Pediatricians Call for In-person Teaching in the Fall
The American Academy of Pediatrics "strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school." They say that in person schooling is essential to children as well as the well-being and development of adolescents. The AAP also mentions that transmission between young children has been shown to be relatively uncommon.
"On the other hand, the AAP argues that based on the nation’s experience this spring, remote learning is likely to result in severe learning loss and increased social isolation. Social isolation, in turn, can breed serious social, emotional and health issues… these impacts will be visited more severely on Black and brown children, as well as low-income children", NPR reports.
The AAP believes that giving children the opportunity to go to school should be considered even if adhering to 6 foot spacing proved to not be possible in schools. They also mention that masks may not be practical for very young children unless they could wear masks without increased face touching.
"The guidelines do note that adult school staff are more at risk compared to young children and need to be able to distance from other adults as much as possible — no in-person faculty meetings, no class visits by parents. And they emphasize the need to make accommodations for students who are medically fragile or have special health care needs or disabilities."
Much of what the AAP described did not necessarily address the health concerns of teachers. Nearly a third of teachers are older than 50. Therefore, this will likely be one of the largest obstacles as plans are made for the next academic year.