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AAP issues recommendations for reopening schools

Monday, Jun 29, 2020

* 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”...

• School policies must be flexible and nimble in responding to new information, and administrators must be willing to refine approaches when specific policies are not working.

• It is critically important to develop strategies that can be revised and adapted depending on the level of viral transmission in the school and throughout the community and done with close communication with state and/or local public health authorities and recognizing the differences between school districts, including urban, suburban, and rural districts.

• Policies should be practical, feasible, and appropriate for child and adolescent’s developmental stage.

• Special considerations and accommodations to account for the diversity of youth should be made, especially for our vulnerable populations, including those who are medically fragile, live in poverty, have developmental challenges, or have special health care needs or disabilities, with the goal of safe return to school.

• No child or adolescent should be excluded from school unless required in order to adhere to local public health mandates or because of unique medical needs. Pediatricians, families, and schools should partner together to collaboratively identify and develop accommodations, when needed.

• School policies should be guided by supporting the overall health and well-being of all children, adolescents, their families, and their communities. These policies should be consistently communicated in languages other than English, if needed, based on the languages spoken in the community, to avoid marginalization of parents/guardians who are of limited English proficiency or do not speak English at all.

* Face coverings

Cloth face coverings protect others if the wearer is infected with SARS CoV-2 and is not aware. Cloth masks may offer some level of protection for the wearer. Evidence continues to mount on the importance of universal face coverings in interrupting the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Although ideal, universal face covering use is not always possible in the school setting for many reasons. Some students, or staff, may be unable to safely wear a cloth face covering because of certain medical conditions (eg, developmental, respiratory, tactile aversion, or other conditions) or may be uncomfortable, making the consistent use of cloth face coverings throughout the day challenging. For individuals who have difficulty with wearing a cloth face covering and it is not medically contraindicated to wear a face covering, behavior techniques and social skills stories(see resource section)can be used to assist in adapting to wearing a face covering. When developing policy regarding the use of cloth face coverings by students or school staff, school districts and health advisors should consider whether the use of cloth face coverings is developmentally appropriate and feasible and whether the policy can be instituted safely. If not developmentally feasible, which may be the case for younger students, and cannot be done safely (eg, the face covering makes wearers touch their face more than they otherwise would), schools may choose to not require their use when physical distancing measures can be effectively implemented. School staff and older students (middle or high school) may be able to wear cloth face coverings safely and consistently and should be encouraged to do so. Children under 2 years and anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance should not wear cloth face coverings.

For certain populations, the use of cloth face coverings by teachers may impede the education process. These include students who are deaf or hard of hearing, students receiving speech/language services, young students in early education programs, and English-language learners. Although there are products (eg, face coverings with clear panels in the front) to facilitate their use among these populations, these may not be available in all settings.

* Immunizations

Existing school immunization requirements should be maintained and not deferred because of the current pandemic. In addition, although influenza vaccination is generally not required for school attendance, in the coming academic year, it should be highly encouraged for all students. School districts should consider requiring influenza vaccination for all staff members. Pediatricians should work with schools and local public health authorities to promote childhood vaccination messaging well before the start of the school year. It is vital that all children receive recommend vaccinations on time and get caught up if they are behind as a result of the pandemic.

There’s a lot more, so click here if this topic applies to you or a loved one.

* From the Southern

Southern Illinois school officials got their first glimpse of rules for in-person learning for the next school year on Tuesday and began planning to implement them before the mid-August start of the school year.

Some school districts posted on social media new guidelines and information about how they are developing their plans for in-person learning.

Century School District 100 posted a message on Facebook that included: “We know that everyone is anxiously waiting to see what school will look like for us in the fall. Over the coming weeks, our staff and other stakeholders will be working to develop Century’s back to school plan. Once we have a plan in place, we will disseminate it accordingly.”

They asked that parents have patience and included a link to the new guidelines from the state. School officials also asked that parents not overreact to the guidelines because there are six weeks until the start of school, and things may change before that date.

