Social, emotional and academic effects of online learning may outweigh risks of virus

New CDC data gathered from schools that have been doing in-person learning

WPLG Local News 10 | by Hatchel Vela and Michelle Solomon | January 27, 2021

WEST PARK, Fla. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gathered data from schools that are already doing in-person learning shows that COVID transmission is not significant in classrooms. The newly released report says the type of rapid spread seen in senior living facilities and highly dense work sites has not been present in the school setting.

Researchers from the CDC published their opinion Tuesday in the Journal of American Medical Association.

The accumulation of data was collected from international schools as well as schools in the United States.

However, they warned that there is evidence that online and at home learning is affecting children socially, emotionally, and academically.

“The reason we pushed to open schools is because having kids in person is better for the kids,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said.

The superintendents in Broward and Miami Dade have been saying it for weeks, too.

“Our schools aren’t sources of spread for the pandemic,” Superintendent of Broward County Schools Robert Runcie said.

And the Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools Alberto Carvalho said: “We know who’s losing ground. And there are some children who need to return to the schoolhouse.”

Both have been urging that thousands of kids, especially those who are falling behind academically, be brought back to in person learning.

Lavonda Clark who was picking up her nephew from school said: “When the kids are home, they don’t pay attention.”

Reynaldo Hubbard was waiting for his grandchildren. “They get better grade when they’re in school,” he said.

But the CDC warns that proper procedures should continue to be enforced including mask wearing, physical distancing, better room ventilation and expanded testing.

Communities need to control the virus, too, so that it stays out of the classroom.

Karla Hernandez-Mats, the president of the Miami-Dade County Teachers Union said that “schools are a reflection of the community.”

Teachers’ unions in both counties agree that in person learning is the best option for students, but worry about the safety of schools and community behavior.

Unless our community is willing to do what they’re supposed to be doing, we’re going to continue to see the spread and this is what makes us nervous,” Hernandez-Mats said.

President Joe Biden has pledged to open more schools in the first 100 days of his administration, but warns it will be costly for the country —$130 billion is needed for schools to open safely.

Photo: Courtesy Miami-Dade Schools

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