April 11, 2021

As urban districts prepare to reopen, most are not doing enough to communicate how they will keep students and teachers safe

Ryan McGuire from Pixabay

As districts move to offer more in-person learning this spring, many teachers, parents and students remain hesitant, worrying whether schools — and their specific campuses and classrooms — are safe. This is especially true for families of color.

In Los Angeles, less than a third of surveyed families plan to return in person. But officials have expressed hope that communicating about district plans, including school-based COVID testing, improved ventilation systems, contact tracing and teacher vaccination sites, will help convince more parents to send their children back.

This review of 100 urban and large districts finds that many are taking steps to reassure families — such as presenting clear information on virus infections — and most are moving forward to facilitate vaccinations for teachers. But the standards that guide reopening decisions are unclear, and most of the districts lack robust COVID-19 testing programs.

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