Much is unknown about how the virus that causes COVID-19 spreads. We believe it spreads mostly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when someone who is sick coughs or sneezes. You can help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses like COVID-19 by following simple daily precautions. Learn how to protect yourself from COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html.
A close contact is defined as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. Find out more about close contacts and contact tracing at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/contact-tracing/contact-tracing-plan/appendix.html.
Schools play a critical role in supporting the whole child, not just their academic achievement. In addition to a structure for learning, schools provide a stable and secure environment for developing social skills and peer relationships. Social interaction at school among children in grades PK-12 is particularly important for the development of language, communication, social, emotional, and interpersonal skills. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/reopening-schools.html
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) can affect children and young people directly and indirectly. Many young people’s social, emotional, and mental well-being has been impacted by the pandemic. Trauma faced at this developmental stage can continue to affect them across their lifespan. CDC developed a COVID-19 Parental Resource Kit: Ensuring Children and Young People’s Social, Emotional, and Mental Well-being to help support parents, caregivers, and other adults serving children and young people in recognizing children and young people’s social, emotional, and mental health challenges and helping to ensure their well-being. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/parental-resource-kit/index.html
Adolescents may struggle when asked to change their social routines – from choosing to skip in-person gatherings, to consistently wear masks in public settings. It is important for adults to help adolescents take personal responsibility to protect themselves and others, as well as support them in safely taking time to connect with friends and family. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/parental-resource-kit/adolescence.html
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield said school “is one of the safest places” for children and data supports in-person learning. “Data strongly supports that K-12 schools, as well as institutes of higher learning, really are not where we’re having our challenges and it would be counterproductive from a public health point of view just in containing the epidemic if there was an emotional response to say, ‘Let’s close the schools,'” Redfield said. Redfield also urged Americans to “embrace masks, social distancing, hand-washing,” be wary of crowds, and back the data that is connected to schools “and institutes of higher learning.” https://www.dailysignal.com/2020/11/20/cdc-director-says-school-is-one-of-the-safest-places-for-children-data-supports-in-person-learning/
Schools are struggling to teach students remotely or in classrooms in which children wear masks and sit behind plastic shields. One national testing organization reported that the average student in grades 3-8 who took a math assessment this fall scored 5 to 10 percentile points behind students who took the same test last year, with Black, Hispanic and poor students falling even further behind. Covid is having a devastating impact on children — and the vaccine won't fix everything. “We’re going to almost need a New Deal for an entire generation of kids to give them the opportunity to catch up,” says Billy Shore, the executive director of Share Our Strength, an organization that works to end hunger. As of now, he added, “we don’t even know what we’re going to be dealing with.” https://www.nbcnews.com/news/education/covid-having-devastating-impact-children-vaccine-won-t-fix-everything-n1251172
The playbook for keeping schools as safe as possible has been understood for many months. Following this playbook will require billions of dollars from the federal government, but the costs are well worth the investment. Education is hugely important. Unfortunately, our schools are not, for the most part, prepared to deliver high-quality educational content online. Kids are also social animals and need safe in-person interactions for their mental health and development. https://www-nytimes-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.nytimes.com
Everyone can help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Coronavirus Self-Checker, also known as Clara, can help you decide when to call your doctor if you are feeling sick. Try the symptom checker here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/index.html.
