CDC New Guidelines Urge Schools to Reopen

Natalie Gallardo

  • March 17, 2021

On February 12th, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated guidelines urging schools to reopen in-person learning. The guidelines gave school districts hope of reopening schools if they have not already. Even though many want to go back, parents and staff are concerned about their children and students' safety. 


One big concern people have is that neither students nor staff would be required to have the covid-19 vaccinations. Students are allowed to go back by following procedures that include wearing a mask, social distancing, and keeping the campus clean and sanitized. 

Dr. Rochelle Walensky is standing on the podium addressing reopening of schools.

(Photo obtained from

A current sophomore at Gahr who wishes to stay anonymous states her opinion on the requirements to go back to school, "If the risks and deaths go down even more, then yes, it could be safe to go back with restrictions. The cases need to for sure decrease, and everyone needs to wear a mask that way, we can have the chance of going back to normal." 


Like the sophomore above, many wish and hope for life to go back the way it was as soon as possible, and with the new CDC guidelines, we will be able to take the first step, which is going back to in-person learning. However, some individuals believe that it is better to stay at home until the situation gets even better and safer. 


Junior Katarina Castro shares her opinion on opening schools, "I do not believe it is safe to go back because there will be kids that refuse to follow guidelines or will try to find loopholes. I do not believe that it is necessary if more people continue to get Covid and suffer. We may not have the best [schooling] environment, but at least we can learn and know that we are safe." 


Katarina believes that online learning will benefit in the long run since it will be safer for everyone. Students are still learning the primary curriculum without physically being at school. In the end, school districts decide whether or not students go back to in-person learning. 


For the time being, ABC Unified has decided only to allow elementary students with the possibility of going back. Even then, the younger grades of elementary school, K-2nd, will be the only ones with the highest chance of going back. 


The ABCUSD Superintendent Dr. Mary Sieu released a statement about ABC's plans to reopen, "The first groups of students scheduled to return are in grades TK-2 and small cohorts of students with special needs. Students in grades 3-6 will return next. At this time, students in middle and high school are not included in reopening plans." 


The district is still considering other middle school and high school students' plans to have some sense of normalcy, but there are only plans for elementary students going back to school. 


As time goes on, plans may change. Even though the new CDC guidelines have brought a new sense of hope, the policies have also brought controversy and doubt. Yes, the U.S. has improved the situation, but we are not entirely clear about when life will go back to normal. With uncertainty in everyone, schools are still considering various plans, but with the release of new guidelines, there's more hope for the future. 

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