning facilities and proper ventilation.
Many New Jersey school districts have implemented those strategies but many educators still do not feel comfortable returning to their schools.
Here’s the latest from NJ Spotlight News on the CDC guidelines and how school districts are reacting to these guidelines.
School leaders are still trying to digest the CDC guidance for safely returning students to in-person learning. To do that, schools would have to achieve a number of safety criteria and make sure community spread is low. The guidance also addresses a political lightning rod — vaccinating teachers.
The CDC says that schools should use “key mitigation strategies” for safe reopening: universal and correct mask-wearing, physical distancing, hand-washing and proper ventilation, along with performing contact tracing, isolation and quarantining. Even with all that, the CDC says that infections will happen and districts must be prepared.
The power of local decision-making is nothing new in New Jersey, even long before the COVID-19 pandemic. And it has become a prevailing mantra for Gov. Phil Murphy as he seeks to guide more schools to move to in-person instruction but lets them decide for themselves.