The current CDC recommendations include:
- universal and correct wearing of masks;
- modifying facilities to allow for physical distancing (e.g., use of cohorts/ podding);
- handwashing and respiratory etiquette;
- cleaning and maintaining facilities;
- including improving ventilation;
- contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine, in collaboration with the State, local, territorial, or Tribal health departments;
- diagnostic and screening testing;
- efforts to provide vaccinations to school;
- appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities with respect to health and safety policies; and
- coordination with State and local health officials.
Second, the plan must describe how the LEA will ensure continuity of services, including but not limited to services to address students’ academic needs and students’ and staff social, emotional, mental health and other needs, which may include student health and food services.
The plan must also be reviewed and, as appropriate, revised every six months until September 30, 2023, including stakeholder input and public comment. If the LEA revises its plan, the revised plan must address each of the aspects of safety currently recommended by the CDC at the time of the revision or, if the CDC has updated its safety recommendations at the time the LEA is revising its plan, each of the updated safety recommendations.
A plan is required of all LEAs, even those who have already returned to in-person instruction. An LEA that developed a plan prior to the enactment of the ARP Act that meets the requirements for stakeholder input and public comment, and is posted to the LEA’s website, but does not address each of the required aspects of safety recommended by CDC, as part of the required 6 -month periodic review must revise its plan consistent with these requirements no later than six months after it last reviewed its plan.
Since most LEAs developed their initial plans in the fall, if they have not been reviewed in the past six months, the plan must be reviewed and revised at this time. All plans must be in an understandable and uniform format; to the extent practicable, written in a language that parents can understand or, if not practicable, orally translated; and, upon request by a parent who is an individual with a disability, provided in an alternative format accessible to that parent. TEA will monitor this requirement based on the LEA’s written translation policy. In most cases the plan will be required to be translated into Spanish.