An announcement could come as early as Friday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on whether to update the distance between students in classrooms from 6 feet to 3 feet.
Friday update: CDC changes school guidance, allowing desks to be closer
“I think that likely will happen. It was a good study in the state of Massachusetts in which kids who were wearing masks, they looked at 3 feet versus 6 feet and there really found no difference. So, the CDC is analyzing that data very carefully right now,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to the president.
That’s one piece of research that comes as schools try to get back to in-person learning but are finding it impossible while keeping kids 6-feet apart.
MORE: Return to School updates
“And so, that was the first study we had seen that looked at 3 feet versus 6 feet indeed because 6 feet has been such a challenge there. Science has leaned in and there are now emerging studies on the question between 3 feet and 6 feet,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC. “I’m aware of several that will be released in the next several days. And we are actively looking at our guidance to update it, to address that science.”
Michigan’s protocols are currently 6 feet but as students have returned to the classroom, many have already been bending the rules.
At a recent West Bloomfield School District board meeting, members spoke about guidance they’ve been getting from the Oakland County Health Department that said it was safe to let students be at a 3-foot distance.
US schools prepare summer of learning to help kids catch up
After a dreary year spent largely at home in front of the computer, many U.S. children could be looking at summer school — and that’s just what many parents want.
Although the last place most kids want to spend summer is in a classroom, experts say that after a year of interrupted study, it’s crucial to do at least some sort of learning over the break, even if it’s not in school and is incorporated into traditional camp offerings.
Several governors, including in California, Kansas and Virginia, are pushing for more summer learning. And some states are considering extending their 2021-22 academic year or starting the fall semester early. Many cities, meanwhile, are talking about beefing up their summer school programs, including Los Angeles, Hartford, Connecticut and Atlanta — the latter of which considered making summer school compulsory before settling for strongly recommending that kids who are struggling take part.