Schools plan for the possibility of distance learning in the fall

Parents of home-school children should not count on reclaiming the dining room table at any time soon.

After seeing a two-year curriculum through the epidemic, school leaders across the country are still planning for the prospect of more distance education next fall at the start of the second school year.

“We have no illusions that COVID will be abolished by the start of the school year,” said William “Chip” Sudarth III, a spokesman for Durham, North Carolina, whose students have been out of school since March. .

President Biden has resumed schools Top priority, but administrators say new strains of coronavirus are appearing and there is a lot to consider as teachers wait their turn for vaccinations.

And while many parents demand that schools reopen, others say they don’t feel safe sending their children back to classrooms until the vaccine is available to younger students. The government’s top public health expert, Dr. The Biden administration hopes to start vaccinations, Anthony Fauci said late last month. Babies in late spring or early summer.

Until then, the districts will be in preparation for the next school year.

“Until 2021-22, it will be an epidemic response to the assumption that at least some part of the school year will not be vaccinated or at least not vaccinated in children.” Brian Woods, superintendent of the Northside Independent School District, is one of the largest districts in Texas.

This now means a teacher-friendly version of what is happening in a mix of individual and distance learning, with teachers not having to instruct two groups at once. This can be achieved either by splitting the staffing or rearranging the schedule, he said, adding that adding a longer term could make it appear a remote option for students moving beyond the traditional school on a permanent basis.

Woods said, “Some of Ginny’s ingredients can’t be put back in the bottle. “I think there will always be a group of families who want a virtual alternative. … We know we are capable, but are we willing to do it? “

Facing a similar reality, California’s West Contra Costa Unified School District is planning a new K-12 virtual academy for 2021-22.

Read the January agenda before the Board of Education, “One of the diseases we have learned during the epidemic is that teaching and learning are now different, and that we may not believe it to be completely normal.”

The main goal of last March has proved to be a lifeline for the education system, but concerns have been growing with each passing month about the effects on racial inequalities., Academic performance of students, Attendance and their overall well-being.

In Durham, North Carolina, schools – which have been completely remote since March – announced last month that they would remain the same until the end of the current academic year.

Other than that, Sudarth said, “the prevalence of the disease will determine what we can do.”

The guideline for whether a district of 000,000 students can move from remote to hybrid learning in January is a test positivity rate below testing%. But it is not clear whether it contains metrics or others that will yet be determined by states or districts.

Biden, in an initial executive order, directed his education secretary to provide “evidence-based guidance” and advise schools to study safely in person.

“I hope we don’t have to hybridize, but I don’t want to be in a situation where we haven’t thought about it all,” said Eva Moskovitz, whose Success 47 successful academy charter schools enroll 50,000 students in New York City. In

Successful students, signing up from the beginning of the school year for the full days of live remote notification on laptops and tablets at the end of the school year, have a boring trend that Moskowitz plans to end the current school year on May 28. The 2021-22 school year will begin on August 2nd, probably in a hybrid format.

“I honestly don’t know what the opportunities are” Continuing distance learning until next school year.

“The logic will tell me that we shouldn’t, but my knowledge of the government makes me a little more hesitant,” she said, noting the sometimes conflicting guidance from the city and state and the slow start of vaccine rollouts.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has vowed that schools in the country’s largest school district will “return to full force in September.”

“Everyone wants to come back,” he said.

But the head of the powerful Teachers Union, Michael McGraw, says it is too early to send. Schools currently provide some of the most sought-after classes for primary and K-pre-students. A plan announced Monday by De Blasio will reopen middle school buildings February 25, but no plans for high schools yet.

“It’s one of my goals, but the president of the United Federation of Teachers said in an interview that I can’t say they’re going to open up. His opinion of the mayor’s pledge: “It’s not about what you want. This is about what you can do safely. ”

Chancellor Richard Karenza acknowledged that while the target is individual schools, by passing the epidemic, distance education will “stay with us”.

“We’re looking to see if this is becoming a component,” he said during a news conference with De Blasio on Monday.

Mulgrew said it would take more than teacher vaccinations to open schools completely and safely.

He noted that scientists have not yet made it clear that vaccinated people will still be able to spread the virus, even if they do not make themselves sick. And he wonders how comfortable children feel when unvaccinated children and adolescents don’t start the new year.

“This is where it becomes difficult. So how do you say you open in September when you need answers to these questions? He asked.

Superintendent Eric Witherspoon, of Parent Affiliation in Evilston, Illinois, has asked if he guarantees that Evanston Township High School will provide individualized education in the 2021-22 academic year.

“We’re seeing a real crisis in our community,” said Laurel O’Sullivan, a parent at Evanston High School Jr., by phone. “We are a coalition of medical and mental health professionals who, in their practice in the community, see on a daily basis that children experience a huge increase in mental and emotional health crises. … It is a social, emotional and educational crisis that we are witnessing. “

The district did not respond to a request for comment.


Thompson was reported from Buffalo, New York. Jennifer Peltz, an Associated Press writer in New York City, contributed to this report.