“A typical American school day requires proximity: High school lab partners leaning over a vial. Kindergarten students sharing finger paints. Middle schoolers passing snacks around a cafeteria table.
This year, nothing about school will be typical. Many of the nation’s largest districts plan to start the academic year online, and it is unclear when students and teachers will be back in classrooms. Others plan hybrid models, while some are determined to go five days a week.
When school buildings do reopen, whether this fall or next year, buses, hallways, cafeterias and classrooms will need to look very different as long as the coronavirus remains a threat. Even teaching, which has evolved in recent decades to emphasize fewer lectures and more collaborative lessons, must change.”Social distancing is crucial, but we know it’s not the best way for our children to learn, or for teachers to educate.
The most common approaches to educationEducational consultant and author Peter DeWitt recently surveyed more than 600 preschool through high school teachers from 12 countries. About 73 percent of them said that their schools were not prepared for virtual learning before the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the start of the 2020/2021 school year, public and private educational institutions have struggled to find a way to bridge this gap. According to Education Week reporter Madeline Will, there are six ways that schools are looking at bringing back students in the fall. The article is extremely informative and in-depth, and it also requires a free registration to read, so here are the highlights:
- Phased – Schools only bring back certain students.
- Multitrack – Groups of students in school buildings on different days.
- Staggered – Half of the students in the morning. Half in the afternoon.
- Bubble Strategy – Groups of students stay together. Teachers switch.
- Cyclical – School buildings alternate between being open and closed, which will result in remote learning.
- Year-Round – Students divided into groups; there are cohorts and specific times they will be in school and certain times they will be involved in remote learning.