By Nikki Mirala
After the initial nationwide shutdown due to COVID-19, one of the greatest concerns was how to get students back into the classrooms. Many schools have taken the risk to reopen and are able to use this time to test various ways to ensure that their students receive a quality education while not compromising their safety in the age of the coronavirus with no end in sight.
The most common implementations have been to initiate a school-wide mask mandate, place desks six-feet apart, and encourage social distancing. These changes have been evident in school districts in Texas, Florida, Iowa, and Arkansa which were most determined to reopen (CNN).
Schools have also tried to keep the number of students in each classroom small, but this is difficult to put into action depending on the size of each school and number of teachers available.
Some have also introduced the idea of half of the students attending class in-person while others are virtually present in the same class through the program, Zoom. Schools that have since implemented this have said that this way, all students can be engaged in learning while ensuring their personal safety. This leads into the idea of ‘hybrid schedules’ where students attend class in-person some days and then transition to virtual learning on others. This not only gives teachers more time to prepare their lesson plans under unusual circumstances, but most importantly, allows for the custodial staff at each school to disinfect the classrooms to further ensure safety and cleanliness.
There is an extreme amount of uncertainty when it comes to the coronavirus, let alone trying to recieve an education in the midst of it. Each school district is figuring out what will work best for their students during this time, but nothing is permanent.
While these implementations may come and go, some may be breakthroughs for education and prove to be extremely beneficial for years to come regardless of the state of the virus.