What should I look for or what questions should I ask to determine if my child will be safe at school?
It is important to ask what safety and infection control precautions your child’s school plans to implement. They should follow the CDC and/or the American Academy of Pediatrics guidance as those documents were developed by experts. Some specific questions to ask to help you determine the safety of your child’s school environment include:
• How often will classrooms and other areas be cleaned?
• Will masks be required for students and teachers?
• How many children will be in the classroom and how will they be physically distanced? The CDC advises 6 feet between students, and evidence suggests that 3 feet may be adequate if all are wearing face coverings.
• Will children move between classes? How will the school prevent students from congregating?
• Will classes be cohorted so that students do not move from classroom to classroom and remain with the same students and teachers? Alternatively, for older students, will students remain in the same classroom and teachers rotate?
• Will outdoor spaces be used? Will larger rooms such as cafeterias be used to increase spacing between students and teachers?
• How will children social distance on buses?
• What would cause schools to reclose?
• How serious is your school about enforcing safety precautions, and how will it handle non-compliance?