Districts Are Leaning on Medical Advisers to Help With COVID Policies. It’s Paying Off

Stephen Sawchuk — October 05, 2021
EdWeek Article: www.edweek.org/leadership/districts-are-leaning-on-medical-advisors-to-help-with-covid-policies-its-paying-off/2021/10


It’s a Wednesday night, and the DeKalb County, Ga., school district’s medical advisory committee is having its debut moment, so to speak.

The committee has been working with the district for about a year now, helping to shape its back-to-school plans, inform its upcoming decisions about COVID-19 vaccinations and testing, and increasingly, play a public-information role, as embodied by tonight’s meeting.

When the Zoom public forum goes live, the screen is a pleasing cross-section of medical experts in this diverse district: Doctors, disease experts, pediatricians, academics—younger and older, Black and white. They’re the same folks parents in the district take their kids to, and the same ones who work in nearby hospitals.

The public meeting starts with the basics—what is the COVID-19 virus, anyway? Why do masks seem to prevent transmission?—but it will conclude with much- more specific information and myth-busting for parents, like what to do when a child gets sniffly during the approaching cold-and-flu season.