Katie Kurutz-Ulloa | First 5 LA Communications Specialist

July 30, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to upend our nation’s infrastructure, one of the biggest areas of discord has been the decision to reopen, or not reopen, in-person schooling in the fall. The complex variables informing the debate have generated a dizzying number of opinions and recommendations both for and against reopening. And while much of California instruction will remain online this fall, the lead-up to that decision was fraught with threats from the Trump Administration, teacher outrage and superintendent pushback.

While the considerations for reopening in-person schooling seem endless, main themes covered by the news media in the past three months include the following:

  • Economic recovery: Parents need to get back to work, so kids need to get back to school.
  • Parent burnout: Not all parents are teachers, and many are trying to juggle work while trying to support their children’s learning, all of which is pushing them to a boiling point.
  • Learning loss and social-emotional health: Kids learn best in person, and when they have the support of friends. This especially applies to very young children and children with special needs.
  • Economic disparities and lack of access: Kids whose families don’t have access to computers or reliable internet, much less private tutors, will lose out the most.
  • Safety: The concern that undergirds all others is whether in-person schooling is safe as COVID-19 numbers continue to grow in parts of the country. Many states, counties and school districts have issued safety guidance, but implementing the guidelines cost money, and many school districts are simply not equipped.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but most media coverage reflected how political leaders, thought leaders, parents and teachers emphasize or de-emphasize these themes, to justify opinions, predictions and decisions.

As of this writing, the start of the school year is mere weeks away, and still not all of America’s school districts have decided how they will provide instruction, illustrating the vexing amount of considerations leaders must take into account. States that have decided, like California, show a complicated mix of online, “in-person with restrictions,” and “in-person without restrictions” options.

To help our readers navigate the vast array of writing about this ongoing and contentious issue, we have compiled a comprehensive library of articles below. We’ve organized them by topic, including how the Trump Administration has approached school reopenings, and how a cottage industry of small group private tutoring has sprung up seemingly overnight. We hope you find this resource helpful in understanding this fast-moving and difficult story.

  • Trump Administration
  • Parent Reflections/Decisions
  • Reports/Expert Recommendations
  • Safety
  • California
  • California Reopening Guidelines
  • National Conversations
  • Teachers and States
  • Impact on Parents
  • Pandemic Pods and Inequity

Trump Administration

POLITICO: Voters wary of Trump’s push to reopen schools, day care
A plurality of voters oppose President Donald Trump’s push for U.S. elementary and high schools to get back to business this fall, according to a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll that asked whether students should return to day care, schools and college campuses. (Gaudiano, 5/19/20)

The New York Times: Trump Threatens to Cut Funding if Schools Do Not Fully Reopen
Disregarding the advice of his own health experts, President Trump also attacked the C.D.C.’s reopening guidelines as onerous and expensive. (Multiple Authors, 7/8/20)

The Washington Post: In its push to reopen schools, the White House says kids come first. It doesn’t mention teachers.
As reporters asked questions of McEnany about the administration’s suddenly urgent push to reopen schools, she didn’t mention any of those employees. (Bump, 7/9/20)

The Washington Post: With pressure and threats, Trump pushes to fully reopen schools. Schools say: Not so fast.
President Trump on Wednesday intensified his demand that schools fully reopen this fall, slamming the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pressuring it to loosen guidance and threatening to cut funding for schools that do not open. (Multiple Authors, 7/9/20)

The Washington Post: Trump and DeVos want schools ‘fully’ open, but not many are listening
President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos spent much of this week pressuring and cajoling schools to reopen. DeVos, in particular, made clear she means five days a week. (Meckler, 7/10/20)

Parent Reflections/Decisions

PopSugar: I’m Not Preparing My Kid For Kindergarten This Summer — Here’s Why
My daughter missed the last three months of her preschool year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but I’m not at all concerned about “kindergarten readiness.” As we enter the summer months, in fact, I’m not doing anything to prepare her for kindergarten — and I think that’s perfectly fine. (Fink, 6/29/20)

