Educational

Citing Educational Risks, Scientific Panel Urges That Schools Reopen

Outside Publis School 161 in New York, March 24, 2020. (Gabriela Bhaskar/The New York Times)
Outside Publis School 161 in New York, March 24, 2020. (Gabriela Bhaskar/The New York Times)

Wading into the contentious debate over reopening schools, an influential committee of scientists and educators Wednesday recommended that, wherever possible, younger children and those with special needs should attend school in person.

Their report — issued by the prestigious National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, which advises the nation on issues related to science — is less prescriptive for middle and high schools but offered a framework for school districts to decide whether and how to open, with help from public health experts, families and teachers.

The committee emphasized common-sense precautions, such as hand-washing, physical distancing and minimizing group activities, including lunch and recess.

But the experts went further than guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other groups, also calling for surgical masks to be worn by all teachers

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