The biggest, weirdest reopening ideas for schools around the world - Business Insider

All the biggest (and weirdest) ideas schools around the world are considering to get students back in classrooms

8/2/2020 3:24:00 PM

All the biggest (and weirdest) ideas schools around the world are considering to get students back in classrooms

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, older students began to return.Another option similar to staggering age groups would be to stagger and shorten schedules— as New York City said it might try.Socially distanced fifth graders at an NYC public school in June 2020 ahead of their virtual graduation.

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Michael Loccissano/Getty Images1,800 public schools could reopen in the fallwith some modifications. The city's 1.1 million students will continue to learn remotely, but some could attend class up to three days a week.Classrooms that once typically had 30 people would shrink to 12, including teachers. Individual schools would have to determine which groups of students to bring back at what times, shortening their time in schools and leaning into a hybrid educational model.

On July 31, de Blasio announced that the test positivity rate in the citymust remain below 3%for this plan to go ahead. The positivity rate for the city has recently remained below that threshold, but the city will need to maintain it to ensure schools open with their hybrid model on September 10.

Child care centers for essential workers stayed open in New York City in the early days of the pandemic, and were successful in keeping cases low. They used the "pod" method.Two children play on a basketball court in New York City on July 30, 2020.

Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty ImagesNPR's Anya Kamenetzdove into how child care centers for children of essential workers kept both children and families safe. One key element: pods of children.As Kamenetz reports, YMCAs and New York City facilities created "pods" of up to nine children, all assigned to one adult. In the pods, children didn't wholly observe social distancing — and they didn't wear masks all of the time. And pods stuck together, not playing or learning with other groups.

"These experiences illustrate that it's possible to bring kids together without a guarantee of an outbreak or a serious situation developing," Dr. Joshua Sharfstein told Kamenetz, although, as Kamenetz writes, "they don't guarantee the opposite."

Some schools are debating how much physical distancing is necessary — with Massachusetts deciding three feet would be alright, versus the CDC's recommended six feet.Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker waving through a classroom door on a school tour on July 13, 2020 in Southborough, Massachusetts.

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Nancy Lane/Pool/AFP via Getty ImagesMassachusetts' initial school guidancecame out at the end of June. The guidance noted that the CDC recommends maintaining a physical distance of six feet between individuals, and while that is preferable, a distance of as little as three feat could lead to reduced transmission.

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