Studies show that children appear to be less susceptible to infection compared to adults with similar exposure. Li et al. The Characteristics of Household transmission of COVID-19. Clinical Infectious Disease, 17 April 2020. https://www.cdc.gov
Aside from a child’s home, no other setting has more influence on a child’s health and well-being than their school. The in-person school environment provides educational instruction, supports the development of social and emotional skills, creates a safe environment for learning, addresses nutritional needs, and facilitates physical activity. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/reopening-schools.html
Schools are essential to meeting the nutritional needs of children with many consuming up to half their daily calories at school. Nationwide more than 30 million children participate in the National School Lunch Program and nearly 15 million participate in the School Breakfast Program. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/reopening-schools.html
Parents and caregivers can take steps to help provide stability and support to young children. Maintain a normal routine. Talk, listen, and encourage expression. Under supervision, allow them to crawl and explore, returning to a trusted caregiver. Give honest and accurate information. Teach simple steps to stay healthy. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/parental-resource-kit/early-childhood.html
COVID-19 has impacted many young adults’ (18-24y) personal finances. Economic insecurity is consistently linked to adverse academic achievement and health outcomes. These adverse outcomes may affect the ability to consistently access healthy foods, safe transportation, and housing. Mounting economic stressors can also increase the risk for violence exposure. It is important to cultivate a trustworthy relationship and maintain open communication with young adults, watching for behavior changes that may signal distress. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/parental-resource-kit/young-adulthood.html
Months into the school year, school re-openings across the United States remain a patchwork of plans: in-person, remote, and hybrid; masked and not; socially distanced and not. But amid this jumble, one clear pattern is emerging. So far, schools do not seem to be stoking community transmission of the coronavirus, according to data emerging from random testing in the United States and Britain. Elementary schools especially seem to seed remarkably few infections. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/22/health/coronavirus-schools-children.html
At the end of 2020, it remains very difficult to measure the true impact of an ongoing pandemic. Most public health and child welfare metrics tracked by federal agencies won’t include 2020 data until 2021 or later. And when that data is available, it could be flawed given the number of children who are out of touch with their schools and who aren’t seeing doctors because their families lost health insurance or are delaying treatment due to fears about the virus. But there’s little doubt that children are reeling from this difficult year. “Nobody has gotten hit with the mental health side of the pandemic worse than kids,” said Paul Gionfriddo, the president and CEO of Mental Health America, an organization that supports people with mental illness. “This is an ongoing traumatic event that kids have faced without the perspective of, say, 65-year-olds, who have lived through other kinds of trauma in their lives and have some perspective.” https://www.nbcnews.com/news/education/covid-having-devastating-impact-children-vaccine-won-t-fix-everything-n1251172
Relatively few children with COVID-19 are hospitalized, and fewer children than adults experience fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Read more at https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6914e4.htm.
The single most influential component of an effective school is the individual teachers within that school. Relationships teachers build with their students have the power to foster success or failure. -Jennifer Cleary, Terry Morgan, Robert J Marzano https://blog.learningsciences.com/2018/10/24/number-1-factor/
Following the wave of school closures in March 2020 due to COVID-19, just one in three school districts expected teachers to provide instruction, track student engagement, or monitor academic progress for all students. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/reopening-schools.html) Hollister R-V School District teachers provided instruction on 4th quarter standards, tracked student engagement, and monitored academic progress.
The loss of opportunities for physical activity from school closures, especially when coupled with potentially diminished nutrition, can be particularly harmful to children. Physical inactivity and poor nutrition among children are major risk factors for childhood obesity and other chronic health conditions. Over 75 percent of children and adolescents in the United States do not meet the daily physical activity level recommendations (60 minutes or more), and nearly half exceed 2 hours per day in sedentary behavior. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/reopening-schools.html
It is important to ensure children receive continuity of health care, including checking on their development at well-child visits, continuing mental health and speech therapies, and receiving vaccines for illnesses such as measles, influenza, whooping cough, and others. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/parental-resource-kit/childhood.html
Using data from nearly 200,000 students in 47 states, Emily Oster's (a health economist at Brown University) team found a COVID infection rate since schools have reopened of about 0.13% in students and 0.24% in staff. Even in high-risk areas, school infection rates for students were less than half a percent. Oster's team concluded that schools aren't so-called "super-spreaders" and that communities should prioritize schools. https://www.kcur.org/education/2020-10-19/the-science-says-kansas-city-area-schools-should-reopen
According to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education 1,073 students in Missouri enrolled in virtual learning during the 2019-2020 school year. Of the 4,912 courses those students were enrolled in, there was only a 59% passing rate. Further evidence, that teachers are what make the difference in a student's learning.
School districts from coast to coast have reported the number of students failing classes has risen by as many as two or three times — with English language learners and disabled and disadvantaged students suffering the most. Educators see a number of factors at play: Students learning from home skip assignments — or school altogether. Internet access is limited or inconsistent, making it difficult to complete and upload assignments. And teachers who don’t see their students in person have fewer ways to pick up on who is falling behind, especially with many keeping their cameras off during Zoom sessions. The increase in failing grades has been seen in districts of all sizes around the country. In response, schools have been ramping up outreach efforts. https://apnews.com/article/distance-learning-coronavirus-pandemic-oregon-7fde612c3dbfd2e21fab9673ca49ad89