EdSource: California parents weigh risks, benefits of sending kids back to school
As schools plan to reopen, California parents are asking themselves if it is better to send their children back to school and risk them getting the coronavirus or keeping them at home to do distance learning. (Stavely, 6/29/20)

EurekAlert: 1/3 of parents in 3 states may not send children to school because of COVID-19
Parents in Michigan, Ohio and Illinois varied in their support for risk-reduction measures like random COVID-19 testing and face mask requirements. (6/26/20)

The Washington Post: The Health 202: Most parents prefer delaying the start of in-person school for their kids, new poll finds
The Trump administration is pressuring schools to reopen soon in part to allow Americans to get back to work — but a new poll shows most parents want schools to wait. (Firozi, 7/23/20)

The New York Times: Should 5-Year-Olds Start School This Year?
Faced with remote learning or socially distanced classroom options, some parents of rising kindergartners are considering holding their kids back. (Sohn, 7/23/20)

The Washington Post: Amid virus, uncertainty, parents decide how to school kids
Joshua Claybourn is leaning toward sending his kindergarten daughter to in-person classes at a private school next month. (Webber & Groves, 7/25/20)


CNBC: We asked 20 medical experts whether they’re sending their own kids back to school. Here’s what they had to say
Their answers were highly varied, and depended on the age of the child, the location of the school, and the level of childcare support available to the parents. (Farr, 7/26/20)

CALMatters: Should I quit my job? California parents grapple with education in a pandemic
As the majority of schools across the state prepare to start the school year teaching remotely, parents have started investigating their options for how they can maintain their child’s education while still holding down a job. (Cano & Hepler, 7/27/20)

Reports/Expert Recommendations

PBS Newshour: How should schools reopen? Pediatricians offer these guidelines
The nation’s top pediatricians are urging educators to plan for in-person teaching at schools this fall, citing the fundamental benefits to children’s well-being. (Santhanam, 7/3/20)

Education Dive: Students may need extra social-emotional support when they return to the classroom
Students, particularly those with disabilities, may exhibit anxiety when schools reopen, with changes in routines, a new fear of germs, and trauma that may have been experienced during school closures among factors that could set some students back, District Administration reports. (De La Rosa, 7/7/20)

WBUR: Pediatrician Makes Case For Reopening Schools This Fall
NPR’s Scott Simon speaks with Sara Bode, pediatrician and member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, about sending students back to school this fall. (Simon, 7/11/20)

NPR: New Report Says Schools Should Try To Reopen In Person For Elementary Students
This fall, public school districts should prioritize full-time, in-person classes for grades K-5 and for students with special needs. (Kamenetz, 7/15/20)

The New York Times: Citing Educational Risks, Scientific Panel Urges That Schools Reopen

Younger children in particular are ill-served by remote learning, according to a report issued by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. (Mandavilli, 7/15/20)

Quartz: A new report suggests US schools can—and should—reopen safely
On July 15, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) published a report attempting to answer those questions, in service of helping schools try to reopen in the fall. (Ossola, 7/16/20)

Brookings: Are we reopening preschools fairly? Prioritizing children most impacted by coronavirus
The coronavirus mercifully spares most young children. But large disparities in their health and growth will persist–until the political leaders and local activists devise sound and equitable remedies.(Fuller, 7/22/20)

Safety

Education Dive: Pitting mental health against safety, national leaders point to SEL in school reopening debate
Schools’ ability to provide mental health support is taking center stage as some say it’s not immediately feasible, while others say there is a middle ground. (Modan, 7/8/20)

NBC4 Los Angeles: Virus Spread, Not Politics Should Guide Schools, Doctors Say
Health experts say there are too many uncertainties and variables for back-to-school to be back-to-normal. (Tanner, 7/12/20)

Science Magazine: School openings across globe suggest ways to keep coronavirus at bay, despite outbreaks
Early this spring, school gates around the world slammed shut. By early April, an astonishing 1.5 billion young people were staying home as part of broader shutdowns to protect people from the novel coronavirus. (Multiple Authors, 7/7/20)

