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School Decision Tree for Opening


The purpose of this tool is to assist administrators in making (re)opening decisions regarding P-12 schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to check with state and local health officials and other partners to determine the most appropriate actions while adjusting to meet the unique needs and circumstances of the local community.

  • CDC Preparing K-12 School Administrators for a Safe Return to School in Fall 2020. Direct link here.

Should you consider opening?

  • Will reopening be consistent with applicable state and local orders?
  • Is the school ready to protect children and employees at higher risk for severe illness?
  • Are you able to screen students and employees upon arrival for symptoms and history of exposure?
Any no: do not open. All yes: proceed to next question.

Are recommended health and safety actions in place?

Any no: meet safeguards first. All yes: proceed to next question.

Is ongoing monitoring in place?

  • Develop and implement procedures to check for signs and symptoms of students and employees daily upon arrival, as feasible
  • Encourage anyone who is sick to stay home
  • Plan for if students or employees get sick
  • Regularly communicate and monitor developments with local authorities, employees, and families regarding cases, exposures, and updates to policies and procedures
  • Monitor student and employee absences and have flexible leave policies and practices
  • Be ready to consult with the local health authorities if there are cases in the facility or an increase in cases in the local area
Any no: meet safeguards first. All yes: open and monitor.