What Learning Will Look Like in 2020-2021
July 17, 2020
As fall quickly approaches there is a lot of discussion about K-12 schools returning students to the classroom for the 2020-2021 school year. However, there doesn’t seem to be a right answer for all schools districts to follow. If one thing is clear, its that teachers want to get back into the classroom and feel it’s the best way to connect with their students. But with Covid-19 cases rising in the United States there is a lot of concern with educators who are looking at the safest ways to do so.
Educators Pain Points
In June of 2020, Governor Parson announced that there will be a $209 million cut to the elementary and secondary education budgets for the state of Missouri. This comes at a time when the sub-pool will need to be deeper than it already is, raising the cost for each school affected by Covid-19. This will lead to the need of extra substitute teachers, food-handlers, and bus drivers to make sure schools are equipped with staff to keep operating if the main staff needs to go on medical-leave. Not to mention the potential of loss of both students, family members and staff, which would be traumatic for the entire community.
Changes To Classrooms
Almost 6 months into the pandemic, evidence shows school-aged children are less likely to spread the transmission of COVID-19 than adults. Therefore, there is consideration allowing schools to reopen, even during the spread of COVID-19. Minimizing the potential social, and developmental costs that our children will face until we have a vaccine or we reach herd immunity. Social distancing and mask wearing will be hard in a classroom setting, especially with the younger children. So how do we keep our staff and students safe? There is talk about cancelling fall sports, providing better ventilation, staying in homerooms, attending half days, and eating in classrooms. But will that be enough?
Ultimately, the decision comes down to each family making the right choice for their children, if its to keep them home, have them return to school, or a combination of both. Some families have the resources to have one parent stay home for homeschooling, while many others need to work and do not have access to child-care. Districts are keeping this in mind as they are sending our survey’s to families in their district. Overall, its our duty as society to keep our kids staying in learning communities and not have that paused.