Reuters: Sweden’s health agency says open schools did not spur pandemic spread among children
Sweden’s decision to keep schools open during the pandemic resulted in no higher rate of infection among its schoolchildren than in neighbouring Finland, where schools did temporarily close, their public health agencies said in a joint report. (Soderpalm, 7/15/20)

WNYC: The Puzzling Future of Child Care and School Reopenings
Brigid Schulte, director of the Better Life Lab and author of Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play when No One has the Time, and New York City Council Member Brad Lander (39th district in Brooklyn) discuss the school and child care puzzle that New York faces. (7/15/20)

ABC 7: Most CA schools ‘shouldn’t reopen’ if COVID-19 trends continue, state superintendent says
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said schools shouldn’t reopen in the fall if current COVID-19 conditions persist. (Martichoux, 7/15/20)

The New York Times: Kids, Safety and Schools: A Pandemic Debate Plays Out in California County
In Sutter County in California’s bucolic Sacramento Valley, coronavirus cases are rising, but Mike Ziegenmeyer wants his kids back in the classroom. (Reuters, 7/17/20)

The Washington Post: As fear of the virus wins out, a fast retreat from in-person learning
From the moment schools shuttered unceremoniously in March, one thought dominated: How to return. (7/18/20)

NPR: Kids Get Coronavirus, But Do They Spread It? We’ll Find Out When Schools Reopen
As scientists study the burden of COVID-19 around the globe, it’s pretty clear that despite some cases of serious illness, kids tend to get infected with the coronavirus less often and have milder symptoms compared to adults. (Aubrey, 7/20/20)

NPR: When Can Kids Go Back To School? Leaders Say ‘As Soon As It’s Safe’
Ann Levett’s worst day as superintendent of Savannah-Chatham County Public School System wasn’t March 26, the day Georgia’s governor first closed schools, keeping Levett’s more than 37,000 students home in response to the coronavirus pandemic. (Turner, 7/21/20)

California

LAist: LAUSD Warns Budget Cuts Plus Coronavirus Might Make Reopening Campuses Hard
Approving Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed cuts to education funding could jeopardize the Los Angeles Unified School District’s ability to reopen campuses this fall, a top district official warned on Tuesday. (Stokes, 5/19/20)

The Los Angeles Times: Most California school districts plan to open in the fall. Here’s how it would work
Most public school districts in California are planning to reopen campuses on their regular start dates in late August and September — but the new normal amid the coronavirus outbreak will likely include masks, daily school sanitation and smaller class sizes to maintain six feet of distance, state Supt. of Instruction Tony Thurmond said Wednesday. (Kohl, 5/21/20)

CALMatters: CA is reopening. Will schools?
The superintendents of six school districts collectively enrolling nearly 1 million students warned Gov. Gavin Newsom and top lawmakers Monday that their fall reopening would be delayed due to the governor’s proposed $6.5 billion cut to school funding. (Hoeven, 5/21/20)

ABC 7: When will California schools reopen? State superintendent says it’s up to individual local districts
Hundreds of thousands of students do not have online access, the superintendent said, adding that “California’s companies have to step up.” (Martichoux, 5/27/20)

The Los Angeles Times: Schools issue warning: Coronavirus testing and tracing are needed before campuses reopen
Raising the possibility that campuses won’t reopen in the fall, leaders of the state’s two largest K-12 school systems on Friday demanded that public health authorities, not school districts, take the lead on setting up coronavirus testing and contact tracing of students and employees. (Blume & Kohli, 5/30/20)

LAist: How Will ‘Hybrid Schedules’ Work If K-12 Schools Reopen This Fall? LAUSD Is Thinking About It
This fall, Los Angeles public school students might spend one week on campus, followed by another week learning from home. (Stokes, 6/3/20)

