Schools Need To Reopen, But What Exactly Does That Look Like?

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It has sure been “fun” trying to teach my third grader geometry. I barely passed geometry in school. I can tell you, without a doubt, I am not qualified to be teaching my child geometry.

Schools need to open the heck back up. I have NEVER had a greater regard or respect for what teachers do in my entire life!

We know it is so important that schools open, not only for the wellbeing of the educational process, but because many parents rely on their kids going to school as a sort of day care that lets them go to work during the day.

With schools being closed, there is NO way for these parents to go back to work. There isn’t anyone to watch their school-aged children while they are punching the clock all day, and earning the money that the family relies on to stay afloat.

There are a few things that need to happen before schools can safely open, and I’m here to delve into what those things are with you.

Schools have to SAFELY open, bottom line. We can’t just send the kids back into a petri dish of germs. It will make the last two months of quarantine pointless, if we just go cramming the kids back into a classroom.

But, what does “safely” look like?

We know that we can’t just go back to the status quo. We have to somehow come up with a “new normal,” at least until there is a viable vaccine that can knock this virus out before it starts — but that is a ways down the road, yet.

Reopening schools in September will be a daunting challenge. In the best of circumstances, there will be a degree of risk, given that a coronavirus vaccine is unlikely to be available by then and another flu season will be upon us. Educators will have to revamp every aspect of daily school life, creating a new normal. But to call remote learning an acceptable alternative is to grade it on a generous curve.

The Chicago Sun-Times

There has been some discussion about possible solutions. One would be a staggered day, where half the kids go to school during the first part of the day, and then the second half of the kids go to school during the next part of the day.

Also on the discussion field is a “A” / “B” kind of plan, where half the kids would go to school on a Monday, while the second half stay home. And then, on subsequent days of the week, they switch.

I have also heard plans of maybe a one semester on, one semester off situation. But, they would have to take into consideration the learning regression that would happen during the “off” semester. This may not be the wisest solution.

WHATEVER they decide to do, there is already a lack of resources for teachers and school districts. Any viable plan to stagger the children would put a financial strain on school systems.

Staggering the kids would mean either the schools need more teaching manpower, or teachers are going to be stretched even further than they already are.

School districts would also have to take into consideration the increase in utilities. With schools having to stay open longer times during the day, and possibly continuously during the year, there will be a major increase in the use of electricity, water, and the like.

That being said, the focus NEEDS to be on the safety of the children, and not the financial impacts the school district may face.

Part of President Trump’s three phase plan for opening schools includes sending children back, but also requiring there be LESS than 50 people gathering in one place, while still still maintaining social distancing. That sounds feasible (sense the sarcasm).

If you think you’re going to keep kids 6 feet apart during the course of a school day, you’re dreaming. It almost shows a disregard for the safety of kids, because what seems to be the most important element here is that schools be open to serve their childcare function, so that parents can get back to work.

Dan Domenech, executive director for the American Association of School Administrators — USA today

So, bottom line — kids need to get back to school, not only for the educational impact on their little lives, but to allow parents to get back to work.

But, the big question is, how is that really going to look moving forward?

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