Reopening schools in the Fall of 2020 was a major topic this week. Kicking off a lot of the discussion was the White House’s National Dialogue Safely Reopening America’s Schools. At the forefront was the CDC and their guidelines. Among the many COVID-19 related publications, below are a few, related to K-12 schools, including date of latest revision:
- Considerations for Schools, May 19th (including a Readiness and Planning Tool)
- FAQs for Administrators, Teachers, and Parents, June 3rd
- K-12 School Administrators for SARS-CoV-2 Testing, June 30th
I’m of the opinion that no one is arguing against reopening schools. However, a majority of concern surrounds uncertainty with respect to the details of reopening in a safe manner. Looking to local governments to interpret the CDC guidelines and customize them for their individual situations is consistent with the messaging throughout the COVID-19 response. For that reason, we are most likely looking at a hybrid reopening strategy.
Schools are Reassessing e-learning, EdTech Should be Too
A friend of mine, in the education space, welcomed in July with a reminder that most free trials of EdTech software expired June 30th. This impacts almost every school districts. As a result, many have dedicated the end of the school year and early part of the summer to identifying the short falls of e-learning. I hope that EdTech is doing the same. No doubt there were many lessons learned not only by the educators, parents, and students. The 100 days of summer should be more than enough time for EdTech companies, new and existing, to address the needs and improve in time for back to school fall 2020.
Here in NY, the Governor has targeted the first week of August to make a decision on reopening NY Schools. Whether the decision is to delay openings past September or a part time schedule with e-learning, this is an opportunity. Not only for corporations and philanthropic organizations to subsidize the identified necessities:
- internet access
- education software, student facing and on teacher/administrative side
Whatever the decision is, even full time on day 1, certain things need to happen for success. It is important that all stakeholders are on the same page regarding funding, communication, and the proposed plan. EdTech’s role is essential in those discussions.
Stay healthy and keep streaming!