USA Today: In CA: The endless summer for Golden State parents and guardians
School can reopen in some districts, the state says, but will parents want to send their children to a place where social interactions are discouraged? And what “defund the police” really means. (Martinez, 6/8/20)

Los Angeles Times: New guidelines say school year will see some California students learning from home
Guidelines released Monday call for some California students to learn from home, at least some of the time, in the new school year while the COVID-19 pandemic persists. (Yarbrough, 6/8/20)

KQED: California Schools Reopening: Education Chief Details Plan
Beyond face masks and physical distancing, a new detailed guide to safely reopen California schools suggests a radical overhaul of classroom instruction to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. (Gacker, 6/8/20)

The Fresno Bee: Here’s what to expect when California schools reopen in the fall
Although California schools are set to reopen in the fall, classes should not return to normal, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond advised Monday during a news conference. (Panoo, 6/8/20)

EdSource: California teachers worry gap widening for English learners during school closures
Teachers across California are worried that students who are learning English will fall behind in their language skills due to the school closures and are trying various approaches to connect with those students and their families. (Stavely, 6/11/20)

CBS Bay Area: Uncertainty Abounds Among California Parents, Teachers Making Plans for New School Year
Thursday night, there was a town hall meeting with the California superintendent of schools to discuss the options. While the hope is to get kids back to school, districts do have to plan for the worst-case scenario. (Nakano, 6/26/20)

CBS Bay Area: Uncertainty Abounds Among California Parents, Teachers Making Plans for New School Year
Thursday night, there was a town hall meeting with the California superintendent of schools to discuss the options. While the hope is to get kids back to school, districts do have to plan for the worst-case scenario. (Nakano, 6/26/20)

The Sacramento Bee: Are students subject to the mask order? Gavin Newsom says California doesn’t know yet
California issued a mandatory mask order last week, but state officials are still debating whether students should have to comply once schools reopen. (Wiley, 6/25/20)

EdSource: California schools must provide daily live interaction, access to technology this fall
California schools will need to offer daily live instruction and regular communication with parents, among other requirements, in order to receive state funding for the upcoming school year. (Johnson, 6/25/20)

NBC Los Angeles: Debates Turn Emotional as Schools Decide How and If to Open
Each of these decisions is fraught, trying to balance health concerns with clawing back as much normalcy as possible. (Whittle & Thompson, 7/5/20)

The Los Angeles Times: Newsom says reopening of California schools to be based on safety, not pressure from Trump
Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday that a decision on reopening California schools this fall will be made by local education and health officials weighing the state of the COVID-19 pandemic, and emphasized that he won’t be swayed by statements from President Trump urging campuses to bring back students quickly. (McGreevy, 7/8/20)

EdSource: Schools should not open until safety is assured, California Teachers Association tells state
Pediatricians group says it told White House schools need resources to ensure safe openings. (Freedberg, 7/9/20)

CALMatters: Some California schools delay in-person classes as coronavirus surges
Schools across the state aren’t sure they can come up with procedures — and the money to implement them — to keep kids safe before class is scheduled to begin this fall. (Cano, 7/10/20)

ABC 7 News: SurveyUSA poll: 1 in 5 California parents say school campuses should not open at all this year
Hybrid learning is supported by 34% of those polled, and only 10% said they support strictly in-person classes. (7/10/20)

KPCC: Amid Rising Coronavirus Cases, UTLA Calls For Schools To Remain Closed In The Fall
On Friday, the Los Angeles teacher’s union called for schools to keep closed August 18, when the school year is set to begin. (7/10/20)

POLITICO: California teachers fight back against pressure to reopen schools
The standoff in the nation’s largest state underscores the difficult road ahead for governors and local leaders. (Mays, 7/11/20)

CALMatters: Will California’s schools reopen their doors?
Will California’s public schools, with 6 million students, reopen after shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic? Or will stay-at-home classes continue? (Walters, 7/13/20)

EdSource: Parents must have a say in districts’ distance learning plans under new California law
Districts must create new “learning continuity plan” in coming weeks. (Fensterwald, 7/16/20)

