DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – As COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations continue to surge, students across North Texas are heading back to the classrooms for a new semester.

“Well I know for a lot of teachers, they were very anxious about going back into the buildings into the classrooms,” said Rena Honea, the president of Alliance AFT.

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The union represents employees of Dallas Independent School District.

“I know that they were glad to see the students, the ones that were there to connect with them, whether it was face to face or online,” said Honea.

While not much has changed in terms of protocol for area districts, the American Academy of Pediatrics did update its guidance after new research found school transmission mirrors, but does not drive, community transmission.

The AAP is strongly advocating the goal of having students physically present for learning.

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Among their recommendations:

– social distancing, masking and proper hygiene

– having teachers move between classrooms, so students aren’t congregating in halls.

– having students eat lunch at their desks or in small groups outside

– leaving classroom doors open to reduce high touch surfaces

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