The Orange County Board of Education approved its recommendations on Monday for the reopening of schools in the fall. The board voted 4-1 to approve a set of guidelines, including regular temperature checks, frequent hand washing and thorough cleanings of classrooms, offices and buses.
The board did not, however, require the use of masks or social distancing. In fact, it advised against the measures.
“Requiring children to wear masks during school is not only difficult — if not impossible to implement — but not based on science. It may even be harmful and is therefore not recommended,” it said.
The board noted that these recommendations were merely guidelines, not “laws” or “even rules.” It will be up to the individual school districts on how they want to go about having their students return for in-person classes.
If a district decides to not reopen or resume classes in a “typical classroom environment and school atmosphere,” the board says parents should be allowed to send their children to another school district or charter school.
The board emphasized its belief that schools need to reopen in the fall.
Calling remote learning an “utter failure,” the board said “abandoning the classroom in favor of computer-based learning proved frustrating to all — not just parents and students but teachers, too.”
But while the group said face coverings or physical distancing were of lower priority to younger children, it recommended that students in middle and high schools be required to wear face coverings when a 6-foot distance is not able to be maintained.
CNN’s Annie Grayer contributed to this report.