EdSource: Schools in Los Angeles, San Diego won’t reopen for in-person learning next month
Districts cite “skyrocketing infection rates” in announcing that school campuses can’t reopen yet. (Burke, 7/14/20)

The Los Angeles Times: Orange County education leaders want schools to reopen without masks or social distancing
Orange County education leaders voted 4 to 1 Monday evening to approve recommendations for reopening schools in the fall that do not include the mandatory use of masks for students or increased social distancing in classrooms amid a surge in coronavirus cases. (Fry & Cardine, 7/13/20)

ABC News: 2 biggest California districts say school will start online
California’s two largest school districts announced Monday they won’t bring students back to classrooms next month as the nation’s most populous state continues to see a rise in coronavirus hospitalizations and infection rates. (Ronayne & Gecker, 7/13/20)

LAist: As Coronavirus Surges, LAUSD Will Not Reopen Campuses For Start Of Next School Year

With Los Angeles’ coronavirus numbers headed in the wrong direction, L.A. Unified school officials have ruled out reopening the district’s campuses for in-person instruction when a new school year begins next month. (Stokes, 7/13/20)

NBC Los Angeles: Debates Turn Emotional as Schools Decide How and If to Open
Each of these decisions is fraught, trying to balance health concerns with clawing back as much normalcy as possible. (Whittle & Thompson, 7/5/20)

California Healthline: California School Districts Grope for Sensible Reopening Plans
School leaders in Elk Grove, California, wanted to leave as little to chance as possible. So they brought nearly 150 voices into their decision-making process, and canvassed the parents of the estimated 63,000 students in the district to ask how they wanted their children taught. (Kreidler, 7/15/20)

CNN: Orange County’s largest school districts won’t comply with Board of Education vote to return to classroom
Some of the largest school districts in Orange County, California, say they will not follow their board of education’s recommendation to return students and teachers to the classroom. (Multiple Authors, 7/15/20)

The Los Angeles Times: News Analysis: As coronavirus surges, new pressure on Gov. Newsom for a schools reopening plan
Pressed by reporters to explain why California doesn’t have a statewide rule for when its 6 million schoolchildren can return to their classrooms, Gov. Gavin Newsom insisted Monday that his administration had already offered detailed plans. (Meyers, 7/15/20)

The Washington Post: California county votes to reopen schools with no mask mandate to ‘model courage’. But that doesn’t mean it will happen.
You may hear that the conservative majority on the school board in California’s Orange County voted for schools in 27 districts under its jurisdiction to open for the 2020-21 academic year — without a mandate for masks or social distancing but plenty of hand washing. (Strauss, 7/14/20)

Business Insider: Orange County, California plans to reopen schools without requiring masks or social distancing
The Board of Education ruled that individual school districts could decide their own reopening plans — but recommended widespread reopening. Its ruling also suggested daily disinfection of classrooms, temperature checks, and frequent handwashing. (Borden, 7/14/20)

Sacramento Bee: Classrooms without masks or online learning: California school reopening plans vary greatly
Students in Los Angeles Unified School District will learn entirely online this fall. In neighboring Orange County, the Board of Education has pushed for a full return to the classroom, sans masks or social distancing. (Hawkins, 7/14/20)

The Wall Street Journal: California Pulls Back on Reopening Amid Surge in Coronavirus Cases
Governor orders halt to indoor activities in restaurants, bars, museums, movie theaters; students in two largest school districts won’t return to in-person schooling in the fall. (Hobbs & Prang, 7/13/20)

EdSource: Pace of California schools planning to open with distance learning accelerates
In recent days, districts serving at least 1.4 million of the state’s 6.2 million public school students have announced that they will be teaching students remotely, at least to begin the school year. (Freedberg, 7/15/20)

