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Keeping children physically present in school, the American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendation

Posted at 4:10 PM, Jul 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-01 20:09:18-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Many school districts are gearing up for what the new-normal will look like once school starts back up in the fall. The American Academy of Pediatrics is advocating to keep kids physically present in the classroom.

"Its well documented that in-person teaching and learning is much more effective than learning over the computer or learning from packets or a book alone at home. There is no way that these Zoom meetings and Zoom classroom can at all be the same as being present with their teacher and their classmates,” said Dr. Gretchen Hull, the Arizona AAP board president and a Tucson pediatrician.

Hull said educators have already seen some negative affects in children, since school closures in the spring.

"Those will only be exasperated more if the stay-at-home orders continue and the school closures continue,” said Hull.

The argument that children are not as hard hit by COVID-19, is another factor driving the AAP’s reason for its recommendation.

"Even with my own patients, I'm seeing it everyday. They get sick for a few days, if they even get that sick at all - sick enough to notice, and then they're better. They seem less likely to spread it. So we're not actually very concerned about children at school spreading it to each other or to the teachers. We're actually more concerned about the adults at the school spreading it amongst themselves,” said Hull.

Which is why one recommendation is that adults maintain distancing as much as possible.

Hull mentioned that this pandemic has made the disparities in our communities much more apparent than ever before.

"We have this window into people's homes that we've never had before. And it has really brought home to me those disparities. The lack of good internet access at home. The lack of space that is quiet and distracted-free at home for learning. All of those things affect education when you try to do remote learning. Remote learning is not the same for everybody,” said Hull.

For more guidelines recommended by the AAP, click here.