Most years, the first day of school arrives with anticipation and possibility as students, parents, teachers, and administrators look forward to the hope and promise of a new year.
This year is different. The return to school has engendered uncertainty and even frustration. Each school district is struggling to balance safety and educational quality in a COVID-19 world, and to do so in a way that is best for their own communities.
There are no easy answers. Remote learning may be more successful in protecting the public health, but let’s face it, for the overwhelming number of students, a virtual education is no substitute for traditional, face-to-face learning. It also puts a greater strain on parents juggling jobs while serving as “teacher’s aides” for their children.
But reopening too widely and too soon can put students, teachers, and school workers at risk.
School leaders face this balancing act under public