Moving Forward: How and When to Reopen Schools?
When will schools open? And what will they look like when they do?
As educators juggle online education software, printed packets, and ensuring communication with their current students, many wonder how to plan for the 2020-2021 school year.
According to an April 15 EdWeek article, States Face Thorny Issues in Deciding When to Reopen Schools Post-Pandemic, governors are working with public health officials determine the factors that will “ease their stay-home directives in general and when to reopen schools.”
“Those factors include whether public health officials can effectively track the spread of the virus to allow for more targeted mitigation efforts; whether hospitals are prepared and equipped to treat patients; and what modifications schools should make to their operations to allow for social distancing in classrooms,” author Evie Blad said in the article.
The President of the United States released guidelines Friday for reopening America, a plan that includes multiple phases and continuous monitoring. Some states will be able to implement phases sooner than others, depending on how many coronavirus cases they have and adequate testing and tracking services available.
Regardless of when schools open again, education leaders are working to decide what that will look like. As Stephen Pruitt, the president of the Southern Regional Education Board and a former education commissioner in Kentucky, explained in the EdWeek article, educators face a new norm for teaching. Schools, districts, and boards of education must have strategies for this.
“We’ve got to provide better support, better guidance, better [professional development], better everything than we’ve always done,” Pruitt said in the article.
For consistently updated information on school closures and openings, see EdWeek’s Tracking Map.
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