The continued spread of COVID-19 has radically upended the plans of most schools across the nation. Local schools that teach young children and large state universities that churn out graduate students have both been seriously beset by the coronavirus, which is costing them the lives of students and faculty, not to mention millions of dollars in enrollment revenue.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that local schools are unlikely to recover from the coronavirus soon. Here’s a review of how educational institutions around the country are grappling with COVID-19.
It varies on a state by state basis
There’s no universal milestone for when schools across the country may reopen, as the situation varies widely on a state by state basis. In hotspots such as New York, local schools may not be reopened until well into 2021, and those institutions which do open may find themselves following strict regulations to cut back on the transmission of the virus. According to one review from EdWeek, at least 25 states across the country have already ordered or recommended school building closures for the remainder of this academic year.
According to one local report in the state of Georgia from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the toll of the coronavirus won’t be fully understood for at least a full year. Administrators, public health officials, and government officials are still collecting and analyzing data that can’t be understood on a short notice.
One of the reasons the situation will remain so sporadic for the foreseeable future is that there is no established gameplan for a national closure. While local schools regularly have to close for a litany of reasons, ranging from snowdays to local influenzas, a national shutdown of virtually all major educational facilities across the country in this fashion is historically unprecedented. Whether schools end up reopening will largely be dependent upon the development of COVID-tracing apps, which will allow parents, teachers, students, and all citizens to closely monitor where they’ve been and who they were in contact with.
The testing of such tracing apps has already begun in the UK, but the widespread deployment of these apps across entire countries could take many more months. Not only must technical errors be resolved, but the average user must understand how to properly use these apps if they’re to be effective. There may be disparities in how private schools and public schools respond to the outbreak and garner resources to reopen, too.