CDC issues new recommendations for schools; school administrators unsure if they’re all attainable

Coronavirus

ST. LOUIS – As e-learning wraps up this school year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is releasing new guidelines for the return in the fall.

School administrators across St. Louis are now worried about the challenge to implement all recommended guidelines.

If you were to ask any teacher, many will say life in the classroom is about adapting to changes while continuing to spark minds of the youth.

So, it should come as no surprise that’s exactly what’s happening with CDC school guidelines related to COVID-19.

“Once a day or every other day I’m looking at those guidelines seeing if there are any suggestions or recommendations,” said Chester Asher, CEO of North Side Community Schools.

Asher says on top of keeping a close eye on CDC, state, and local guidelines, earlier this week, he received crushing news from Governor Mike Parson.

“There will be cuts across the state in each sector and education (will be) one of them,” he said.

Asher and his board have now drawn up budget A and budget B that’s solely dependent upon the amount of money the district will receive.

Those dollars matter even more with the new guidelines CDC put in place looking ahead to school in the fall.

School administrators are recommended to broadcast regular announcements on reducing the spread of the coronavirus, space students out 6 feet inside classrooms, serve lunch inside the classroom and that’s while students are in school.

It gets even trickier getting them there.

“There’s a suggestion you put one kid every other seat on the bus,” Asher said. “I think some of the bus companies in St. Louis, they don’t even have enough buses for that to happen and transport all the kids to school.”

But the CEO is adamant he does plan on having all students wear mask on the buses.

Asher says he’s going to do all that’s needed to keep his school in good standing and to protect the safety of his students.

However, he says he’ll be remorse without saying the challenge this presents for the crucial teaching of human interaction.

“This is social distancing, for safety reasons it’s understandable, but this diminishes the social interactions that we have, and we value and kids learn from,” Asher said.

The CEO says one initiative he does plan on putting in place is having a water bottle for every student.

That will do away with students using water fountains and prevent the spread of any germs.

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