* Tribune

With new cases of COVID-19 continuing and no vaccine, many parents have questions about what a return to school might look like.

Will young children be able to concentrate with face masks required? Will schools close over and over again if outbreaks occur, disrupting kids’ ability to learn? What if kids contract the disease and spread it to vulnerable family members?

Some parents are considering home-schooling their children.

Kids all over the world are wearing face coverings.

* Eastern Bloc


MPORTANT MESSAGE from Attorney Thomas DeVore:
Your children’s education is a fundamental right which cannot be withheld…

Posted by Brad Halbrook on Sunday, June 28, 2020

“Restrictemmendations”? Sheesh.

From comments…

Dress codes have been upheld by the courts for a long time.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

38 Comments
  1. - Demoralized - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 11:09 am:

    Thomas Devore continues to be absolutely irresponsible.

    And Brad Halbrook should be ashamed of himself for posting this.


  2. - DownStater - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 11:14 am:

    The Eastern Bloc really may end up taking care of itself.


  3. - SAP - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 11:16 am:

    ==When your children, and thousands of other kids, show up on the first day of school with no mask, your school districts will have to figure out how to educate these children.== Probably the same way they handle students who do not have required immunizations–send them home.


  4. - Someone you should know - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 11:18 am:

    Happy Birthday Mel Brooks :)

    Now who can argue with that? I think we’re all indebted to Brad Holbrook for clearly stating what needed to be said. I’m particulary glad that these lovely children were here today to hear that speech. Not only was it authentic frontier gibberish, it expressed a courage little seen in this day and age.


  5. - Siualum - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 11:19 am:

    Sounds like Devore is looking for more clients. He’s carved out quite a niche for his ambulance chasing practice.


  6. - Dotnonymous - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 11:24 am:

    There is a fundamental right to be stupid…only if the effects are limited to that person.


  7. - Cubs in '16 - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 11:25 am:

    ===your school districts will have to figure out how to educate these children.===

    Most likely leading to lower quality instruction than they would’ve otherwise had. Great plan guys.


  8. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 11:27 am:

    -He’s carved out quite a niche for his ambulance chasing practice.-

    In his case, though, the ambulances show up after he is successful.


  9. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 11:30 am:

    Except for the wear a mask segment, the AAP recommendations are good sounding pablum. I did not get a sense of what to do.

    My position is, wear a mask or go home.


  10. - Wire Tap - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 11:31 am:

    Halbrook should shut his mouth after the comments made by his brother. While I know people feel differently, it wasn’t like he took his brother to task. Also, the Eastern Block will be the first to talk about justice reform but then present frivolous lawsuits. Can’t have it both way guys…


  11. - Moe Berg - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 11:32 am:

    Wall Street Journal:

    Hong Kong, with 7.5 million residents, is one of the most densely populated places on earth, but recorded only six deaths from Covid-19 despite having no lockdown and receiving nearly 350,000,travelers a day from abroad until authorities started reducing cross-border travel on January 30. Around half of the arrivals were from mainland China, where the virus originated.

    The key secret of Hong Kong’s success, Prof. Yuen said, is that the mask compliance rate during morning rush hour is 97%. The 3% who don’t comply are mainly Americans and Europeans, he said.

    “The only thing you can do is universal masking, that’s what stopped it,” Prof. Yuen said.


  12. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 11:32 am:

    (Sigh)

    Thomas DeVore is a Coronavirus chasing zealot. He will infect more than the minds of the weak.

    Mr. Halbrook isn’t any brighter.


  13. - Jocko - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 11:38 am:

    ==When your children, and thousands of other kids, show up on the first day of school==

    Someone should remind Brad the last time Thomas DeVore weighed in on schoolchildren it didn’t go so well. https://imgur.com/gallery/tS8rBdv


  14. - K-Swiss - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 11:40 am:

    ==Kids all over the world are wearing face coverings==

    Allegedly. I’d be interested in hearing how children that fail to socially distance and wear masks are being disciplined. I’m not confident that the US can pull this off without being way too heavy handed,legalistic and by using a basic common sense approach. However, I’m open to learning how children can be immediately taught to wear masks and socially distance in a 90 degree class room in August when they have been outside playing with their friends and family members all summer long without wearing face masks.


