What school might look like fall 2020

July 07, 2020

What school might look like fall 2020

The 2019-2020 has had some of the most unexpected experiences of my career. Last spring, educators abruptly went from traditional in-person teacher to teaching online - or distance learning (DL). For many of us, it was a brand new way of doing education. Quite Frankly, a way of delivering school that wasn't equitable for all students. As we started to get our heads around  DL, the school year was winding down and most educators (and families) were simply trying to stay afloat. However, there was a lingering question that many of us wondered. What would fall 2020 look like? At that time, We were too entrenched in survival mode to fully explore that question. 


It’s July now. So, of course the question arises again: how will school look in the fall, 2020? From the beginning, I've believed that school could look a few ways. And, because of how inequitable DL was, I was skeptical that districts would go that route first (as some educators predicted). 


One: regularly school with precautions in place. Districts will purchase PPE (masks, sanitizer, possibly dividers) for everyone. Or, PPE will be part of school supply lists nationally similar to pencils and paper. School resumes and then hope for the best.  


Two: corona days. This is very similar to snow days. School will be in the traditional way. But, when there's an outbreak, they'll close down that individual school for a deep clean. All students and staff will be out for the deep cleaning process and return when it’s complete. Although, directly affected people will quarantine for much longer. 


Three: limited capacity. School will resume but with limited staff & students in the building at the same time. Students & staff will rotate the days in which they are in the building in order to ensure social distancing. 


Four: distance learning. If the virus continues to spiral out of control like it has this summer. We might be jumping straight to distance learning. Another possibility is starting in-person school with the possibility of going to full-time DL. This could take place if several schools continually get outbreaks. Instead of deep cleaning repeatedly, risking the health of students & staff, it might make more sense to use the distance learning model.