Back to Live Instruction – Time to Lead In-Person

I find it odd that a Board of Education that is unwilling to meet in person is discussing whether or not it is safe for students to return to the classroom. If a small group of adults cannot figure out how to safely meet in person, then how are we to trust that they can come up with a comprehensive plan for the return of 165,000+ students to 200+ schools?

This is an example of the message not matching with the messaging. We cannot have confidence in, or take seriously, conversations or considerations about returning our children to in-person instruction unless the Board provides us with confidence in their planning by conducting it in-person.

So what would it take to get our students back in the classroom?

Dr. Jinlene Chan, acting deputy secretary for public health services stated a month ago: “Jurisdictions with a positivity rate below 5% and a case rate of 5 per 100,000 people should be able to hold in-person instruction with social distancing, masks and other measures…”

But is this clear enough?

Dr. Leana Wen, formerly Baltimore’s Health Commissioner is looking for more definitive guidance: “The CDC should have issued direct and specific guidance — for example, a checklist of all the things that must be done to ensure safe school reopening,”

But schools did go back, both in hybrid and full school models, in many parts of the country. So how are these schools doing?

The Washington Post on September 23, 2020 said…it’s going better than expected, actually.

Brown University, working with school administrations and officials, created a Covid-19 School Response Dashboard.

Montgomery County, once a leader in education, is now forced into the position of being a follower. But follow it must, by looking at the other districts who have successfully returned and by safely charting a path to students returning to the classroom. The data, methods, and practical application are all present. Now we just need to have the Board meet to create a workable plan. In-person.