How to Go Back to School

When schools reopen, most likely sometime in the fall, things will look different than they did in early March. Here are some of the possibilities, so you can mentally prepare and have some sense of what to expect.

This spring, students are having a wide range of educational experiences. In the best circumstances, when schools are effectively delivering content online, and families have laptops or tablets with internet access, and parents or relatives who can make the time to supervise, then students are likely to make good progress. Other students are missing out on a substantial part of the school year. Will the schools do assessments in the fall? Should some students repeat a grade? Will there be personalized learning to help them catch up?

Jacob Carpenter at the Houston Chronicle has been reporting on what Houston-area districts are planning, and those conversations are instructive for San Antonio. If you have a subscription to San Antonio Express-News (highly recommended!) then you can read Chronicle articles, too.

Some of the ideas being floated in Houston: starting the school year earlier; offering expanded summer school; continuing with virtual school; recurring closures if flare-ups occur. If the school calendar changes, will teachers work those extra days? Will the governor issue orders or call a session to override or change the laws (e.g., school year start date, caps on virtual schools)?

In Denmark, younger students are already going back to school, but with social distancing in place. For example, the students have to spread out on the playground. Anya Kamenetz at NPR wrote a good summary, and you can search for more information about Denmark, Sweden, and other European countries that are reopening (or never closed) their schools. Some of these policies might be in effect in Texas schools this fall.

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