International Photos

What School Reopening Looks Like Around the World

By Jaclyn Borowski — May 07, 2020 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The majority of school buildings in the United States will remain closed for the rest of the school year as the coronavirus continues to spread. But school leaders have already begun to imagine and plan for the fall when students will return for the new school year in a world still struggling with the pandemic. Here’s a look at how other countries have addressed the challenges of reopening schools in this new reality.

BELARUS

School children play football at their school sports facilities in Minsk, Belarus, Monday, April 20, 2020. Schools reopened Monday in Belarus following an extended spring break, but authorities allowed parents to keep their children at home even though the country specifically steered clear of closures and restrictions on public movement during the coronavirus pandemic.

CHINA

Students wearing protective face masks to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus are reflected on a monitor screen showing their body temperatures as they arrive at a high school in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province, Wednesday, May 6, 2020.
Senior students returned to classes on Wednesday in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, after no new cases or deaths were reported from the outbreak that had prompted a 76-day quarantine in the city of 11 million.
A female student wearing a protective face mask, checks the temperature of her classmates at a high school in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province, Wednesday, May 6, 2020.

FRANCE

Blue stickers showing a safe distance of at least one meter are displayed on the floor ahead of a visit of the French President Macron at the Pierre Ronsard elementary school on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, in Poissy, outside Paris. Starting from May 11, all French businesses will be allowed to resume activity and schools will start gradually reopening.
A sign asking children to respect a safe distance of at least one meter is displayed on the floor ahead of a visit of the French President Macron at the Pierre Ronsard elementary school.
Hand sanitizer is available for schoolchildren during the class as part of French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to the Pierre Ronsard elementary school.
A teacher wearing a mask works with children ahead of a visit of the French President Macron at the Pierre Ronsard elementary.

GERMANY

Students prepare for end-of-year examinations at the Joseph Koenig Grammar School in Haltern am See, Germany, Thursday, April 23, 2020. Almost six weeks after the closure of schools in North Rhine-Westphalia due to the coronavirus crisis, many of them are now opening their doors again for the first time for thousands of exam candidates.
Students wearing face masks during exam preparation for the Abitur at the JenaPlan School in Jena, Germany, Monday, April 27, 2020. After a compulsory coronavirus break of several weeks, the schools reopened for high school graduates in the federal state of Thuringia.
A student gets her hand disinfected as she enters the school building of the Q2 upper school of the Heinrich von Gagern Gymnasium in Frankfurt, Germany, April 27, 2020. Six weeks after the corona-related school closures in Hesse, classes are starting up again. Initially, around 110,000 pupils from the final year classes will be returning to their schools.
Students of a 4th grade walk at a distance on stairs to their classrooms in the Goldbeck Schoo in Hamburg, Germany, Monday, May 4, 2020. On Monday, lessons began again for more classes at the Hamburg schools, and the fourth graders returned to the primary schools.
Schoolgirls observe the rules of social distancing on the playground of the Goldbeck School in Hamburg, Germany, Monday, May 4, 2020.

MADAGASCAR

Masked students sit in their class, after being given a herbal extract believed to protect from COVID-19, in Antananarivo, Madagascar, Thursday, April 23, 2020. Schools were reopened after being closed for a month due to the spread of coronavirus. Students have to drink the extract as schools resume classes where they now are seated one to a desk instead of two, for social distancing.

NORWAY

Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg, center, learns a greeting technique by students Celine Busk, left and Rim Daniel Abraham, during her visit to Ellingsrudasen school in Oslo, Norway, Monday, April 27, 2020. Schools reopened for first through fourth grades in Norway after six weeks of closure, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Vikasen school in Trondheim, Norway, as schools opened their doors on Monday, April 27, 2020. All students are divided into groups, must bring their own school equipment, and they are trained to stay one meter away from fellow pupils.

VIETNAM

A student is scanned for temperature before entering Dinh Cong secondary school in Hanoi, Vietnam Monday, May 4, 2020. Students across Vietnam return to school after three months of studying online due to school closure to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Students wearing masks attend a class in Dinh Cong secondary school in Hanoi, Vietnam Monday, May 4, 2020.

One of the exceptions to school closures in the U.S. is MONTANA, where schools’ opening status varies by district. Willow Creek School, located 40 miles outside Bozeman, reopened this week to finish out the final two and a half weeks of the school year. School principal Bonnie Lower, also the district’s superintendent, greeted students at the door, where she checked their temperatures.

Principal and District Superintendent Bonnie Lower takes the temperature of a student at Willow Creek School as the school reopened, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Willow Creek, Mont. The school opened its doors to a couple of dozen students Thursday to finish out the final two and a half weeks of the school year.
A Willow Creek School teacher welcomes students back to class as the school reopened amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Willow Creek, Mont.
A mother drops off her children at Willow Creek School as the school reopened amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Willow Creek, Mont.
One of the two bus drivers for Willow Creek School wears a mask as he drops off students as the school reopened amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Willow Creek, Mont. The other bus driver also wore a mask.
Principal and District Superintendent Bonnie Lower takes the temperature of a student at Willow Creek School as the school reopened, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Willow Creek, Mont.

A version of this article first appeared in the Full Frame blog.

Events

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
Classroom Technology Webinar
Seamless Integrations for Engagement in the Classroom
Learn how to seamlessly integrate new technologies into your classroom to support student engagement. 
Content provided by GoGuardian
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
Recruitment & Retention Webinar
Be the Change: Strategies to Make Year-Round Hiring Happen
Learn how to leverage actionable insights to diversify your recruiting efforts and successfully deploy a year-round recruiting plan.
Content provided by Frontline
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
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Critical Ways Leaders Can Build a Culture of Belonging and Achievement
Explore innovative practices for using technology to build an environment of belonging and achievement for all staff and students.
Content provided by DreamBox Learning

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

International What the Research Says How Nations Can Repair Pandemic Damage to Students' Well-Being, Trust in Government
International data suggest the pandemic has marginalized young people in many countries.
3 min read
Image of high school students working together in a school setting.
E+/Getty
International What the Research Says Schooling in a Pandemic: How Other Countries Are Doing It
A new study highlights how instruction in 11 countries has changed following pandemic closures and outbreaks.
3 min read
Children attend a lesson in a school in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin has lifted the restrictions on schools in Russia's capital, students of all grades will to return for face-to-face education after months studying remotely.
Children attend a lesson in a school in Moscow last January. Russian schools had relatively shorter periods of academic disruptions than other countries, a new study finds.
Pavel Golovkin/AP
International Opinion Why Other Countries Keep Outperforming Us in Education (and How to Catch Up)
Money from the American Rescue Plan could be our last chance to build the school system we need, writes Marc Tucker.
Marc Tucker
5 min read
A student climbs stacks of books to reach the top
Tatyana Pivovarova/iStock/Getty Images Plus
International Global Test Finds Digital Divide Reflected in Math, Science Scores
New data from the 2019 Trends in International Math and Science Study show teachers and students lack digital access and support.
3 min read
Image of data.
iStock/Getty