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Back to School: Facing the Big Question on Our Minds

May 1st, 2020 by Catherine Cheng

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We all know that to connect with a consumer, we must first understand them. For parents, families, and students alike, the same question is dominating everyone’s mind: what will back to school look like this fall? For some answers, we turned to other countries and education experts.


Here’s what happening around the world:

In addition to hygiene measures, students in China are returning to school wearing homemade social distancing hats.

Social-distancing hats in Hangzhou, China — click for details

 

In Germany, state ministers of education are developing hygiene measures, bus plans, and staggered schedules to ensure social distancing. States are set to gradually reopen their schools in May by grade level, prioritizing students in pivotal years.

In Denmark, schools are trying to maintain social distancing by dividing up public spaces like school yards and staggering schedules. Students have even revised the rules of tag — touch a shadow, you’re ‘it’.

Outdoor activities in Denmark — click for details, via NBC News

 

In Taiwan, students are encouraged to keep their masks on all day. During lunch, students eat at their desks with plastic barriers around them.

Screens during lunch breaks in Taiwan — click for details, via CBC

 

Here are some predictions for what back to school could look in the US:

NPR suggests that schools could see smaller class sizes. The Washington Post predicts there could be one-way hallways and other measures to reduce crowding.

Enhanced hygiene measures — click for details, via NPR

 

Learning could look different. The Brookings Institute anticipates that technology will be better integrated into the classroom following the experimentation and exploration of remote learning. NPR predicts a greater emphasis on students’ social emotional learning.

Teachers’ roles might change. USA Today envisions that high risk teachers may teach from home while health teachers stay in schools. The Brookings Institute proposes that if technology is better used in the classroom, teachers may become more like mentors. 

Social-distancing markings in Germany — Click for details, via USA Today

 

McKinsey recommends that US schools reopen gradually, balancing the need to reopen for segments of students with what resources schools have to keep their students and staff safe.

Via US Census Bureau and McKinsey & Company — click for details

 

While coronavirus and remote learning have radically disrupted our homes, schools, and family lives, some experts suggest that this could be an opportunity to build back our schools stronger than ever before. To read more about the potential changes coming to the education space: check out Inside HigherEd.

With resilience and patience, we’ll find our way.

How are you managing working with kids from home? Drop a note and let us know. 

 

With love,

—refine+focus

 

Cover photo by Thought Catalog

 

 

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