Monday, June 22, 2020

Opening Schools Fall 2020

Environmental & Science Education
Early Childhood
Edward Hessler

A dilemma facing school administrators and policy makers who influence their decisions is on re-opening schools this fall, not only when but how and consider mixed modes of instruction. Other considerations come into play, too which I lump here under all the extracurricular activities and services that schools provide.

From the beginning of the pandemic, "when it became clear," according to an article in STAT by Helen Branswell, " that a new coronavirus was transmitting with ease among people in central China, one of the top questions scientists who study disease dynamics wanted answered was this: What role are children are children playing in the spread of...COVID-19." (My emphasis)

The answer may surprise you given the certainty with which so many politicians speak but who don't ever cite evidence is that "Five months later they and the rest of us would still like to know." (My emphasis."

Sure as Branswell points out "there is some evidence that kids are less likely to catch the virus and less likely to spread it," but what is not clear" is just how good is that evidence. Do we have it all? Are there other interpretations? What do we know for sure? What if...?

The reality is a policy-makers nightmare, one of those very wooly problems. Branswell writes "In reality, it may take reopening schools and returning children to closer-to-normal life for the picture to come into clearer focus."

So is calm ahead or more disruption?

Branswell discusses in this important reporting.

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