Considerations for Safely Reopening American Schools
The following documents support making decisions about reopening schools and procedures to facilitate safe and successful reopening. We are providing COVID-19 perspectives, information, and guarded advice based on our present understanding of immunology, public health, and 40+ years of providing practical health and safety advice to schools. However, we are dealing with a historic unknown and perspectives and preferred practices will evolve. We have learned much about COVID-19 and schools safely operating which is important to share.
Educational leaders are facing their professional lifetime career challenge — we are committed to providing support.
COVID-19 and School Air Quality
The goal of school COVID-19 programming in schools should be viewed as empowering the immune systems that naturally protect facility occupants. This is the governing consideration in maintaining wholesome air within the school facility.
In a way every COVID-19 preventive action, from the attempt to create a safe vaccine to social distancing and masks is based on empowering an individual’s immune system to better do its job. That concept is important to keep in mind in facility maintenance efforts to protect individuals from COVID-19.
The Immune System and Schools Addressing COVID-19
School public health prevention efforts to protect students, employees and the community are designed to reduce the burden of exposure to the Sars-2 virus allowing our immune systems to do their job. We need to understand something about those systems—our allies.
Public and Private Recovery of COVID-19 Financial Losses and for Supporting New Safety Requirements
The ability for public and private school systems to recover from operational interruption losses is complex and evolving. We sought professional legal counsel to review general perspectives toward securing damages through submitting an insurance claim for “business or operational interruption losses.”
Having worked on school health and policy issues for many years, we have taken the liberty as health policy professionals, to comment on what we think makes sense at this point, for schools confronting COVID-19 and regulatory- based losses and necessary public health expenditures.
Crisis Communications and School Administration – COVID-19
For 45 years ERC has been working with health concerns and crises within school systems. We have learned that it is not enough for school leadership to do the right thing—they must effectively communicate that they have done so. How leadership communicates in a time of destabilizing crisis is nearly as critical as making wise decisions. As they address reopening amid the COVID-19 crisis the communication dynamic requires consideration.