  15. - dbk - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 11:52 am:

    Advice from the AAP: common sense, without offering any practical guidance on the nuts and bolts of how to effect “back to school” in August for all, or nearly all. It’s the nuts and bolts that are crucial here. So I’m unimpressed.

    Others may have noted that Fairfax County has issued its plan, and it’s been pretty roundly rejected by all interested parties (and it was “flexible,” too).

    Given the resurgence of the virus in so many states the past week or so, I think we have to realize that in-school teaching/learning might not be possible in August (the case numbers are really alarming).

    Re: masks, agree, they should be mandatory except for medical exemptions. If the six-year-olds in Beijing and Taiwan can wear them, American six-year-olds can, too.

    Re: immunizations, agree, the little tykes should be fully immunized this school year (even if on-site teaching can’t take place). We can’t protect them from Covid, but at least we can protect them from many other communicable diseases.


  16. - CJA - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 11:53 am:

    ==School policies should be guided by supporting the overall health and well-being of all children, adolescents, their families, and their communities==

    What about the teachers, admin, secretarial staff, custodians, food service personnel, specialists, counselors, bus drivers,…


  17. - SaulGoodman - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 12:16 pm:

    Is Halbrook okay if I send my kids to school naked? I mean, education is a fundamental right that cannot be withheld, so my nudist family should be able to attend school naked, right?

    Schools withhold education for all kinds of reasons. Vaccinations. Sickness. Suspensions. Appropriate clothing. Etc, etc. etc.


  18. - Morty - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 12:26 pm:

    A whole lot of nothing again.

    As others pointed out, recommending that someone wears a mask is not guidance.

    Ultimately a decision has to be made.

    All these things do is to push the liability on local districts, admins, and staff.


  19. - Token Conservative - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 12:26 pm:

    Rep. Halbrook is a terrible person.


  20. - Froganon - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 12:29 pm:

    ==However, I’m open to learning how children can be immediately taught to wear masks and socially distance in a 90 degree class room in August… without wearing face masks==
    Teaching children about caring for others, following rules to save their lives and providing them with comfortable spaces to learn shows what parents and communities value. Those who value their children will provide the direction and space to save their lives and learn. Those that don’t won’t. American “Exceptionalism” - risking your child’s/family’s/community’s health to support a malevant ideology lableled “personal freedom”. Wow, just Wow (banned punctuation)


  21. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 12:31 pm:

    A good way to check the logic of the anti-mask folks is to replace “mask” with “pants” and see how it holds up.

    How’s this sound? “Tell your school district your child will not be abiding by the pants requirement. When your children, and thousands of other kids, show up on the first day of school with no pants, your school districts will have to figure out how to educate these children.”

    Would Rep. Halbrook support this? Would DeVore represent these families?


  22. - Pundent - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 12:40 pm:

    Refusal to wear a mask is ignorance masquerading as liberty. I understand the tough spot Durkin is in but on matters of life and death it would be helpful if he could find his voice.


  23. - Ryan - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 12:40 pm:

    Further perpetuating the stereotype of those of us living below I-80 are stupid. Or, maybe proving it… Ugh.


  24. - Live Wire - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 12:42 pm:

    How would Rep Halbrook and the anti-mask crowd have survived in WW2 when many consumable items were rationed?

    Food, penicillin, fuel, shoes. They would lose their minds if they had to sacrifice like that today.

    It isn’t just in the Eastern Block, plenty in North Central IL not wearing masks, can’t be bothered.

    A mask, that is the least you can do for society.


  25. - Keri - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 12:45 pm:

    How safe will it be for the hundreds of thousands of children who use public transportation to get to school? We need to consider things beyond just the scope of the actual brick and mortar school building.


