IN CALIFORNIA, SOME SCHOOLS REOPEN FOR VULNERALBE STUDENTS
EDUTOPIA by Nora Fleming
A fold-out table now blocks the entrance to Marin County’s Community School, where a staff member in a face mask stands, poised with an infrared thermometer and a container of Clorox wipes. As students arrive, she scans each child’s forehead to make sure their temperature reads no higher than 100.4, then asks four questions about their health.
“Do you or anyone you live with have close contact with anyone with a prolonged cough, fever, flu-like symptoms, or with anyone who has been diagnosed with Covid-19 within the last 14 days?” she begins. Once the health and safety i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed, the student enters the building and heads to class... - - - Candice Aguirre, a science teacher at Marin’s Community School, reports the same enthusiasm from her returning students, many of whom were upset that the school closed and struggled to fully engage with virtual learning. The school serves secondary school students who did not thrive in more traditional schools and greatly rely on the in-person connections with teachers and peers to motivate them, she said.
While the first day back “was a bit awkward at first,” staying six feet apart and wearing masks, everyone seems to be adjusting, said Aguirre, who feels the hardest part will be the lack of human contact—the high fives, the hugs—that played an important role at her school before Covid-19. She predicts that the fall will have a similar blend of virtual and in-person learning like the school is doing now: Each grade, seventh through 12th, attends school on a specific day; on other days, they learn from home.