CDC sets sights on schools, releases guidelines for fall

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COLORADO SPRINGS — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released this: long-awaited guidelines and recommendations for schools as they plan to reopen in the fall. 

“I think it’s going to be really hard for kids, just because they’re so used to playing and interacting with each other,” said Rebecca Black, a parent.

The recommendations are lined out in three steps, with each step moving forward gradually, depending on coronavirus data and recommendations from the local health department. 

social distancing remains constant through every step. 

“Desks six feet apart, I completely agree with. I don’t know how schools are going to do that because most classrooms are pretty small as it is, especially with an average of 25 students,” said Beth Guthrie, a mother to a six-year-old. 

Other recommendations from the CDC in step one include: 

  • Serving meals in the classroom instead of the cafeteria. 
  • Closing all playgrounds and canceling all extracurricular activities.
  • All staff wearing face coverings and students encouraged to do the same, particularly in older grades.

For steve sanchez, the changes many are going through has been daily life for his family.

He says his kids have a rare liver disease and are homeschooled.

“Like many special needs families, we do take a lot of precautions of washing our hands, being clean, trying to choose and select what kind of crowds we’re going to be around. If it’s going to be a large crowd or not, if we go grocery shopping somewhere, we need to go and get supplies, we try to make it as soonest that the store opens, that way we reduce the risk of being around a certain amount of people,” Sanchez said. 

The CDC also suggests canceling field trips in step one, avoid sharing electronic devices, books, learning aids, and having one child per seat on the school bus.

“I can’t imagine that going successfully because kids want to see their friends, they want to touch each other, they want to be interactive, they want to be hands-on to learn. So, canceling field trips would be really disappointing and very challenging for them academically,” said Alexis Jenkins a parent.

Jenkins says she’s concerned about what this plan could cost.

“I’ve heard in some places, I don’t know if Colorado is going to do this, they were gong to alternate school days so that they’d have smaller class sizes. So, your child would go every other day. And the other classmates would go on the opposite days. So, I want to know how that would be possible to do from a budget perspective. Would we need to hire more teachers, you know, things like that. So, as a taxpayer, that’s one of my concerns,” Jenkins said. 

Some southern colorado school districts say they hope to have a plan outlined for parents by june.

Click here for the full outline of recommendations by the CDC.

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