With businesses and restaurants adapting to new post-pandemic guidelines, so must schools that will be back in session come fall. Perhaps the recent lockdowns served as a dress rehearsal for educators, parents, and students for what is to come. We are surrounded by schools. The public elementary school is across the street and on the other side of the block are three church-affiliated schools. For decades, I have enjoyed seeing little ones arriving for class in the morning –- on foot, on bicycles, on razors, by car or by school bus. Some are dropped off early, others hustle to get there before the bell rings and the gates are locked. All the while, crossing guards make sure students get across the street safely. After 45 minutes, it’s quiet again. I miss the activity.
But this year will be different. Students and teachers will be wearing masks, there will be social distancing, classes will be smaller and there will be distance learning. Classes may even be staggered on different days of the week according to grade level.
This will be a test not only for families and the school system, but for entire communities.