School & District Management Letter to the Editor

Reopening Schools Will Demand Change

May 12, 2020 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

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


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.
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Whole Child Approach to Supporting Positive Student Behavior 
To improve student behavior, it’s important to look at the root causes. Social-emotional learning may play a preventative role.

A whole child approach can proactively support positive student behaviors.

Join this webinar to learn how.
Content provided by Panorama
Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Why Retaining Education Leaders of Color Is Key for Student Success
Today, in the United States roughly 53 percent of our public school students are young people of color, while approximately 80 percent of the educators who lead their classrooms, schools, and districts are white. Racial
Jobs January 2022 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

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 3 Ways School Districts Can Ease the Pain of Supply Chain Chaos
Have a risk management plan, pay attention to what's happening up the supply chain, and be adaptable when necessary.
3 min read
Cargo Ship - Supply Chain with products such as classroom chairs, milk, paper products, and electronics
iStock/Getty Images Plus
School & District Management Vulnerable Students, Districts at Greater Risk as Natural Disasters Grow More Frequent
New federal research indicates the harm from fires and storms to school facilities, learning, and mental health is disproportionate.
4 min read
Helina Thorp, right, 14, expresses frustration while unsuccessfully trying to log in to her school distance-learning classes in Placerville, Calif., after Pacific Gas & Electric intentionally shut off power to prevent wildfires amid high winds in September 2020.
Helina Thorp, right, 14, expresses frustration while unsuccessfully trying to log in to her school distance-learning classes in Placerville, Calif., after Pacific Gas & Electric shut off power to prevent wildfires amid high winds in September 2020.
Daniel Kim/The Sacramento Bee via AP
School & District Management Opinion What It Takes for Universities to Conduct Useful Education Research
Many institutions lack the resources to make research-school partnerships successful, warns Thomas S. Dee.
Thomas S. Dee
3 min read
Illustration of coworkers collaborating.
School & District Management Opinion Trust Keeps Our School-Research Relationship Alive in the Pandemic
An educator and a researcher describe how their team was able to nudge forward a plan for equity even as COVID changed almost everything.
Katherine Mortimer & Scott Gray
3 min read
Illustration of coworkers analyzing data.