This guidance was created in partnership with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) as a resource for administrators to safely open districts and nonpublic schools. It must be used in conjunction with all proclamations issued by the governor and guidance provided by the IDPH.
This guidance document outlines the practical application of prevention strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in youth and student programs. This guidance is applicable to programs authorized to operate by Executive Order 20-74 (PDF) (https://mn.gov/governor/assets/EO%2020-74%20Final_tcm1055-434913.pdf) including youth programs, K-12 schools, colleges, universities, and day camps. In alignment with this order, programs may operate with a maximum number of 10 people for indoor programs and up
to 25 people per group for outdoor activities.
This guidance document is being provided based on the public health situation as we understand it today and takes effect immediately, both for summer school instruction ending the 2019-2020 school year and to help support school systems in planning for the 2020-2021 school year, regardless of whether a school system starts at the date currently planned or the local school board votes to change the school system’s calendar to delay the start of the school year. Changes to the public health situation over the course of the summer may necessitate changes to this guidance.
This guidance addresses:
- On campus and virtual instruction
- Administrative activities by teachers, staff, or students that occur on school campuses or
- Non-UIL extracurricular sports and activities
- Any other activities that teachers, staff, or students must complete that cannot be
- Visits by parents and the general public
It is recommended that after-school providers and other programs that operate in conjunction with campuses follow this guidance in coordination with the campus(es) they serve.
With this memo, we are providing districts and schools with initial guidance on reopening for the
fall. In this guidance, we:
• Clearly state our goal for this fall: the safe return of as many students as possible to
in-person school settings, to maximize learning and address our students’ holistic
needs. If the current positive public health metrics hold, we believe that by following
critical health requirements, we can safely return to in-person school.
• Provide a clear set of health and safety requirements for in-person learning this fall,
grounded in the most up-to-date scientific literature and discussions with expert
medical advisors. While subject to revision as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves and
more scientific evidence becomes available, these requirements will serve as an initial
planning blueprint for the in-person return of students and staff this fall.
• Require districts and schools to prepare a reopening plan that addresses three
possible learning models for this fall: in-person learning with new safety requirements,
a hybrid of in-person and remote learning, and the continuation of remote learning (to
ensure continuity of learning throughout the school year, even if circumstances change).
Schools will also need a focused plan for special student populations. Districts and
schools will be required to submit a comprehensive reopening plan to the Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) in August that addresses these three
models. More information will follow shortly.
• Outline the future guidance and other supports that DESE will provide in the
CDPHE (Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment), CDE (Colorado Department of Education) and the Governor’s Office worked together to develop this guidance for Local Public Health agencies (LPHAs) and districts as they develop school plans. The guidance has been drafted in light of evolving scientific knowledge about the spread of COVID-19 among children and in schools, as well as real-world disease control knowledge acquired through months of experience at the state and local level. Input has been solicited from both internal and external stakeholders, and their invaluable comments and suggestions have been instrumental in
developing practical, broadly applicable guidance. The guidance is organized by the level of COVID-19 incidence in the community: Stay at Home (high level of COVID-19), Safer at Home (mid-level of COVID-19), and Protect Our Neighbors (lower level of COVID-19).
People across the United States are eager to return to some semblance of “normal.”
To do so, we must meet a herculean challenge: remaking our society and the places
in our lives we hold dear—public schools and colleges, places of worship, workplaces,
restaurants and more—in ways that hold paramount our ultimate priorities: the safety
and well-being of our children, families and communities; the safety of our members
and every frontline worker; and the health of our economy and economic well-being of
Physical distancing efforts have slowed the rate of COVID-19 infections, but no expert
believes we will eradicate this virus without a vaccine. Reopening prematurely by
relaxing stay-in-place restrictions and resuming large public gatherings runs the risk of
undoing the work of the last two months. A premature return to full commercial activity
risks a second surge of infections and second lockdown as is happening in Singapore
right now. Even once public health officials deem it safe to reopen, doing so without the
necessary precautions could be deadly.
This document provides a roadmap for navigating the next steps. It provides specific
guidance for transitioning from lockdowns to other public health tools to limit the
transmission of COVID-19. It focuses on reopening school buildings in particular, because
the safe reopening of public school buildings means students can go to school, and
parents, who work outside the home, can go to work. That is key to the reopening of the
We expect the plan to evolve and adapt over time. It rests on five pillars that draw on
the best available science and public health guidance, and the expertise of educators and
health practitioners. Gradually, responsibly and safely reopening society requires:
- Maintaining physical distancing until the number of new cases declines for at least 14 consecutive days. Reducing the number of new cases is a prerequisite for transitioning to reopening plans on a community-by-community basis.
- Putting in place the infrastructure and resources to test, trace and isolate new cases. Transitioning from community-focused physical distancing and stay-in-place orders to case-specific interventions requires ramping up the capacity to test, trace and isolate each and every new case.
- Deploying the public health tools that prevent the virus’ spread and aligning them with education strategies that meet the needs of students.
- Involving workers, unions, parents and communities in all planning. Each workplace and community faces unique challenges related to COVID-19. To ensure that reopening plans address those challenges, broad worker and community involvement is necessary. They must be engaged, educated and empowered.
- Investing in recovery: Do not abandon America’s communities or forfeit America’s future. These interventions will require more—not less—investments in public health and in our schools, universities, hospitals, and local and state governments. Strengthening communities should be a priority in the recovery.
This Interim Guidance for In-Person Instruction at Pre-K to Grade 12 Schools during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (“Interim COVID-19 Guidance for Schools”) was created to provide all elementary (including pre-kindergarten), middle, and high schools, as well as their employees, contractors, students, and parents/legal guardians of students with precautions to help protect against the spread of COVID-19 for schools that are authorized to provide in-person instruction in the 2020-2021 school year.
This guidance is intended to address all types of public and private (both secular and non-secular) elementary (including pre-kindergarten), middle, and high schools. In addition to affirming to understand and meet the requirements described herein, school districts, boards of cooperative educational services (BOCES), charter schools, and private schools must develop individual plans for reopening and operating during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Each plan must meet the minimum standards set forth in this guidance and reflect engagement with school stakeholders and community members, including but not limited to administrators, faculty, staff, students, parents/legal guardians of students, local health departments, local health care providers, and, where appropriate, affiliated organizations (e.g., union, alumni, and/or community-based groups). Specifically, each school district, BOCES, charter school, and
private school must develop and submit to the New York State Department of Health (DOH) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED), or the State University of New York (SUNY) for charter schools authorized by SUNY, a plan that, at minimum, covers:
(1) Reopening of school facilities for in-person instruction,
(2) Monitoring of health conditions,
(3) Containment of potential transmission of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and
(4) Closure of school facilities and in-person instruction, if necessitated by widespread virus