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Masks, Social Distancing Among CDC Guidelines For Reopening Schools

SAUGUS (CBS) - Students in Saugus are ready to head back into the classroom and many parents agree now is the time.

"They need teachers. They need to be in school," said parent Erika Devincent.

This week Saugus announced it will transition into a hybrid learning model from a remote model starting later this month.

"Our classrooms are six feet apart. We removed everything in them that was beyond a desk and whatever a teacher needed to instruct with," said Saugus Superintendent David DeRuosi.

Staying six feet apart in the classroom is on a long list of recommendations that were released Friday by the CDC. Wearing masks in schools buildings is also at the top of the list.

The CDC's comprehensive roadmap is designed to help K-12 schools plan to reopen for in person learning. It includes a color-coded system of guidelines for districts depending on their level of community transmission.

The CDC also suggests leaving rows between students on the bus. This contradicts new Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education guidelines that remove distancing requirements in some cases and advise drivers to keep the windows open at all times.

Friday the CDC said vaccination of teachers is important, but not a requirement for reopening.

"The important piece that they did say is that vaccinations provide an essential safety layer. There isn't one mitigation strategy that can keep anybody safe in and of itself," said Merrie Najimy of the Massachusetts Teachers Association.

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