As we try to forget how school ended in Bismarck Mandan this Spring and enjoy our Summer.  The reality, we are 3 months from another school year starting.  Do we have a plan?  The realization that August will be here before you know it, and will we find ourselves rushed and unprepared?  In reality, I don't think anybody really knows what's going to happen at this point, but we do have some clues.

Universities around the country, including those in South Dakota just announced that they will start classes in the school room but will go to distance learning after Thanksgiving break.  According to an article in U.S. News students will complete final exams remotely. The adjusted schedule will reduce student travel and the risk of coronavirus infections spreading on campus, said Regents President John W. Bastian.  California Universities have a similar plan.  Safe to say North Dakota Universities won't be far behind this announcement?

So how about K-12?  Lot's of plans are being discussed.  Including staggering class start times, floor markings to help students and teachers to try to stay six feet apart.  Temperature scans, but the cost could prohibit that.  You may see a situation where students go to class 2 or 3 times a week and a couple days of on-line distance learning.  This would give a day for deep cleanings at the schools.  So what about lunch?  One option includes students eating in the class rooms or spacing out on cafeteria tables.  Social distancing is easier for older students, than say elementary students.  It would be difficult for parents with jobs to find people to watch their elementary children as well.  That's why it seems unlikely to me that children K-5 would take days off during the week, unless a second round of the pandemic really hits us.  Then getting children home on buses presents new challenges when it comes to social distancing.  Hiring more bus drivers and having more buses running seems very unlikely considering the cost.

According to Education Dive Governor Doug Burgum met with President Trump in mid May and strongly suggested that schools should open this Fall, but said he would leave it the hands of the Governors.  How it all plays out remains to be seen.



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