Opinion
School & District Management Letter to the Editor

Reopening Schools Will Demand Change

May 12, 2020 1 min read

To the Editor:

Now that most schools have been closed for the school year, thoughts must move to reopening them with increased efficiency (“Kansas First State to Close Schools for Rest of School Year Due to Coronavirus,” March 17, 2020). Loss of so much school time will create social and academic disruptions for all children while hurting certain groups even more.

Schools serve many unrecognized but pivotal functions. In addition to offering social supports and resources to students, schools have children with disabilities, at risk of dropping out, and with chronic behavioral needs, as well as the many who depend on schools for meals who may struggle even more in the transition back to school.

For enhanced efficiency, schools could restructure using two shifts with shortened days allowing for fewer staff and students on each shift. This would also help align with guidelines from the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization for social distancing and more carefully controlled interaction.

Changes to academic and nonacademic practices are long overdue. Research has shown that implementation of response to intervention and positive behavior intervention and support greatly increases instructional efficiency.

Even as COVID-19 subsides, smaller subsequent waves of infection are anticipated. This means screening every child and staff member by way of daily temperature checks and a brief questionnaire for potential COVID-19 symptoms remains of paramount importance.

Schools must prepare for academic remediation combined with use of trauma-informed practices, since many children could return traumatized from their experiences—and more so those who’ve lost loved ones. It may be wise to start the new school year by July.

Lou Sandler

Clinical Behavioral Analyst

Bridging Behavior

Bristol, S.D.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the May 13, 2020 edition of Education Week as Reopening Schools Will Demand Change

Events

Jobs The EdWeek Top School Jobs Virtual Career Fair
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Mathematics Webinar
Engaging Young Students to Accelerate Math Learning
Join learning scientists and inspiring district leaders, for a timely panel discussion addressing a school district’s approach to doubling and tripling Math gains during Covid. What started as a goal to address learning gaps in
Content provided by Age of Learning & Digital Promise, Harlingen CISD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How to Power Your Curriculum With Digital Books
Register for this can’t miss session looking at best practices for utilizing digital books to support their curriculum.
Content provided by OverDrive

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Data For the First Time in the Pandemic, a Majority of 4th Graders Learn in Person Full Time
The latest monthly federal data still show big racial and socioeconomic differences in who has access to full-time in-person instruction.
3 min read
Student with backpack.
surasaki/iStock/Getty
School & District Management From Our Research Center To Offer Remote Learning in the Fall or Not? Schools Are Split
An EdWeek Research Center survey shows that nearly 4 of every 10 educators say their schools will not offer any remote instruction options.
4 min read
Image of a teacher working with a student through a screen session.
Ridofranz/iStock/Getty
School & District Management Opinion What Does It Mean to Call a Program 'Evidence-Based' Anyway?
States and school districts need to help educators weigh the research on programs. Too often it stops at a single positive study.
Fiona Hollands, Yuan Chang & Venita Holmes
5 min read
A researcher points to charts and data
iStock/Getty
School & District Management Opinion 8 Considerations for Designing High-Impact Tutoring
The most important rule is to start small and find success before expanding, writes Kevin Newman of the KIPP Foundation.
Kevin Newman
4 min read
A woman tutors a young child.
Collage by Vanessa Solis/Education Week (images: Svetlana Ievleva/iStock/Getty Images Plus; DigitalVision Vectors)