The COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges everywhere, including public education. Our schools, their approach to instruction, and their instructional practices were built around the very thing that spreads the virus the most: close, regular, sustained, interaction between diverse groups of children, teachers, parents, and staff. So what do we do now?
I’ve written a series of posts to help the community– and myself– answer this question. Here they are:
- The Least Bad Option?
- This is What Failure Looks Like
- A Case for Reopening Our Schools
- A Case for Keeping Our Schools Closed
The problem is a complex one to solve, and there are very persuasive arguments (and data) that support a number of different approaches. In addition to the posts above, below are a short list of sources that I’ve found most helpful in developing my thinking on this. Perhaps they will help you too. If you have other credible sources that have helped your own thinking, please share them with me in the comment section below.
7/28 update: The school board passed a health and safety plan that includes reopening schools. I offered two amendments based on the information I’ve shared here, but both failed. More at: 7/27/20 School Board Meeting Guide. 8/4 update: I’ve added an additional post to this series:
Articles for Further Reading:
- How to Reopen Schools: What Science and Other Countries Teach Us
- Nobody Asked Me: A Teacher’s Opinion on School Reopening
- I Spent 3 Weeks in School, With Kids, Under Covid-19
- Bad News About the Pandemic: We’re Not Getting Back to Normal Any Time Soon
- How Europe Kept Coronavirus Cases Low Even After Reopening
- As Coronavirus Surges, How Much Testing Does Your State Need to Subdue the Virus?
- You Don’t Need Invasive Tech for Successful Contact Tracing. Here’s How It Works.
Reports for Detailed Information:
- A National Plan to Enable Comprehensive COVID-19 Case Finding and Contact Tracing in the US – Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
- Key Metrics for COVID Suppression – Harvard Global Health Institute
- Making Sense of the Research on COVID-19 and Masks – BYU College of Life Sciences
- Contact Tracing Workforce Estimator – George Washington University Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health and Workforce Equity
- Public Health Guidance Regarding COVID-19 for Phased Reopening of Pre-K to 12 Schools – Pennsylvania Department of Education
- Reopening K-12 Schools During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Prioritizing Health, Equity, and Communities – The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (they require you create a free account to download the report)