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COVID-19 School Year: How Things Are Going

The United States, the country hardest hit by the coronavirus. The reopening of schools has political overtones. And also stands out for its slow pace compared to most countries on the other side of the Atlantic. The Republican territories have been more flexible than the Democrats. We are talking about the sanitary guidelines that must be met to open the doors of the classrooms. That is why there are states such as Florida or Wyoming, where classes have been face-to-face from Monday to Friday for months. While in Maryland or California, less than 20% of students can attend an educational center.

The decision on whether to reopen schools rests primarily with district and school authorities. They must weigh the risks of contagion if they open and the academic, economic and social impact if they do not. Meanwhile, teachers’ unions are demanding safety guarantees. Also, parents are pushing to speed up the process 12 months after the closure. Practically half of the student body attends classes all week in the U.S., led by the youngest students; a measure reinforced by scientific research showing that they are the least likely to spread the virus or suffer severe consequences if infected.

The consequences of the pandemic have challenged education systems in all countries of the world as never before. In the United States, especially hard hit by the virus, the effects on teachers and students have been tremendous. Modifications on the doorstep in schools this fall will permanently transform classrooms. COVID school year has had a significant impact on the country. The crisis shows and reinforces the already significant challenges of the U.S. education system. The essential extracurricular functions of schools can no longer be exploited to the same extent with “remote learning.”

The current crisis only makes it even more evident that barriers must be removed to achieve fair educational opportunities. What must change is the funding and equipping of public schools. They need to ensure that students have equitable access to electronic devices and a stable wifi connection. Technology in the home has long been critical to school success. Many schools had less than 30% attendance among their students. Families that cannot afford a computer and Internet access will not have them unless an outside organization provides them. Even though the technical infrastructure and the family environment make active participation in the school classroom possible, other elementary functions of the school have been lost in the last three months.

According to experts, the online classroom is not expected to be the only significant mode of transmission in education in the future, as children will continue to receive a large part of their education in traditional school environments. At least in the U.S., the requirement for children to have a living area while parents work will not disappear shortly. Added to this, social skills learned in the classroom will continue to be as crucial as ever.

New Opportunities

For students, daily social contact is essential. The purely digital exchange via social networks is perceived as insufficient by the students. However, the crisis is opening up new possibilities. It seems that good things can appear after the COVID school year.

An essential aspect for school success and student engagement is the development of teaching materials. In other words, it is moving away from exercises and worksheets to a project-oriented and interdisciplinary class that enables more learning pathways for students and makes the learning objective transparent to them.

The teacher’s attention, the continuous support in the learning process, the feedback of the tasks performed, and the joint reflection on the learning experiences individually or with the class are of even greater importance than the teaching materials. In the virtual learning environment, the role of the teachers becomes even more important; on the other hand, their tasks become more differentiated and focused on the students.

COVID 19 School Year

Find The Correct Combination

A pedagogical approach that integrates these aspects and represents the combination of face-to-face and virtual classes is hybrid learning. Students have not been left adrift in the online modality; a blending of both forms of learning by the teacher makes it possible to combine the advantages of the face-to-face classroom with digital possibilities.

The COVID school year was very difficult for students and teachers. As well as for the entire educational system in the USA. New content and, above all, systematic concepts are required to combine classroom learning with online learning and offer students the opportunity to acquire knowledge autonomously but in a social context in a guided and supervised manner.

Things In New York

New York will abandon the distance education system by next fall. Following September 13, when the next cycle begins, all students and academic staff will return to full-time classrooms. It looks like the COVID school year will be over for New York.

New York will no longer continue with the distance education option for next fall. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on television last Monday. This is an essential step toward the full reopening of the most extensive school system in the United States. This school year, some 600,000 students took classes from home. However, on September 13, when the next school year begins, all students will return to the classroom full-time. New York was one of the first cities to announce the end of remote school for next term. Predictions that online classes would be a fixture for school districts were perhaps premature.

The governor announced last week that the state would no longer have small classes in the fall. The announcement came days after leaders in Connecticut and Massachusetts made the same decision. This decision just made by New York City will make it much easier to return to the “pre-pandemic” school system as students and teachers will no longer be separated from each other in their homes. This latest announcement by the mayor is likely to have alarmed several parents. Recent interviews with parents have shown that many families are looking forward to resuming regular schooling. But many others are still skeptical about the impending return to school.

New York, like districts across the country, has struggled to make remote learning a success. However, contrary to expectations, online classes have proven frustrating for many students and, in some cases, even disastrous. Children with disabilities suffer the most from these difficulties.

¨It has also been extraordinarily complex for the city to run two parallel school systems. One in-person and one online, with many students switching between the two every few days. So many students and teachers are operating from homemade it nearly impossible for some schools to offer normal schedules¨.

De Blasio said he hoped the city would maintain some remote learning options for next fall. But he and his Cabinet changed their minds in recent weeks. After infection rates for the virus plummeted citywide, children 12 and older became eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.

How Delta Variant Affects

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that children wear a facemask when they return to school. This would be in September after the COVID school year, even if they got the vaccine. This country is suffering an increase in cases of coronavirus in children caused mainly by the Delta variant.

¨To slow the spread of the delta variant, the CDC will recommend that schools adopt universal masking. Including teachers, staff, students, and visitors. Regardless of vaccination status, when they reopen in the fall. President Joe Biden said he understands that the regulations may be “disappointing” to the education community¨.

According to CDC data, the number of new Delta cases is over 83 percent. We are talking about areas of the country where vaccination rates are lower.

Final Thoughts

COVID school year affected all countries in some way. Some of them to a greater extent. The United States was one of the countries that suffered the most. However, when saying this, it is necessary to consider the amount of population it has. The process for the return to face-to-face classes was long overdue in the country. However, states such as New York are already returning to 100% attendance is a good sign.

Everywhere else in the world, the process was prolonged, constantly updating according to new contagions. Besides, this decision depends on the vaccination plan. It seems that the decision of the U.S. population not to vaccinate may affect the schools very much. Biden’s vaccination plan was not as successful as expected.

Now, the Delta variant seems to be a new problem for the U.S. education system. We will have to be attentive to the new updates and development of the virus to make decisions.

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James Trotta

James Trotta is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University. He is a degree holder in political science. His studies were a success after emerging among the top students in his class with an honors degree. James’ passion was deeply rooted in politics and news reporting, and he immediately joins the giant news company where he worked as a reporter and news editor for three years. The company locates in New York, and he is so much into US politics. James later quits the job to venture into something more focused on the needs of the people.

Trotta Now works as a writer delivering up-to-date news. He writes up-to-date information about politics, business, and entertainment because these are the lead Niches that directly influence people. James also participates in empowering young talents, where his focus is to mentor upcoming talents in the same field. James acknowledges that his happiness is when he sees young talents becoming an inspiration to many.

He is happy to live in New York since it is a center where he gets first-hand information from the US government. James Trotta hopes to be an ambassador of correct and up-to-date news to all US and international consumers.

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