Scheduling the COVID-19 School Year

Five days a week, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. That traditional school day—so coveted now for its normalcy and essential contribution to how our families, communities, and economy function—probably won’t make a full comeback this fall. Some school communities will forge ahead with a return to the typical school calendar, but that carries large risks. If there’s an outbreak of the coronavirus, they’ll have to shut down abruptly. But in many school districts, the sheer Read More

Going Back to a Better School: NEA Issues Guidance on Reopening

Many schools across the country will in all likelihood reopen in the fall for the 2020-21 school year. States are currently reviewing potential models that maximize both learning – whether in-person or continued remote instruction – and health and safety. Still, because of continued uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, “back to school” for many districts and college campuses remains more of an “if” than a “when.” As some states are currently discovering, reopening plans that ignore or Read More

3 coronavirus challenges for curriculum directors this fall

Robert Dillon knows any plan to bring back 2,700 students this fall can’t be boilerplate. That’s why the director of innovative learning for The School District of University City in Missouri instead envisions a scenario that dips, dives, moves forward and back — all throughout the year. To him, the best solution is one that’s flexible, so if students have to learn from home again for a period of time, their learning needs are still met. “We’re trying Read More

5 Radical Schooling Ideas For An Uncertain Fall, And Beyond

There is no one answer for what the coming school year will look like, but it won’t resemble the fall of 2019. Wherever classrooms are open, there will likely be some form of social distancing and other hygiene measures in place that challenge traditional teaching and learning. Future outbreaks will make for unpredictable waves of closures. Virtual learning will continue. And all this will happen amid a historic funding crunch. American education has long been full of innovators Read More

Secretary DeVos Approves 10 Additional Perkins Career and Technical Education Plans

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced today the Department of Education has approved 10 additional career and technical education (CTE) plans. Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin are the latest states, along with the District of Columbia, to have their CTE plans approved under the new, bipartisan Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V), which was signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on Read More

Senate Asks for Estimate on Costs to Reopen Schools Safely

SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER, A Tennessee Republican and the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Wednesday requested cost estimates from states for how much additional federal assistance they need to reopen schools this fall. “It would be helpful to me and I think other senators if you could provide some specifics to the committee about exactly what it would take in terms of financial support to open the schools safely,” Alexander said. Read More

Report: Most districts lacked clear plans in shift to remote learning

It’s almost a given that districts will continue some level of distance learning this fall — either to maintain social distancing, respond to future coronavirus outbreaks, give families more choice or a combination of all of those reasons. District leaders can now begin planning “to align the resources, create teacher professional development and assess community priorities to design plans for the fall that have high expectations for each student’s learning and are responsive to each Read More

Colleges Must Mandate Face Masks on Reopened Campuses, Union Says

The required use of face masks on campuses, sanitation stations in every college classroom and office, and comprehensive COVID-19 testing and tracing programs are a few of the recommendations made this week by a United Faculty of Florida (UFF) committee, which stepped into the debate around reopening campuses with a detailed 13-page report of best practices. The intention is to be helpful, and to make sure the voices of students, faculty, staff, and health experts are Read More

Colleges Under Fire for Plans to Open Football Stadiums, Bring Back Athletes

PURDUE UNIVERSITY President Mitch Daniels came under fire Thursday during a Senate hearing for plans to allow fall sports teams back on campus for preseason practice and to open the university’s 57,000-seat football stadium for games. “I think it’s interesting that college sports teams are coming back for practices before professional sports leagues are feeling it’s safe enough to come back,” said Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, during a Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Read More

Parents opting to homeschool beyond COVID add to school finance concerns

Kristen Smith’s 10-year-old son is a self-motivated student who loves to learn. And while Smith has been told multiple times that she should consider homeschooling her son, who excels academically and jumped from 4th to 6th grade last year, the idea always overwhelmed her. Besides, her son has enjoyed the social aspects of school and needed to work on organizational skills that come from being in a classroom.  Now, however, everything is different. In the Read More