What will school look like in the fall? Will we go back? Will we be online? Will it be a hybrid? Will it be safe? What should we do? All questions we mamas are asking, and the American Academy of Pediatrics has weighed in saying they believe that children should go back to school in the fall.
If you have a school-aged child (and you’re not already homeschooling), it’s probably the question that is plaguing you the most in all of the COVID-19 concessions–what will school look like in the fall, and should my child go back (if that’s even an option)?
Since most schools shut down to flatten the curve back in March, the subject of them reopening is a hot topic. Many worry about children becoming asymptomatic carriers and bringing SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 to their families, while others worry tremendously about the significant mental health implications if they’re not to return, or if they return with strict regulations that force near social isolation.
Few are bold enough to weigh in heavily, as the reality is that there really is no perfect answer, and no one wants to make the wrong choices.
But the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has weighed in, and in an interview with Today, President Dr. Sally Goza said that children need to get back in school because there is so much more than just the basics of academics they get from school. Saying that you just can’t get social and emotional skills, healthy meals and exercise and mental support online, Dr. Goza said the AAP strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the upcoming school year should start with the main goal of students being physically present in school.
To facilitate this goal, they’ve issued a detailed school re-entry guidance plan that breaks down guidance based on students’ age groups and emphasizing the need for physical distancing, cleaning, staggered bussing, mask-wearing and more.
Of course, Dr. Goza acknowledged that enforcing mask-wearing and physical distancing would be difficult, but necessary and that when looking at reopenings in countries like Denmark, China, Norway and Singapore, was totally doable. She also referenced data that suggests children do not spread the virus as much as adults do.