Late last week, the Centers for Disease Control released its “decision tree” designed to aid school administrators in determining when they could, or should, reopen their K-12 schools closed since the spring by COVID-19.

Safety is the number one criterion for reopening. The CDC guidelines state that unless you can screen students and employees “upon arrival for symptoms and history of exposure” to the virus then “DO NOT OPEN”.

There are other steps and recommendations in the flow chart, and ultimately it will be up to state and local officials to make the decision.

For legendary independent schools educator Reveta Bowers the most critical question after “when will schools reopen” is “what will our schools look like when they do.”

Bowers, the former Head of School for the Center for Early Education in West Hollywood, California, is my guest this week on the latest Work in Progress podcast.

She gives the nation’s schools an “A for effort” when they were forced to shut down quickly and shift to remote learning in March. “I think every school has embraced technology to the greatest extent possible, and to the greatest extent that technology was developmentally appropriate for the students they were serving.”

But she points out, technology was not equally available to all students. “We knew that socioeconomically—as well as because of where those students were located—they weren’t all going to have equal access to the programs that schools were trying to push out in their distance learning platforms.”

Administrators, she says, will have to figure out how to get systems in place that will best serve all students, and that could be challenging.

Bowers offers some ideas on how to achieve this goal in this episode. You can listen to the entire podcast here, or you can download it wherever you get your podcasts.

Episode 134: Reveta Bowers, Former Head of School for the Center for Early Education
Host: Ramona Schindelheim, Editor-in-Chief, WorkingNation
Producer: Larry Buhl
Executive Producers: Joan Lynch, Melissa Panzer, and Ramona Schindelheim
Music: Composed by Lee Rosevere and licensed under CC by 4.0.

You can check out all the other podcasts at this link: Work in Progress podcasts

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