School districts all over the United States are grappling with the prospect of reopening schools in August and September. Though school leaders want to give kids in-person instruction from which they benefit most (plus free up parents to return to work), they are mired in difficult questions:
How do we keep kids safe? What’s the plan if kids, teachers, or parents get sick? How should we respond if there’s an outbreak in our region? How can we afford to improve ventilation systems and keep facilities clean to combat the virus?
On July 15, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) published a report attempting to answer those questions, in service of helping schools try to reopen in the fall. While the report may not offer much new information, it’s one of few concrete guidances available to US educators.