With COVID-19 cases crossing the 6 million mark in the US, it’s astonishing that most states are reopening their schools. In fact, some schools have been operational for a while now.
The news of schools reopening comes as a bittersweet revelation. Though parents are worried about the inherent risk that comes with sending their kids to school amid a pandemic, many are also looking at it as a much-needed break from kids being at home 24×7. They are left weighing the risk against the rewards.
At the same time, most kids have spent endless hours at home, having to homeschool for long hours. Kids may always find reasons to skip school but they miss the social interactions they enjoyed. While online learning sessions have been effective, they are no match to the success rate of face-to-face classes.
Even better, the larger community that relied on the school system as a source of livelihood will be able to enjoy their jobs back. This includes teachers, nurses, janitors, and chefs.
We saw hundreds of parents and students rallying in a downtown Wheaton Park on Tuesday night to demand a total return to classrooms and sports. The gathering in Wheaton’s Memorial Park drew participants from as far away as Mokena and Orland Park, Western Springs, and Huntley.
Along with students, some teachers and coaches, parents at the rally made the case for reopening classrooms, arguing that the loss of social interaction in schools hurts their children’s emotional, mental and social well-being.
In comparison to other countries, the US is reopening its schools late. Denmark was the first to reopen its schools on April 15th. Other noteworthy countries that have reopened their schools include Germany, Norway, and Finland. Most of these countries observed a drop in COVID-19 cases before reopening.
However, the decision to reopen most schools in the US comes with a lot of caution. With the understanding that the threat posed by the virus still looms large, most state governments have released guidelines to control the functioning of the schools.
Some of these guidelines include ensuring students sit six feet apart, wear masks, and embrace social distancing throughout the school.
In some states, students will be required to balance between in-person and online classes, with Iowa being a great example of this.
State governments of Louisiana, Massachusetts, and Illinois have left the decision of reopening of schools in the hands of their districts. The districts will come up with guidelines on how to reopen, and the social distancing measures to put in place.
On the other hand, South Korea has delayed reopening schools five times to date.
The US can learn a lot from the countries that have reopened their schools. With this knowledge, they can ensure kids keep learning safely despite the pandemic.
Cate Emmah is a Freelance writer who showcases her amazing skills and hard-earned experience in blogging, copywriting, news article writing, and web-content writing. She began writing back at high school where she took part in writing multiple articles in the local magazine as well as school magazine. Cate lives in Montreal, Canada and she likes to swim and hang out with her dog. She owns a cabin in the woods and that’s where she does most of her writing. It’s a serene environment and it helps her to think and be more creative. When she’s not writing, she is probably riding, swimming or shopping.