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Fact Sheet COVID-19EducationEmergency Legal Preparedness and ResponseHealth in School

Back-to-School Legal Trends and Challenges Relating to COVID-19

September 8, 2021


K–12 schools and parents of K–12 students are facing numerous challenges and uncertainties with the widespread return of in-person learning for the 2021–22 school year, given that the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing. The return of in-person learning is generally positive—schools provide important non-academic benefits that make it important for students to physically return to them. In addition, many teachers feel that remote learning resulted in “‘significant’ learning loss for students,” in terms of both academics and social-emotional progress. However, the continued pervasive presence of COVID-19 implicates public health concerns related to the spread of the communicable disease.

This fact sheet offers a broad-level overview of issues associated with the return to in-person learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also serves as a starting point and initial resource for individuals seeking information on what actions can be taken to protect K–12 students, as well as school faculty and staff, from COVID-19 in a school setting.