A major medical organization now sides with parents who hope their children can return to school in the fall, despite the coronavirus pandemic.
The American Academy of Pediatrics — which represents 67,000 pediatricians — now strongly advocates that the goal for all policy considerations “should start with a goal of having students physically present in school.”
The importance of in-person learning, the organization said, is well-documented, while “lengthy time away from school and associated interruption of supportive services” can result in social isolation, learning deficits, childhood depression, and a “substantial impact” on beneficial physical activity and in-school meals for those kids who need them.
The organization said that school should be “flexible and nimble” when addressing the challenges ahead.
“Policy makers should acknowledge that COVID-19 policies are intended to mitigate, not eliminate, risk,” said the group, which offers comprehensive “COVID-19 Guidance” and resources at AAP.org.
One of the nation’s largest school systems is already in the process of working out an in-school plan for Los Angeles County — which tends to 1 million California students. School officials issued a 44-page guide to reopen schools in May, “re-imaging” the classroom experience with numerous updates to layout, design and health protocols.