PHOTOS: how to go back to school safely during coronavirus pandemic

  • Teachers, students, and parents across the US are overwhelmingly concerned about going back to packed classrooms this fall, with the novel coronavirus still on the loose. 
  • President Donald Trump has been bullish about reopening schools to in-person classes, even as experts warn that is a very risky move. 
  • But there are many things that could be done to make classes safer, including holding them outside, insisting on masks, and keeping a good distance between students. These moves are already being tried out in other places around the world. 
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Teachers, parents, and students across the US are worried about returning to classrooms this fall, as the coronavirus continues to spread rapidly across America.

The nation’s largest school district in New York City is already preparing for a “blended” system of in-classroom and at-home learning in the fall. In Los Angeles, where coronavirus cases are surging, the district will be online-only when school resumes this August. 

“What we want to do is we want to get our schools open,” President Donald Trump said on July 7. “We want to get them open quickly, beautifully in the fall.”

But disease experts in the federal government maintain that holding traditional, full-size, in-person classes where students are not spaced apart during the pandemic is a very risky move. 

Complicating matters further, roughly one in five teachers across the US is over the age of 55, making them at high risk for dangerous coronavirus complications, if they were to contract the virus at school. 

“I am urging all schools to open, and to be providing their students a full-time education,” Education Secretary Betsy DeVos told CNN last Sunday, echoing President Trump. “The go-to needs to be kids in school, in person, in the classroom.” 

The truth, though, is that going back to school this fall does not have to be such a divisive, all-or-nothing, either jam-packed classrooms or distance learning-only proposition. Here are just a few of the creative, and often low-cost ways that students and teachers around the world have been holding classes, and keeping disease at bay:

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