CDC USED Guidance on School Reopening

ED COVID-19 Handbook, Volume 1
CCSSO Special Webinar CDC USED New School Safety and Reopening Guidance
ED COVID-19 Handbook Fact Sheet

We wanted to make you aware of the updated guidance and resources that the CDC and U.S. Department of Education (USED) released this afternoon around school reopening.

CDC issued Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools through Phased Mitigation and referred to it as a “one-stop-shop” for schools to use in opening for in-person instruction and staying open. (Please note that much of the CDC guidance is not new or different from what CDC has issued around school reopening in the past; instead, it is put in one place and intended to be used as a roadmap.) Among the highlights of the CDC Operational Strategy:

  • Evidence that show schools can safely reopen for in-person instruction when health and safety protocols are in place and based in science.
  • Recommend prioritizing two mitigation strategies: universal and correct use of masks and physical distancing.
  • Clarify the community risk indicators to inform reopening and link directly to information on community transmission.
  • Acknowledge that many schools are already providing in-person instruction and should continue to do so in accordance with health and safety protocols.

In alignment with CDC’s updated operational strategy, USED published its first volume of its new COVID-19 Handbook. This is intended as a supplement to the CDC operational strategy with practical recommendations for the school setting. It covers 11 topic areas. See the attachments for more information. This is the first of series, and officials at USED have signaled they are open to feedback from state chiefs on improving this volume and informing future volumes.