The US has published guidelines for reopening the schools in the country. One among the conditions is that there should be six feet distance between every student. This is receiving in-depth scrutiny from experts in related fields as they are trying to bring back as many students as possible to schools. It is true that teachers in large numbers are being vaccinated. Still, the restriction in distancing remains a major obstacle. Schools have limited spaces.
Schools Considering The Possibility Of Seating Students Closer
New studies come up with new evidence that with masks, students can sit closer. In such an instance, certain states are considering the possibility of requiring three feet distance between each student. A journal published recently suggests that three feet of distance is relatively safer. And it will not harm teachers. According to educational experts, a six-foot guideline is the toughest challenge for schools when they reopen.
CDC published its guidelines in February. It suggests that schools can operate with social distancing, masks, and other safety measures. But there are organizations that are more liberal in this regard. WHO (World Health Organization), for instance, suggests that one-meter distance is enough in schools. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the distance can be three feet. Still, it considers six feet as the ideal distance. Experts observe that more States will move to the three-foot distance formula.
If the six-foot guideline is observed, almost all schools will have space only for half of its students. If it is reduced to three feet, the number will increase to 75%. There are districts that allow three-feet distance among students with no particular health issues.
Illinois, for instance, allows students to sit at a distance of three feet if their teachers have received the vaccine. Earlier, its health officials required the CDC’s maximum distance guideline.
Harrison District in the State has the officials’ blessing to reopen its middle schools with the smaller space guideline. Even then, they expect 30% of their students to use remote learning mechanisms. School authorities are quite happy that health officials are taking research into account when allowing schools to reopen.
Disagreements in this regard have caused a battle in Massachusetts. There, teachers are concerned about the State’s plan to allow younger students to return to class five days a week from next month. The scheme asks schools to maintain three feet distance among students. Certain schools among them, however, maintain the CDC guideline.
One Statewide organization, The Massachusetts Teachers Association, says that keeping smaller distance among students will cause issues for everyone. This also causes inconvenience for the State. The organization also has agreed to have contracts with teachers willing to accept the six-foot guideline.
According to the organization’s President, no one can just ignore the six-foot guideline. One can just throw away the agreed-upon requirement. If they want to introduce something new, they should prepare a new agreement.
Public schools in Boston will place desks three feet apart. And teachers are required to maintain six feet distance as and when possible. They will also use large classrooms and outdoor facilities to ensure the safety of students.
In Ohio, parents blasted the Cincinnati’s school board for a plan to reopen a crowded high school with a three feet guideline.
In the midst of this debate, seven superintendents of schools in Central Oregon sent a letter to the State. They asked the authorities to relax some of its restrictions in social distancing. They want more students to return to schools. Certain schools have even found out that the most effective mechanism is contact tracing. They send away any student who displays the symptoms of the infection. To sum up all, one can say, what appeared good advice at the start of the year may appear nonsense as time passes by.