It has been almost 4 months since schools across the nation closed their doors to stem the spread of the coronavirus, and now schools are planning what going back to school will look like. What does the future of education look like? Undoubtedly, the social emotional learning and mental health needs of kids are greater now than ever before. Students are not able to learn in the ways they are most used to, which increases fears that they will fall behind academically. So much focus right now is on understanding the needs of our kids while they are home – and we should be focused on them. At the same time, it is also important to consider the needs of our educators. Some teachers punched in on timeclocks in mid-March, thinking they would return to their classroom the following day, so did the students. They assumed they’d be coming back to the kids they love and care about as well as the classroom routines they’re accustomed to.
Back to school planning is happening right now. States and individual school districts are releasing alternative plans that include blended learning as well as other safety measures when the doors re-open in the fall. All kids do better with structure, routine, and clear expectations. They want to know what their day will look like and what is expected of them. Any normal routine for students has been turned upside down, so educators are looking at ways to support their students in the “new normal”. Several of our customers that we work closely with have released their back to school plans.
What Are Some of Our Customers Planning for Back to School?
- Columbus City Schools in Ohio released their reopening plans that include blended learning with kindergarten through eighth grade that include two days of in-person instruction and three days of online instruction from home. High school students will attend school remotely full time for at least the first two quarters.
- Prince William County Schools in Virginia put together a “Return to New Learning Task Force” including multiple work groups to examine what the re-opening of school looks like for their students and staff. They plan to return to in-person learning with many precautionary measures in place to mitigate any potential risks.
- Kipp:SoCal, a charter school organization in California, is continuing to examine what re-entry to schools will be for their students and will provide alternative learning paths that will allow their students and parents the flexibility to do what they think is best while still keeping their students on track to learn and progress academically.
While we all feel unsure about a lot of things right now, one thing we can all agree on is that we will come out on the other side as better leaders and educators for our students. Years from now, history will tell the story of how the world survived COVID-19 – and each of our educators will be a hero in that story. No matter what the individual state or school districts return to learn plan looks like, we can all rest assured that our educators will rise to the occasion. I’m in awe at the relentless dedication of our educators. Teachers are resilient. Teachers are relentless. And teachers are dedicated.