- Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb will soon announce whether the state's schools will restart in person this fall, Chalkbeat reports. In a press conference, Holcomb said the decision will be made mid-May.
- Just hours prior to Holcomb’s announcement, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said his state's schools should prepare two scenarios for the fall: remote learning and in-person classes.
- The reopening of Indiana schools, which are closed through the end of the academic year, will likely be a hybrid of online and in-person classes, with students returning in waves or shifts, Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick told Chalkbeat, adding that summer school classes will be delivered online in the meantime, and an advisory group will convene to discuss reopening options.
School reopening plans nationwide continue to change and evolve as positive COVID-19 cases grow. Holcomb said schools must remain flexible to react quickly to fall closures due to new outbreaks.
Meanwhile, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday students may return to the classroom as early as July. California closed schools March 19, a few days later than some other states. Newsom expects modifications to be in place to help safeguard students and staff and allow for social distancing. He suggested schools could stagger schedules.
California Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond said blended learning may be incorporated into the school day, which would allow students to attend school on different days to limit the number of people in the building at one time. Year-round school is also being discussed.
Regardless, education officials will need to prepare for a second wave of coronavirus infections health officials expect will crop up in the fall, coinciding with the traditional start of the flu season.
Denmark may offer a glimpse of what is to come when schools open. There, students are back at school with desks spaced six feet apart and students able to play in small groups at recess. Parents aren’t allowed inside, and teachers can’t gather in break rooms.
In the U.S., though, it will be difficult to add staff or other resources at a time when districts' budgets will be stretched as sales tax and other local revenues drop due to the current coronavirus business shutdowns.
Whether teachers attend in-person could also be factored into the decision. American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten told Politico the union would strike over schools reopening against medical advice, and National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen García also hasn't ruled out that move, suggesting parents would also likely join protests.