“Cleaning high-touch areas is very important in schools. But wearing masks, physical distance, vaccinations and other measures are” higher protective factors, “Kogan said.
8. Give parents and teachers agency to protect their children.
Last school year, many districts used temperature testing and symptom screening as an attempt to catch infected students before giving the coronavirus to others. But in Austin, Indiana, such formal screening proves less effective than the insights of teachers and parents. Instructors can identify when a student is not feeling well and tell them to go to the nurse, even if that student has a temperature check.
Jatelina said that both teachers and parents can act as a level of protection, preventing a sick child from entering the classroom. “Parents are pretty good at understanding their children’s symptoms and their children’s health,” he said.
In Andrews, Texas, deputy commissioners provided parents with information about Covid’s symptoms and determined when a child might need to stay home from school. The Texas district may have “become too much in terms of giving parents agency,” though, Kogan said, allowing students to refrain from quarantining and wearing masks-echoing the Andrews County Department of Public Health’s concerns.
9. We need more granular information to run school policies.
Throughout the epidemic, I have consistently talked about the lack of detailed public data on the Covid-1 cases in schools. The federal government does not yet provide such information, and most states provide scattered numbers that do not provide important context for the case (such as personal enrollment or test statistics). Without these numbers, it is difficult to compare school districts and identify success stories.
My research on school reopening has highlighted another data problem: most states are not providing No Covid-1 met metrics come down to individual districts, making it difficult for school leaders to know when to tighten or relax their safety protocols. For example, in the small port of Oregon-Langlois, Oregon, administrators had to rely on Covid-1 numbers for their overall counties. Although there were zero lawsuits in the district by 2020, it was not able to bring older students back in person until the spring as outbreaks in other parts of the county increased the number of lawsuits. Kogan has observed similar problems in New Jersey.
At the local level, Jatelina said, school districts can work with their local public health departments to get the information they need to make more informed decisions. But on a larger, systematic level, getting granular Covid-1 data is more difficult একটি a task for the federal government.
10. Invest in school staff and invite them to contribute to safety strategies.
The school staff has practiced great determination and creativity to work long hours, familiarize themselves with the science of Kovid-1 of, and give their students a better school experience. Teaching is usually a challenging job, but in the last 1 month it has become heroic – although many outside the school environment take the job seriously, Jatelina said.
Kogan suggested districts could thank their staff for their feedback on school safety decisions. “The educators তারা they had a God-fearing time and there was so much more on them,” he said. But “everyone who works at the school also has.” These include the custodian, the cafeteria staff, and – most importantly – the school nurses, whom Kogan calls the school’s “chief wellness officer.”
11. Give students and staff the opportunity to process epidemics.
A study by Imperial College London found that about 117,000 children in the United States lost one or both parents during the epidemic. Thousands more have lost other relatives, mentors and friends – while millions of children have lost jobs in their families, food and shelter insecurity and other hardships. Even if a school district has all the proper safety supplies, school staff cannot actually support students unless they allow time and space to process the trauma they face.
The PS 705 in Brooklyn could serve as a model for this exercise. When a student leaves class, school staff reach out to the family and provide support: “705 is a place where it’s a ‘hand tied around the whole family’ school.”
On the first day of school in September 2021 – when many students returned in person for the first time since the spring of 2020 – the school observed a moment of silence for loved ones that the school community had lost.
New challenges ahead
These lessons were taken from the school community that was successful in the 2020-2021 school year, before the Delta variant hit the United States. This highly contagious strain of the virus has created new challenges for the fall of the 2021 semester. Data analysis under this project has taken me primarily to the profile of rural communities, who may have been lucky with a low Covid-1 case number in the early stages of the epidemic কিন্তু but now they are unable to escape the delta. For example, Oregon County, including Port Orford-Langlois, saw its highest case rate to date in August 2021.
The challenge of the delta is exacerbated by increasing polarization over masks, vaccines and other safety measures. Nonetheless, Jetelina noted that “there are a ton of champions out there,” referring to parents, teachers, public health professionals and others who continue to learn from past school reopening experience – and advise them to do something good for their community.
The Solution Journalism Network A report supported the project, including grants, as well as training and other directions. Learn more About the five school community profiles I have done in this project for sending Covid-1 Data.
This story is part of it Epidemic Technology Project, Supported by the Rockefeller Foundation.