I have some friends who are teachers/librarians and they all say to expect a hybrid approach for school this fall.None up here, at least, none that I am aware of in my industry.
As far as what we're preparing for in the fall, most of my clients (all K12 institutions - some public districts, some private schools) are preparing for a hybrid model of remote and onsite learning. We are all hoping it will be as close to normal as possible, but I don't think any of us believe it will be "normal".
- I'm not sure how the public schools are going to handle it here in SF; from what I can see anecdotally, the private schools seem to have been better able to react because they either already had enough devices to allocate chromebooks/ipads to eery student AND/OR were already using tech in the classrooms so moving towards an async online-based model was easier.
- One item that seems concerning to me is that SFUSD's kindergartens operate at a 22:1 student to teacher ratio. The private schools pretty much drop that ratio down to 6-8:1 so they have the manpower to operate at the ~10:1 ratio the CDC is recommending for student:teacher ratio for indoor activities. I'm not sure where public schools will find the teaching staff.
This MN report highlights the 10:1 recommendation for in-person learning; I'm sure other states are around a similar ratio.
- My son is entering K next year and the school we are likely to send him to is already doing some rapid construction to break down their common areas into smaller rooms to house the cohorts of 10 students and 1 teacher each. Luckily, it seems they just barely have enough room to make this work (not a guarantee in expensive SF).
- They are also buying individual desks (which can be linked into larger tables later) and will have enough ipads for K/1st and chromebooks for 2nd-8th.
- Their current plan is 3 teachers per grade will be F2F with the 4th one being a dedicated virtual teacher for students who cannot attend in person or find themselves unable to continue F2F. Enrichment teachers (music, PE, etc) will either be outside or virtual.
- I'm glad that they are planning this stuff out; they haven't committed to regular testing of staff (or a requirement to be tested to attend F2F) just yet but I'd bet this is coming on the horizon.
- With the budget cuts expected nationwide for public schools of 15-25%, I am wonder how much the various public schools will be able to handle this. I hope that the federal govt injects the money these schools need but considering that DeVos is pushing the current pandemic money the Feds have already given the states to be shared with private schools, regardless of need. THAT's not what public institutions need.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, using discretion written into the coronavirus stabilization law, is using millions of dollars to pursue long-sought policy goals that Congress has blocked.
Public or private though, I suspect this will be toughest for the youngest kids because they don't have the attention span and/or don't have a relationship with the teachers/other students yet OR for people with older kids who aren't "into" learning. I suspect we'll be doing some amount of "home schooling" in the next year.