In a pair of documents issued the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Education are emphasizing that evidence shows schools can safely operate during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic if they take precautions.

CDC’s newly released operational strategy for schools & a separate handbook from the US Education Department that serves as a supplement to the CDC document. 

The US Dept. of Ed handbook states: “For some students with disabilities, physical distancing at school may be difficult because of disability-related needs. Examples include children who are blind and require sighted guides, children who are deaf-blind who require tactile interpreting, and some children with significant disabilities who have intensive needs. Federal disability law requires schools to provide certain services to students with disabilities and to take an individualized approach to providing services, consistent with the student’s individualized education program (IEP) or plan developed under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (504 plan), as appropriate. Educators and community members should collaborate to facilitate safe in-person learning for the greatest number of students with disabilities feasible. Positive behavioral interventions and supports may be especially helpful for some students with disabilities and may include modeling and reinforcing desired behaviors and using picture schedules, timers, and visual cues.”