It’s been more than a year since many California school’s announced that closures would begin as a result of the novel coronavirus. At the time, excited students talked over announcements, stating shutdowns would only last a couple weeks at most. Now, after that time has increased by more than anybody expected, the long “vacation” is nearing its end, leaving parents, students, and teachers questioning what the next academic year has in store.
While the nature of learning next year depends greatly on the district and location, almost all schools are returning to some mode of in-person education. For some, that yields returning to the normalcy of academic rigor, but for others, remote learning will remain in the picture by the means of a hybrid curriculum. By Fall 2021, all teachers and staff members will be fully vaccinated and protected, but students, specifically those not yet in high-school, will not. As a result, masks and other precautions will remain as they have all year.
Returning to school also brings into question some of its other aspects, like clubs, sports, and even lunch. Answers vary across the board. Some think students will be eating in the cafeteria while others say they will be eating in classrooms. Similarly, some state sports and other extracurriculars are good to go while others are still unsure. Ultimately, the regulations and overall structure of learning next year is not a general consensus and will differ greatly depending on the district.
Just as opinions of these aspects differ between administration members, means of learning will also vary throughout the states. In Albany, Superintendent Kaweeda Adams is creating two forms of hybrid learning and one in-person method for next year’s return. Time will tell which one she decides to implement. Meanwhile, larger school districts like those in Chicago and Los Angeles, are struggling to welcome students partly back in the spring, while some, including San Francisco and Newark, are continuing to only offer online classes. In contrast, schools in predominantly Republican or rural areas have already reopened earlier in the year.
In conclusion, while it’s apparent that the verdict hasn’t been completely decided and decisions remain in the hands of school districts, it is safe to say that almost all schools will be returning next year in some form or another. Students should begin to readjust themselves to how they were in the spring of 2020 as the promise of school next year is starting to look very likely!