By Amelia Marceau - July 23, 2020
K-12 schools across the country are making the tough decision to determine whether it's safe to reopen this fall amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly all districts switched from in-person learning to virtual lessons in early March to help flatten the curve and prevent the spread of the virus. In some parts of the country coronavirus cases are surging, which is prompting many school districts to consider remote learning for the fall. In other parts of the country coronavirus cases are thankfully declining, causing schools to plan for reopening and welcoming students back to the classrooms.
While many districts have come up with plans that aim to keep students, teachers, families and the community safe, there are unfortunately many questions still unanswered. “There is no proven strategy for the remobilization of 56.6 million K-12 students amid a pandemic like this one,” according to the Washington Post.
Schools are beginning to lay out how they are going to accommodate returning students or how best to support virtual classes. Since large gatherings are still discouraged, such as pep rallies and school sporting events, many schools are getting creative with how they plan to welcome back their students after almost six months away.
When it comes to welcoming students back to the classroom, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have outlined the following considerations for schools to safely reopen to students.
According to the CDC, the risk of COVID-19 spread increases in school settings as follows:
Additionally, the CDC recommends cloth face coverings be worn by teachers and students, and maintain physical distance (six feet) when possible. Other administrative suggestions, such as having a designated COVID-19 point of contact and a staggered schedule, are also outlined by the CDC.
Welcoming students back this fall will look quite different compared to previous years. Whether your district is planning for remote and virtual learning, a hybrid model, or bringing students back in-person, there are a few ways to make the first days back fun.
It’s clear that this school year will be like no other one in the past. Whether students and school staff are in-person, virtual, or following a hybrid model, their safety is key. Being prepared for any and all scenarios during this "new normal" of school operations is of paramount importance.
Amelia is a marketing intern at Rave. She loves to write about anything safety related. When she’s away from the keyboard, you’ll either find her playing with her dog, ice skating, or competing in a triathlon. Amelia attends the University of Massachusetts Amherst, majoring in Political Science and Journalism.
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