Summer's ending. How are US schools' reopening plans still in crisis?
August 18, 2020
In mid-July, seven weeks before the start of its school year, the Philadelphia school district announced it planned to reopen in a hybrid model, with both in-person and online learning. The decision came, the school board said, after months of collaboration between city leaders and public health experts, as well as feedback from more than 35,000 survey respondents.
Then, nearly two weeks later, it scrapped its hybrid proposal and planned to reopen fully remotely to start, following pushback from parents and faculty at an 8-hour school board meeting that ended after midnight.
Though just one of more than 13,000 school districts across the country, Philadelphia demonstrates the challenges and questions remaining in reopening schools as fall approaches. A nearly identical scenario played out in Chicago last week, where the school district reversed course on its plan for in-person learning a month before the start of the school year. New York City, the largest school district in the country, is facing pushback from teachers and union heads over its plan to reopen partially in person next month.