CBS Sacramento: California Schools Chief Says Some Districts Can Open Safely
California’s education chief on Wednesday applauded the state’s two largest school districts, Los Angeles and San Diego, for this week’s decision not to reopen classrooms this fall amid rising coronavirus cases but said the same rules need not apply in counties with low rates of infection. (7/15/20)

WABE: Most California Schools Unlikely To Open In Fall Under New State Rules
Most California schools may remain closed when the academic year begins in the fall, according to new state directives, with a majority of campuses likely having to shift to distance-learning instead. (Slotkin, 7/18/20)

KTLA: As COVID-19 death tolls reach new highs, millions of children in CA and across U.S. unlikely to return to classrooms
Millions more children in the U.S. learned Friday that they’re unlikely to return to classrooms full time in the fall because of the coronavirus pandemic as death tolls reached new highs. (Myers, 7/18/20)

The New York Times: Newsom Order Would Keep Most California Schools Online
Districts in counties with rising caseloads will be required to teach remotely until conditions improve. (Cowan, 7/17/20)

Sacramento Bee: Gov. Newsom orders most California schools to stay closed until coronavirus spread lessens
Gov. Gavin Newsom handed down strict guidelines that will require most California schools to keep their buildings closed to start the year to cope with the coronavirus outbreak. (Wiley, 7/17/20)

POLITCO: Newsom orders virtual instruction in most California counties
California Gov. Gavin Newsom laid out new rules Friday that will require schools in counties with high rates of coronavirus infections to keep campuses closed until they can meet certain public health standards, the broadest move yet in the U.S. to mandate virtual learning for the fall. (Mays, 7/17/20)

CNN: Most California school classrooms cannot reopen while coronavirus numbers spike, governor says
Most schools in California will not be reopening for in-person education when classes begin in the next few months, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday. (Moon, 7/17/20)

CNBC: ‘I am definitely panicking’: Parents say school reopening plans leave them without any good options
When New York City Schools released a plan to reopen its 1,800 schools in the fall, parents like Ruzanna Yesayan felt frustrated. (Leonhardt, 7/16/20)
EdSource: California districts can seek waiver for elementary schools from ban on in-school instruction
County health directors would decide on applications based on local conditions. (Fensterwald, 7/21/20)

KQED: California Schools Reopening Plan: What We Know (and Don’t) Right Now
Ever since schools closed their doors in the spring to stop the spread of the coronavirus, parents and educators have been worried about what the fall would bring, and what California’s plan for reopening schools might look like. (Schwartz, 7/21/20)

CapRadio: Parents Sue Over California’s School Closures
Nine California parents are suing the state over a plan announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom last week that would keep most schools closed for the beginning of the coming school year. (Nixon, 7/21/20)

Sacramento Bee: California is short 1 million laptops and hot spots for kids as it prepares online school
Most California schools are now required to start online this fall. They need another 1 million technology devices to help kids learn. (Hawkins, 7/22/20)

The Mercury News: Has California figured out online school? ‘I forgave them for the spring. I’m not going to forgive them for the fall.’
Districts say fall online learning won’t look like it did in spring. (Woolfolk, 7/22/20)

EdSource: California school districts brace for an online back-to-school season
Many school districts will have to ditch plans for hybrid learning and in-person classes at the start of the school year. (Johnson, 7/24/20)

California Reopening Guidelines

The Los Angeles Times: One-way halls, lunch at desk, playing alone. L.A. schools could reopen with stark rules
Sixteen students to a class. One-way hallways. Students lunch at their desks. Children could get one ball to play with — alone. Masks are required. A staggered school day brings on new schedules to juggle. (Blume, 5/27/20)

Forbes: Under Los Angeles Public School Reopening Plan, Students Must Wear Masks All Day
Los Angeles county released guidelines today for re-opening public schools. The county includes the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second largest after New York City, which has yet to say when and how it will re-open. (Adams, 5/27/20)

LAist: What Could Schools Look Like When They Reopen? Here’s What LA County Education Officials Say
A task force convened by the Los Angeles County Office of Education released a framework Wednesday with guidelines for the county’s 80 school districts as they plan for when, how — and maybe whether — to reopen school campuses. (Javier & Stokes & Dale, 5/27/20)

