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With the 2020–21 school year well under way, states and districts already made the call about whether and how their school buildings would reopen. But as communities continue to struggle with the ebb and flow of COVID-19, many states and districts will likely need to revisit their decisions, with some reverting to distance learning in order to keep students and faculty safe and others resuming in-person learning.

Just days after reopening, many schools nationwide temporarily forestalled in-person reopening or halted in-person learning due to students and staff testing positive for the coronavirus. Without time for adequate preparation, such reverses will likely increase learning loss.

On September 15, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its own indicators and thresholds to help schools determine whether it is safe to return to in-person learning. Indicators include the number of new cases per 100,000, the percentage of coronavirus tests that are positive during the preceding 14 days, and a school’s ability to implement key mitigation strategies, such as consistent and correct use of masks and social distancing.


States Set Criteria for Resuming In-Person Learning



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