CDC Guidance for Reopening Schools
May 20, 2020
May 20, 2020
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released new guidance today for the reopening of schools. It is noted that “schools can determine, in collaboration with state and local health officials to the extent possible, whether and how to implement these considerations while adjusting to meet the unique needs and circumstances of the local community. Implementation should be guided by what is feasible, practical, acceptable, and tailored to the needs of each community.”
Some key guidance for student transporters include:
- Create distance between children on school buses (seat children one child per row, skip rows) when possible
- Stagger arrival and departure times for students to limit exposure to crowds of students
- Drivers practice all safety actions and protocols (hand hygiene, cloth face coverings)
- Teach and reinforce the use of cloth face coverings
- School bus cleaning guidelines should follow bus transit guidelines as provided by the CDC
- Clean and disinfect daily or between use as much as possible
- Bus transit operators guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-
ncov/community/organizations/bus- transit- operator.html
- Train staff on all safety protocols and conduct training virtually or ensure social distancing is maintained during training
The entire list of guidance and recommendations can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-
The CDC Activities and Initiatives Supporting the COVID-
19 Response and the President’s Plan for Opening America Up Again includes guidance for reopening schools on page 45. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019- ncov/downloads/php/CDC- Activities- Initiatives- for- COVID- 19- Response.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3RNHqS6pxPFZ8mTkUOq6POXtO3Sz56fmz_VRxqKE4JCmfDt3- qO9_fWuY
This is undoubtedly an evolving situation, but we all must be informed of the CDC guidance and develop appropriate plans that meet the unique needs of our district and community.
Academic Calendar Considerations
TEA has discussed the concept of adjusting the 2020-
2021 academic calendar to address the continuing impact of the COVID- 19 pandemic on student instruction and achievement. According to TEA, initial research indicates that students could return to school nearly a full year behind what normally occurs after a summer break. In preparation to mitigate this concern, TEA has provided guidance on modifying the school instructional calendar.
The following link provides the TEA guidance on changing the school start date and adopting a modified instructional calendar. TEA has also provided a PPT that provides initial guidance on adjusting school calendars in response to COVID-
Presentation on Adjusting School Calendars
Guidance for Meal Delivery
For those that are using school buses to deliver lunches/meals, please make sure drivers are not using the loading lights when they are stopping the bus.
It is a violation of Texas Transportation Code 547.701(c) (see below) to operate the loading lights if the bus is NOT loading or unloading students.
547.701(c) When a school bus is being stopped or is stopped on a highway to permit students to board or exit the bus, the operator of the bus shall activate all flashing warning signal lights and other equipment on the bus designed to warn other drivers that the bus is stopping to load or unload children. A person may not operate such a light or other equipment except when the bus is being stopped or is stopped on a highway to permit students to board or exit the bus.