Thoughts On Schools Opening
We need our kids back in school, not just for the sake of their mental health and wellbeing, but for the sake of the working-class men and women who do not have the opportunity to work while their children are out of school.
I have worked with Taralah Jones who has created a 20-21 proposed “soft-opening” plan, which incorporates four of the guidelines proposed in the TCSOS planning guide. The four considerations include (1) Traditional Schedule with Safeguards to Minimize Risks (2) Smaller Cohorts/Student Groups (3) Half-day schedule and (4) Stagger and Modify Schedules. The plan will reduce the percentage of students on-campus Monday through Friday to 66%.
The two main goals of this proposed model are to increase parental choice and offer consistent daily school schedules. This model offers three tracks for parents to choose from. All three tracks provide steady Monday through Friday learning schedules and the benefits that come with consistency.
20-21 Three Track School Plan
In addition to the identified goals, Tracks 2 and 3 open the door for tracking the progress of students enrolled in smaller class sizes.
Track 1: Full Emersion – This is the most traditional model, with multiple safety precautions built-in. Students will attend a full day of learning in their domestic classroom. The school will create as much space as feasible within the classroom to promote social distancing. Small groups/cohorts will be consistent for learning activities in the classroom. Arrival, recesses, lunch, and pick-up locations and times will be as staggered as practicable. Outdoor lunch and recess will take place as weather permits, and classroom or study-hall lunch and recess will be an alternative option. This option will benefit working parents.
Track 2: Modified Learning- The student will spend the full day on-campus, yet half-day with a certified teacher and half-day in a supervised study hall. Students will attend either an AM or PM half-day session of learning in their domestic classroom. Class size will be cut in half for the 3 hours of classroom learning. Students will complete online work and other independently assigned tasks in their socially distanced study hall, supervised by a para-professional. Arrival, recesses, lunch, and pick-up locations and times will be as staggered as practicable. Outdoor lunch and recess will take place as weather permits, and classroom or study-hall lunch and recess will be an alternative option. This option will benefit working parents.
Track 3: Hybrid Model– Students will spend half-day on-campus, and the rest of the time and work will be completed at home. Students will attend either an AM or a PM session in their home classroom, lasting approximately three hours. Class size will be cut in half for the half-day of classroom learning. Students will complete all online work and other independently assigned tasks while supervised in their homes. Assignments completed at home must be submitted to the teacher according to the teacher’s instructions. Students must have access to the internet and adequate school supplies. This option will benefit parents who want a public education with the least exposure to COVID -19 as possible.
|Track 1||Track 2||Track 3|
|Full Emersion||Modified Learning||Hybrid Model|
|School-Wide % in Each Track:||33% of Students||33% of Students||33% of Students|
|Hours on Campus||Traditional Hours||Traditional Hours||AM: 8:00 – 11:15 or|
|8:00am – 3:00pm||8:00am – 3:00pm||PM: 12:00 – 3:15|
|Hours in Classroom||Traditional Hours||Hybrid Hours||Hybrid Hours|
|8:00am – 3:00pm||AM or PM Schedule||AM or PM Schedule|
|Independent/ Online Work||Traditional||Supervised On-Campus||Half-Day at School|
|Class + Homework||Class + Study Hall+ Homework||Class + Home + Homework|
|Snack from home||In-class||In-class||In-class|
|Number of Recesses||2||2||1|
|Recess Socialization||Grade-level / Cohort||Grade-level / Cohort||Grade-level / Cohort|
|Lunch Location||In-Class / Outside||In Study-Hall / Outside||No lunch at school|
|Bus Services||Limited bus services||Limited bus services||Limited bus services|
|Supplies||Individual Supplies||Individual Supplies||Individual Supplies &|
|Safety Rating||Most Exposed||Moderate||Least Exposed|