Reopening School and Childcare Buildings During COVID-19

Reopening Schools 

Schools are important. They have many roles. They’re educational institutions. And they support a child’s whole development. Also, they balance out variances in education. What causes these variances? A number of things. However, access is the biggest. Certain communities don’t have access to academic resources. These are things we take for granted. Schools help bridge this divide. How? Firstly, they offer meal programs. Next, they give students emotional, behavioral, and mental health supports. Finally, they prepare students for transition programs.

Reopening Schools

COVID changed the way schools operated. We figured that would happen. Safety was the number one priority. So, virtual instruction was the only learning model. Months have passed. And schools are reconsidering that instruction model. The reason? Some children don’t benefit from it. In fact, some children lose skills.

We don’t know why this happens. There’s no definitive reason. But, there are a number of beliefs. First, some students are hands-on-learners. Simple enough. Also, some populations can’t access virtual instruction. Examples include students with special needs, English language learners, and under-served communities. The first two groups need interventions from a skilled professional. Parents do the best they can. But, they don’t have the same skills. Under-served communities don’t have the resources needed for virtual instruction. For instance, internet, laptop, and in some cases power.

Schools considered these barriers. They also thought about long-term outcome of this teaching model. And as a result, many schools advocate for some type of face-to-face instruction. This allows them to address educational variances. And, students get supports they need for success. For instance, tutoring, special education, and learning supports. Schools have guidelines to keep staff and students safe.

  • Practice preventative measures
  • Temperature checks
  • Frequent cleaning of buildings
  • Flexible learning models
  • Stagger student attendance 
  • Plan for new COVID cases

Learning Models


Cohorts are also called learning pods. They’re recommended to limit transitions in school. And to limit exposure. But, how? And, how would this look in schools? Good questions! They’re small groups of students. Students stay with their “pod” the whole day. So, cohorts, COVID screening procedures, and preventative measures limit infections.

Hybrid Education Models

hybrid educational model combines face-to-face and virtual learning. It’s also called “blended learning.” This model would consider student’s different learning styles. Also, it reduces the number of students in the building at a time.

Child Care Facilities

Child care facilities closed. And, parents were home with their kids. However, jobs are reopening. Parents have to go back to work. But, they need child care. Examples include daycare, head start programs, and pre-k programs. The good news is, some child care facilities have reopened. Their guidelines are similar to schools. However, the kids are younger. So, there are a few more safeguards in place.

  • Close when there’s a positive case
  • Staff and children 2+ years wear face coverings. However, children under 2 don’t have to wear one
  • Monitor absences
  • Create a back-up plan for. That is, plan for closures