As we enter the first months of summer, and the fourth month of kids homeschooling, distance schooling, or no schooling at all, parents are beginning to wonder. What should we expect after the summer break is over, and will things go back to normal? What about social distancing? Should parents expect to continue bearing the load of parent/teacher? Gildshire looked at plans in place across the country to answer the question. Can I expect my child to physically be in school this Fall? We look at colleges and Universities this time, but you should expect an article about the younger grades later in the summer.
“I Have a College-Age Student. What’s Up For Him?”
According to information compiled mid-June, about two-thirds of the colleges and universities intend to begin fall classes with students on campus. This from the Chronicle of Higher Education. The number of schools to reopen includes Syracuse University. And John J. Hurley, president of Canisius College, had this to say about the momentum to reopen.
“Not a lot of people had to convince the governor colleges and universities in the state must reopen. There is a lot at stake for the economy of New York State, for the economy of lots of small towns where these colleges are the big game in town.”
Much is at stake for colleges, too. The pandemic has placed higher education under intense financial pressures. Colleges are worried their student enrollments will take a hit if instruction remains solely online.
St. Bonaventure, too, hopes to resume classes on campus when the semester starts Aug. 31. But the University is not quite ready to make that commitment until it gets more guidance from the state, said Thomas Missel, St. Bonny’s chief communications officer.
So, colleges are planning their socially distancing, how to clean campuses like crazy, how to quarantine if/when an outbreak takes place, and how to conduct ongoing testing.
What Should I Expect for My Student When She Returns to School?
Lots of masks, according to school officials, as well as a commitment to temperature checks. In dining halls, the buffet-style meals students expect will be replaced by individual servings prepared by the cafeteria staff. In hallways, one-way markers will pop up, guiding walkers down some stairwells and up others. A student who had a roommate last spring can expect to be solo this year.
What About in the Classroom?
Half of the class may be in one room, and a half could be in the classroom next door with a video link between the two. The professor might actually walk back and forth. One outside the box strategy emerging among some colleges on a semester schedule is to adjust this upcoming fall semester. The schools would keep students on campus through Thanksgiving, as usual. Then the students could finish the semester from home. This would avoid the danger of the students bringing the COVID-19 virus back to school.
Are Any Schools Wary About Returning to In-Person Education?
There are places where the question will your kids physically be in school this year is still up for grabs. Some colleges and universities in the State University of New York collegiate system are cautious about making announcements. Phase two of reopening from New York’s coronavirus shutdown order just started for some. In-person education is in Phase four.
“We are working in close coordination with the state and campus presidents regarding potential scenarios for the fall semester,” SUNY spokeswoman Holly Liapis said. “Our collective and primary concern will always be to ensure students have a safe and healthy environment for learning.”