EdSource: Schools should encourage but not require students to wear face covering, draft guidance says
Students should be encouraged but not required to use face coverings when California schools reopen for classroom instruction, according to a draft of “interim guidance” from the state obtained by EdSource. (Feedberg, 5/28/20)

KTLA: Smaller classes, 1-way staircases and handwashing schedules: L.A. County officials offer framework for coming school year
California officials have hinted for weeks how different classrooms will look as the coronavirus forced all sectors to rethink operations during the pandemic. (Bravo & Burch, 5/28/20)

CALMatters: Prepping to reopen, California schools desperate for guidance, money
School districts plan for fall without knowing how much money they’ll have or exactly how to create the safest learning environment for students. (Cano, 6/1/20)

CBS: School District Reopening Guidelines Include Small Classes, Face Masks, Virtual Field Trips, And Half-Empty Buses
Schools across the Southland and the rest of California will look different if and when they reopen this fall. (6/8/20)

EdSource: Seeking guidance for reopening schools?
Here’s what has been issued so far from the state, county offices and other agencies. (6/15/20)

EdSource: California schools must provide daily live interaction, access to technology this fall
California schools will need to offer daily live instruction and regular communication with parents, among other requirements, in order to receive state funding for the upcoming school year. (Johnson, 6/25/20)

Education Week: Can Teachers Really Do Their Jobs in Masks?
There’s a lot of uncertainty about how schools will eventually return to in-person instruction. But in many places, teachers will likely be encouraged—or required—to wear masks. (Will, 6/24/20)

KTLA: Online or in the classroom, teachers and students must show up every day, California rules say
When it comes to education, the new state budget goes beyond providing $70.5 billion in funding for K-12 schools — it sets fundamental accountability rules for a new era of distance learning in California by requiring teachers to take online attendance and document student learning. (6/29/20)

National Conversations

The Los Angeles Times: Fauci cautious about schools, colleges reopening in fall: ‘We better be careful”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, urged caution about reopening schools this fall. (Blume & Levy, 5/12/20)

The Atlantic: For Schools, the List of Obstacles Grows and Grows
The pandemic creates countless new challenges—but also the chance to educate some students better than ever before. (Christakis, 5/24/20)

The Washington Post: US communities face tough choices on opening public pools
Public pools will look very different this summer if they open at all with the coronavirus threat still looming, as staffers will be tasked with maintaining social distancing and spotting COVID-19 symptoms in addition to their primary duties. (Hollingsworth, 5/27/20)

The Washington Post: Why Kids Should Go Straight Back to School
Relatively early in the Covid-19 pandemic, in March, I made the case against closing schools and later warned that doing so, even though it may be necessary, will cause many children a lifetime of harm. (Kluth, 5/29/20)

Brookings Institution: Reopening schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic: Your questions, our answers
With the arrival of summer break, school systems across the country have mostly signed off of their remote teaching, and school leaders’ focus now shifts to reopening schools for live instruction in the next academic year. (Multiple Authors, 6/3/20)

The Washington Post: As countries reopen, hundreds of millions of students have returned to school
Well beyond a billion students were sent home from schools as the novel coronavirus spread around the world. (Taylor, 6/5/20)

The Washington Post: Fauci: A ‘whole bunch of things’ can be done to reopen schools
Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s leading expert on infectious disease, says it is “a bit of a reach” to say schools should stay closed this fall during the covid-19 pandemic and there are a “whole bunch of things” that can be done to allow them to reopen. (Strauss, 6/5/20)

POLITICO: Most superintendents say they don’t know when schools will reopen
Most school superintendents say they aren’t ready to announce when they’ll reopen their classrooms, according to a nationwide survey from AASA, The School Superintendents Association. (Kumar & Gaudiano, 6/17/20)

