Special Report

Every State's Plan to Reopen Schools in the Fall

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Montana

Schools in Montana will reopen in three phases. The first phase involves limiting the number of students in the school building. Extracurricular activities and assemblies of any kind should be canceled. Schools should have study packets ready with suggested activities in the vent the school has to suddenly close due to an outbreak.

Temperature checks, screening for symptoms, having good hygiene posters in classrooms and common areas, requiring students to wash hands in regular intervals, and using face coverings for all students and staff are other recommendations.

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Nebraska

Nebraska has created a website, launchne.com, that is updated regularly with recommendations for school districts for reopening for the upcoming academic year. Some of the recommendations include changing air filters regularly, making visitors wash their hands before entering the school, controlling entrances to avoid overcrowding, posting signs about hygiene in common areas, and frequently cleaning and disinfecting playgrounds.

Omaha Public Schools, the largest school district in the state, will start the new academic year by dividing students into two groups. Each group will attend in-person classes half of the week, and on different days of the week.

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Nevada

The Nevada DOE released at the beginning of June a framework for reopening the schools in the fall. One recommendation is posting signs about proper handwashing and other ways to stop the virus spread in visible locations such as school entrances and restrooms.

The DOE also suggests that each school works with local health officials to develop a screening plan, which may include checking staff and students for symptoms as well as daily temperature checks. Face coverings are recommended for both staff and students, especially the older students, when maintaining 6 feet is not possible.

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New Hampshire

The guidelines Gov. Chris Sununu recently released for the safe reopening of schools in the fall calls for desks to be placed 3 to 6 feet apart, daily health screenings of students and educators, as well as plans for both in-person and online learning. Masks are highly recommended, but not required.

Classrooms should be arranged in such a way that students cannot sit in groups. All desks should face in the same direction and students should have assigned seats.

Schools are ultimately free to create their own plans for reopening for the new academic year.

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New Jersey

New Jersey schools plan to welcome students back for in-person instruction in September if health data does not show a new surge of COVID-19 cases. The DOE released a guideline, but every school district has to develop its own plan to reopen schools.

Schools must prepare for social distancing as much as possible. They should provide physical guides, such as tape on floors or sidewalks and signs on walls, to help keep people at least 6 feet apart. Screening students and employees for symptoms of and history of exposure to COVID-19 is also highly recommended. Physical education classes should take place in marked areas to ensure physical distance between students. School districts may design alternate schedules to mix remote and in-person classes if they do not have enough space to allow proper social distancing between all returning students.