COVID-19 Guidance for Schools

Local public health agencies offer support and guidance to school districts developing plans on how best to educate students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Missouri's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) allows schools to make their own individual plans under "local rule." 

The Missouri School Boards' Association offers general guidance on reopening of schools, but recognizes that the diversity of Missouri's school districts will not support a one-size-fits-all approach.

CDC continuously updates guidance for K-12 schools based on pandemic phase, new information, and data analysis. CDC provides planning guidance to school boards and administrators in its K-12 Schools Toolkit.


In November 2020, Missouri's DHSS and DESE collaborated on a revised strategy to allow children to remain in the classroom rather than quarantining after exposure to COVID-19.


Schools may continue to utilize distance learning as an option to mitigate the risk of COVID transmission in the classrooms.


The American Academy of Pediatrics expresses concern over the losses children have experienced due to missing school during the COVID-19 pandemic.