The US Department of Education released a handbook with detailed strategies to help schools follow new guidance for reopening from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a top official said Friday.
The CDC issued school opening guidance that stresses mask use; social distancing; handwashing; cleaning facilities and improving ventilation; and contact tracing, isolation and quarantine.
To help schools, the Department of Education issued the first in a series of handbooks, Donna Harris-Aikens, senior adviser for policy and planning for the department, told a CDC news briefing.
“All of our handbooks could supplement the CDC operational strategy with practical examples, and roadmap. We want to give educators and schools the tools they need to implement mitigation strategies to help safely reopen for in-person learning,” Harris-Aikens said.
One example: using signs to remind students to wear masks, she added.
There’s also guidance on how to keep students physically distanced, Harris-Aikens said.
“For example, the handbook talks through a variety of strategies around podding. Podding can actually reduce the spread of Covid by keeping students together into a pod that stay together all day with a core teacher and aide -- and we acknowledge that this strategy is actually easier in elementary schools than it would be in middle and high school."
“The handbook also discusses ways to get creative about laying out classrooms, and using auditoriums and cafeterias for instruction," she added.