School Reentry Considerations

In-School Instruction With Physical Distancing

Physical Education - Personal Hygiene

Have students and staff wash or sanitize hands as they enter and exit the class. Teach students proper hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and physical distancing guidelines. Use CDC downloadable resources on handwashing as visual cues and reminders.

Face coverings should be worn by staff and encouraged for students (particularly older students) if feasible and are most essential in times when physical distancing is difficult. Teachers who provide instruction to English-language learners or students with hearing impairments may need to make modifications, such as wearing a clear face covering.

Face coverings are not recommended for anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the covering without assistance.

Face coverings may be challenging for students (especially younger students) to wear in all-day settings such as school. Ensure proper physical distancing and air flow when students are unable to wear face coverings.

Consult with the school-wide COVID-19 response team and school nurse on proper protocol for students with asthma or other underlying conditions which may prohibit them from wearing face coverings.

Consult with the school-wide COVID-19 response team and the school nurse on proper protocol for students wearing face coverings when participating in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, especially for students with asthma or other chronic conditions.

Use CDC guidance to teach students how to properly wear and remove face coverings and why they are important for protecting students and staff from the spread of COVID-19.

Recognize and address the stigma that may occur as a result of COVID-19 when students cough or sneeze or are unable to wear face coverings due to underlying conditions.

Suggested citation: SHAPE America. (2020). School reentry considerations: K-12 physical education, health education, and physical activity. Reston, VA: Author.

The recommendations and strategies provided herein are obtained based on guidance for schools provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and national recommendations for physical education, health education, recess, and classroom-based physical activity. The COVID-19 outbreak is an ongoing, rapidly developing situation. Educators are encouraged to monitor publicly available information and to always follow federal, state and local health organization guidance and government mandates. This information may vary and will be updated as necessary.