  26. - Mama - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 12:47 pm:

    What rock has Brad Halbrook been living under? Geesh!

    My niece is going to be home-schooled until a vaccine is found.


  27. - Mama - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 12:53 pm:

    If the parent always wear a mask and social distant when out in public, the kids will do the same.
    There will be problems with the kids whose parents don’t want them to wear a mask.

    I’m sure ISBE will have rules and regs on wearing a Mask & social distancing for the schools by the time kids start school in the Fall.


  28. - CJA - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:04 pm:

    ==I’m sure ISBE will have rules and regs on wearing a Mask & social distancing for the schools by the time kids start school in the Fall.==

    I doubt it will be that simple. The reasons for not wearing masks trigger too many other questions. I don’t think the ISBE can cover them all, plus are they the ones who would really enforce them?


  29. - Abbey - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:16 pm:

    Go back to the commenter on the dress code. No mask, no enter. Call the parents, send the child home. Noncompliance over an extended period of time could result in truancy charges.

    Schools ask students to cover their shoulders, bellies and now faces.

    The selfishness and stupidity of some of these people is shameful. Please, anti-mask people, stop embarrassing your kids.


  30. - Lt Guv - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:26 pm:

    Misters Halbrook and DeVore are embarrassments to the state of Illinois. You’re not a solution, you’re a problem.


  31. - Mama - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:37 pm:

    “The reasons for not wearing masks trigger too many other questions.”

    “I don’t think the ISBE can cover them all, plus are they the ones who would really enforce them?”

    1. ISBE only sets the standard rules for all schools to follow per guidance from IDPH.

    2. The schools enforce bad behavior. No doubt some students with special needs will not be able to wear a mask.


  32. - Mama - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:39 pm:

    I meant to say: The schools decide on the punishment for students whom choose not to follow their rules.


  33. - Mama - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:43 pm:

    “How safe will it be for the hundreds of thousands of children who use public transportation to get to school?”

    That could be a big problem. An idea: the schools could put a monitor on the school buses to guide the kids on wearing their mask and social distancing for the first month of school or longer.


  34. - Mama - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:55 pm:

    “What about the teachers, admin, secretarial staff, custodians, food service personnel, specialists, counselors, bus drivers, etc.”

    The school employees and contractors will need to wear a face shield or a mask or both. “Personal- freedom” is never a good reason to put other people’s lives in danger by not wearing a mask.


  35. - TheInvisibleMan - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 2:12 pm:

    ===Rep. Halbrook is a terrible person.===

    And last I looked our plainfield township supervisor is on his campaign committee.


  36. - Lynn S. - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 2:45 pm:

    @ Mama,

    “What rock is Holbrook living under?”

    The one that’s painted red, white and blue, with a “Trump 2020″ flag flying on the front porch, a yard filled with campaign signs promoting his fellow Blockheads, and a big ol’ pickup coveted in NRA and Republican party bumper stickers.

    Guns proudly displayed in the gun rack in the rear window.


  37. - Lynn S. - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 3:11 pm:

    Sitting here thinking about Halbrook’s “recommendation” that parents use their children as pawns for “civil disobedience”:

    I can easily see a situation developing on the very first day of school, where the school bus shows up in a driveway at 7 a.m. to pick up some sweet little first or second grader whose parent has failed to provide the child with a mask.

    When parent is informed little Johnny or Susie must wear a mask on the bus, or the child cannot be transported, parent starts foaming at the mouth and causing trouble.

    Then the local sheriff gets called, and the sheriff is one of the fools who has brayed loudly about how he “isn’t going to enforce social distancing” because “kids don’t get sick from Corona”.

    And DeVore will add his schtick to the whole riot, “because civil liberties”.

    Yet Halbrook and his fellow Blocheads, the parent, the sheriff, and DeVore will all whine about “people wasting our tax dollars”…


  38. - On Point - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 3:26 pm:

    My personal favorite phrase of the COVID-19 era:

    “A mask isn’t a political statement. It is an IQ test.”

    Boom.


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