US Schools’ Troubled Fall

Principal Cheryl Nicholas explains her school’s precautions in Winter Springs, Florida on August 10, 2020. Image: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto/Getty
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Principal Cheryl Nicholas explains her school’s precautions in Winter Springs, Florida on August 10, 2020. Image: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto/Getty

There’s no good solution: Keeping kids out of class and young adults away from college reduces their risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, but they also miss out on the education and services they need.

Updates:

  • Just as students are heading back to class, the CDC warned that coronavirus cases increased steadily among young people from March to July, CBS News reports—even though infections were likely suppressed for much of that time due to stay-at-home orders.
  •  A third Cherokee County, Georgia high school has closed after 500 students were quarantined following dozens of positive tests among students, according to ForbesStudents are not required to wear masks in the county schools.
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill reported yesterday that a fourth coronavirus cluster of 5+ cases has surfaced, according to NPR.

One reason schools are pushing hard for in-person learning now is that so much was lost last spring, Axios reports. One research finding estimated that students coming back this fall will have only 70% of typical “learning gains in reading” compared with typical years. 

And schools do much more than educate: “They also provide a number of really important services that particularly support vulnerable children and families,” Caitlin Rivers, a senior scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, explains in a Bloomberg School article from Friday.

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