BOSTON (CBS) – Even though parents, teachers and students are running out of patience, educators say we need to answer a whole series of questions before we can even think about reopening schools for the fall.
“This is the most disrupted school year anyone who is living has seen. Everything we are doing, it’s something that is totally out of character for how schools operate,” Tom Scott, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, told WBZ-TV Wednesday.
Scott said there are several big issues to address.
“PPE’s, making sure we have masks, making sure that there is reasonable distancing between student-to-student and also between a teacher and a student that’s going to be challenging in and of itself,” he explained.
On top of classroom size, there is the issue of transportation and how to maintain distance on a school bus, how to serve lunch, or have recess.
They also have to keep in mind what teachers and parents are going to be comfortable with upon returning to class.
Scott is anticipating a percentage of parents will want to keep their children home whether schools reopen in the fall or not and that means continuing at home learning.
“Nobody who is trained to be an educator was trained to be a remote teacher or for kids to be remote learners. This is testing everybody’s patience,” he said.
While we don’t know what reopening schools will look like or when it’ll happen. Scott says what is known, is how hard these educators are working to try to get these answers.
They are looking at everything from the latest information from the CDC, to the schools starting to reopen overseas, to other states slowly reopening for summer learning.
“As I talk to educators, I certainly talk to superintendents all the time, I don’t think they’ve ever worked harder to deal with these issues that were unanticipated. They spend time talking to one another, learning from one another and trying to figure out the answers to complex questions,” he said.
Scott is anticipating to know more answers in 4 to 6 weeks.
When Mayor Marty Walsh was asked about colleges wanting to reopen in the fall, he brought up another series of questions. One of them hitting on housing for students and how that would be handled. He expects to have some answers in about three weeks.