With a promise nationwide to have in-school learning again this fall, many schools are facing ever-changing policies. Having to switch to digital learning was a big enough change the last few years, with teachers and parents adapting quickly to every nuance introduced to them. And with vaccinations helping to reduce the chances of spreading Covid-19, a return to schools in the fall means a lot to the students. But with virus variants and schools already having a hard time adjusting to the new regulations, the upcoming school year may still be up in the air.

Mask Mandates

The CDC was confident in stating earlier this month that students aged 12 and over wouldn’t have to wear masks this coming school year. With most students and teachers becoming fully vaccinated before the start of school, it seemed unnecessary to require masks. Schools were still given the choice to require face coverings even if students or teachers are vaccinated as they see fit, but many schools seemed to be on the same page. Of course, with most vaccinations not ready for children yet, all students who are above 2-years-old but under 12-years-old, will still be required to wear masks. As the summer continues and more cases are on the rise, school officials are realizing that it may be too risky not enforcing mask mandates for all, regardless of vaccination status. 

Delta Variant & Safety

The delta variant of Covid-19 is slowly spreading to most individuals, including the vaccinated population. The symptoms are not nearly as severe when fully vaccinated, but with the youth population being more immune compromised than adults, this can prove dangerous for some school districts, especially the ones who house younger grades with high school students in one building. And with only 30% of children between 12 and 17 fully vaccinated, the numbers are still low enough to incite another outbreak. With this in mind, the CDC reversed their earlier stance on no masks for the older school bound population. Instead, they state that masks are required for everyone, regardless if they are fully vaccinated or not. 

Safety First

Although it may be difficult for many students returning to school this fall to wear masks again, it’s always done for safety reasons. The school year regulations will most likely continue to change as the year goes by, but remember to be supportive of the school’s decisions and how you react. It’ll help bolster your own children for any further challenges that may arise this school year.    

Katie Kyzivat