Between Education and a Global Pandemic: The Challenges of Reopening Schools During COVID-19
Public opinion is torn on the issue of reopening schools for the upcoming academic year. Online, in-person, or hybrid models are all possible options for conducting school attendance. According to Forbes, a recent poll revealed the 60% of American parents favored the option of waiting before permitting in-person school attendance.
Several educational districts and states will be making or have already made the decision to reopen schools. However, educators and students are the most important stakeholders and could play a significant role in overturning this decision. In Arizona, hundreds of teachers are going on ‘motor marches’ – protesting from cars – asking the governor to consider delaying the reopening of schools. The largest teachers’ union in Florida is suing the state because of its decision to reopen schools amidst a staggering increase in cases. Students in Houston created an circulated a questionnaire in which they largely expressed their desire for the upcoming school term to be conducted completely virtually fearing the high risk of infection.What about hybrid attendance plans? Boston school officials are considering the recently proposed ‘hopscotch model’ which would divide students into two groups which alternate between in-person and virtual attendance based on the days of the week. That would ensure that only 50% of the students would be in school at a time and give custodians one day in the week to disinfect and ‘deep clean’ the campus.
Whether learning will be virtual, in-person, or hybrid next year, one thing is for certain: the recommended COVID-19 safety guidelines remain in effect. It is most favorable to continue social distancing, wearing face masks or other face covering in public, and regularly disinfecting hands while avoiding touching the face and eyes.
Despite what we know so far about COVID-19, its effects and consequences are still mostly unknown. Did you know that we provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to public US organizations, such as schools? For inquiries and purchase requests, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.