The Washington Post: All the ways the coronavirus will make this school year harder than the last, even if campuses reopen
School communities desperate for normalcy are hoping that the new school year will be more stable than the last, when the coronavirus forced schools to close and launch remote learning overnight. (Strauss, 6/29/20)

The Hechinger Report: COLUMN: With few answers about returning to school or campus, let’s support children instead of hiding them
No wonder parents are freaking out: back-to-school plans are unclear and daycare can be a dangerous mess. (Willen, 7/2/20)

USA Today: The best place for children during the pandemic? It may actually be in school
Data shows that children are at the lowest risk for catch. (Darcy-Mahoney & Aldeman, 7/3/20)

The Atlantic: A Better Fall Is Possible
States with low rates of the virus are in a position to reopen their schools this September—but they should do so very carefully, and with a focus on younger kids. (Cohodes, 7/7/20)

Education Week: Will Kindergartens Be Empty This Fall?
In a normal time, Michelle Bartley’s daughter Nyanne would be among the 4 million or so kindergarten students going off to school later this year. (Samuels, 7/7/20)

The Washington Post: With coronavirus science still iffy, U.S. schools hope to reopen for 56.6 million K-12 students
In just a matter of weeks, tens of millions of children will start a new school year, and what that will look like has become the nation’s thorniest political and epidemiological issue. (Multiple Authors, 7/9/20)

The 74: Reality Check: What Will It Take to Reopen Schools Amid the Pandemic? 6 Experts Weigh In on the Looming Fiscal Crisis and What Services Districts Should (and Shouldn’t) Cut
It is my belief that school districts are not going to simply cut their way through, or out of, this recession. (7/12/20)

WTOP: Masks for kids? Schools confront the politics of reopening
They object to masks and social distancing in classrooms this fall — arguing both could hurt their children’s well-being — and want schools to reopen full time. (7/14/20)

The Washington Post: Despite pressure from Trump, major districts say schools will stay closed in fall
Resisting pressure from President Trump, three of the nation’s largest school districts said Monday that they will begin the new school year with all students learning from home. (Meckler, 7/13/20)

The Washington Post: US debates school reopening, WHO warns ‘no return to normal’
The resurgence of the coronavirus in the United States ignited fierce debate Monday about whether to reopen schools, as global health officials warned that the pandemic will intensify unless more countries adopt comprehensive plans to combat it. (Licon & Geller, 7/13/20)

The New York Times: Most Big School Districts Aren’t Ready to Reopen. Here’s Why.
All but two of the nation’s 10 largest districts exceed a key public health threshold, according to a New York Times analysis. (Goldstein & Shapiro, 7/15/20)

The New York Times: In the Same Towns, Private Schools Are Reopening While Public Schools Are Not
Private schools have always had more flexibility, and usually more money, but never has that disparity made a bigger difference than now. (Miller, 7/16/20)

Education Week: Rising Wave of Districts Sticking With Full-Time Remote Learning
The Desert Sands school district in California plans to start the academic year with full-time remote learning because district leaders were worried it would not be able to have adequate social distancing measures in place by Aug. 19, the first day of school. (Lieberman, 7/15/20)

Brookings: Should schools reopen? Balancing COVID-19 and learning loss for young children
Universal prescriptions or mandates for in-school learning this fall are misguided and unrealistic. (Multiple Authors, 7/21/20)

TIME: As the School Year Approaches, Education May Become the Pandemic’s Latest Casualty
Children tumble off a yellow school bus, where every other seat is marked with caution tape. Wearing whimsical masks—one has whiskers, another rhinestones—they wait to get their temperatures checked before filing into the one-story school building. (Multiple Authors, 7/23/20)

The New York Times: Reopening Schools Is Way Harder Than It Should Be
So is leaving them closed. Now what do we do? (Darville, 7/23/20)

WIRED: Some Countries Reopened Schools. What Did They Learn About Kids and Covid?
Studies from around the world suggest that success depends on class size, distancing, the age of the students, and how prevalent the virus is locally. (Niler, 7/27/20)

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