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Returning to School

Back to school


It is critical for schools to open as safely and as quickly as possible for in-person learning. Schools play an important role in children’s educational achievement, health, and wellbeing. Working with state, tribal, local, and territorial health officials, schools can also play an important role in slowing the spread of COVID-19 while ensuring that children have a safe and healthy learning environment.

As a parent, guardian, or caregiver, you may have the option to choose between in-person, virtual, or a hybrid mode of learning for your child(ren). You can review your school or school district’s plans to understand the steps they are taking to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to support your child’s education. See CDC’s Considerations for Schools to learn more about potential strategies schools may implement to slow the spread of COVID-19. Your choice of learning format may be based on whether your child or a household member is at increased risk of severe illness, how many cases of COVID-19 are in your community, your child’s academic and social-emotional needs, and your family’s or household’s needs. Schools provide important services and support for children’s academic, social-emotional, and physical health. The benefits of in-person learning and services should be weighed against the risks of COVID-19 for your child and your household.

Information on the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths, including among children, is available from CDC’s COVID Data Tracker. For more information on COVID-19 and Children visit Children, Teens, and Young Adults.


Household Members and COVID-19

It is important to understand how to avoid getting sick when any household member participates in in-person activities, including in-person learning. Because children can spread the virus that causes COVID-19 to others, parents, guardians, and caregivers should consider whether their child(ren) or other household members are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 when making decisions about in-person school and other activities. If a household includes someone who is at increased risk for severe illness, then all household members should act as if they, themselves, are at increased risk.


If your child or a member of your family has been diagnosed with COVID-19, please follow CDC’s guidelines and stay at home until the criteria to discontinue home isolation have been met.


Decision-making tool for parents and guardians

If you have any question or concerns please contact your physician.

This information is being published for educational purposes 

  1. Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Children — United States, February 12–April 2, 2020. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020;69:422–426.
  2. CDC COVID Data Tracker. Available at Accessed on July 21, 2020.
  3. Feldstein LR, Rose EB, Horwitz SM, Collins JP, Newhams MM, Son MB, Newburger JW, Kleinman LC, Heidemann SM, Martin AA, Singh AR. Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in US Children and Adolescents [published online ahead of print June 29, 2020]. New Eng J Med. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2021680
  4. Rajmil L. Role of children in the transmission of the COVID-19 pandemic: a rapid scoping review. BMJ Paediatr Open. 2020;4:e000722.
  5. Turk, M.A., et al. (2020). Intellectual and developmental disability and COVID-19 case-fatality trends: TriNetX analysis. Disability and Health Journal, online ahead of print: iconexternal icon
  6. Fitzpatrick, B. R., Berends, M., Ferrare, J. J., & Waddington, R. J. (2020). Virtual Illusion: Comparing Student Achievement and Teacher and Classroom Characteristics in Online and Brick-and-Mortar Charter Schools. Educational Researcher, 49(3), 161–175.

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