Not everyone’s on board with schools reopening in September, but most acknowledge that in-person learning beats out distance learning every time. Virtual charters have a consistently poor track record as did this spring’s experiment with pandemic learning. Lots of kids didn’t even bother to plug in.
Nevertheless, a few districts, such as Atlanta and Los Angeles, have decided to remain shuttered at least for the short-term, while others are still cobbling together their plans.
Parent input plays a role here, too, and “I’ll send my kids to school but be ready to pull them out if I need to” is a frequent response.
Meanwhile, North Carolina’s Guilford County Schools Superintendent Sharon Conteras put it this way: “The schedule that allows students to spend as much time in school as possible holds the most promise. My biggest concern with any of these schedules is that students have already experienced a significant loss of instruction, which translates to a giant loss of learning…”
With thanks to Education Week’s Madeline Will, the six reopening strategies being considered:
- Phased Reopening: Only some kids return to avoid overcrowding and maintain social distancing—maybe just one or two grade levels, with the others still learning remotely.
Or: Schools open just one day a week with all kids learning remotely the other four days. Students would be divided into groups—alphabetically or by grade level and assigned a particular weekday, increasing as health risks decrease.
- Multi-Track System: Schools would operate on a so-called track schedule, such as having one group of kids come in on Mondays and Wednesdays, and another on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with all students staying home and learning remotely on Friday.
Or: Kids are divided into A, B, and C groups, with kids taking in-person classes every third day. At- risk kids, special education students, English-language learners, and other needy children would attend every day.
- Staggered Schedules: 50% of students would come in the morning; the other 50% would come in the afternoon, divided either by grade level or alphabetically in order to keep siblings on the same schedule.
- Bubble Strategy: The same group of students stays together for all or most of the day with the same teacher/teachers and remain even for lunch. If necessary, the teachers would rotate, not the kids.
- Cyclical Lockdown Strategy: Schools go from being open to being closed regularly with students staying home for at least 10 days when they’re closed. In other words, one full in-school week and then two remote learning weeks at home.
Or: Students come Monday through Thursday, engage in remote learning on Friday and all the following week.
- Year-Round Schedule: Students come to school in pre-arranged groups which attend one at a time for about nine weeks, while the others are taught remotely, rotating all year long. Included are more frequent but shorter breaks instead of the traditional 10-week summer vacation.
Any to your liking or none of the above?
With thanks and well wishes, Carol