Many K-12 schools are flying blind on how to reopen as President Trump threatens to cut off funding to schools that don’t reopen without providing additional guidance and teachers push back against returning to potentially unsafe conditions.
The economy can’t recover without open schools, yet students can’t continue to struggle with virtual learning.
There’s a difficult balance to strike this fall.
Here are some of the big ideas that have been suggested — and implemented — around the world to allow a return to in-person instruction, from testing to pod-style classrooms to outdoor classes. Some of them are quite weird.
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For many K-12 students, back-to-school season is looming — and it’s going to look a little different this year.
Some schools, like those in New York, are planning on only partially reopening, while some schools in Florida are set to reopen fully, and others in California are planning on remaining remote.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has threatened to cut off funding for schools that don’t reopen (something that he doesn’t legally have the authority to do). Trump does have the authority to approve extra funding for schools, which teachers have been saying is badly needed to reopen safely
The Republican “HEALS Act” proposes $70 billion of K-12 education of education, but much of that money is directly tied to reopening. It’s also much less than what would be provided in the bill already passed by the Democratic-led House, but the parties have not so far been able to reach an agreement.
There’s a delicate balance to be struck: the economy cannot recover with daycares and schools closed. And experts say that key aspects of in-person instruction can’t be replaced with virtual learning. But reopening also must be safe for teachers, students, and families.
Here are some big — and weird — ideas at the forefront of schools reopening, from frequent testing to pod-style classrooms to outdoor instruction.
One intriguing suggestion comes from small-town Germany: students self-administering their own coronavirus tests at school.
In Neustrelitz, Germany, a negative coronavirus test gives students a green sticker — and the freedom to not wear a mask.
As Katrin Bennhold reported for The New York Times, students could voluntarily go to tents at their high school, get a test kit, and swab themselves. One student received results later that night.
Everyone can get two free tests a week. Those who test positive are required to stay home for two weeks. And the negative testers only get green stickers until their next test.
When it comes to scaling, there could be a few issues: Henry Tesch, the school’s headmaster, told Bennhold that the tests came from an old friend at a biotech company. He offered them to Tesch as a free pilot. Without that, it would’ve been a costly endeavor.
And the US is in the midst of another coronavirus testing crisis, as Business Insider’s Morgan McFall-Johnsen reported. Tests have grown more difficult to come by, …read more
Source:: Business Insider