Coronavirus scare causes schools to consider going online

Rising cases of coronavirus in the US are forcing schools to consider going online to combat the spread of the virus. The latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows 708 Americans have already been tested with the virus. The CDC data also showed that 27 Americans have died as a direct result of the coronavirus infection.

When Saint Raphael Academy students returned from a trip to Italy, cases of coronavirus were detected in the school. This forced the school to close down, thereby disrupting the normal education calendar.

Coronavirus schools lookdown

However, the school has taken measures to ensure that the students are not losing their precious time from this lockdown of the school. They implemented online classes where students were able to continue with their studies. The online platform also allowed the students to chat with their teachers and interact with them face to face through video calls.

Just a few miles away from the Academy, another charter school was placed on lockdown in fear of coronavirus. One of their teachers had traveled with Saint Raphael Academy staff and students to Italy. As a precaution, the school administration decided to close for a few weeks as they wait for the test of coronavirus.

The charter school, however, has gone in the opposite direction from the one taken by the academy. The school administration did not implement an online platform where students could continue with their studies. The school decided to have a break just as they would on an icy week, where students are allowed not to attend school.

Affected students in Numbers

This is the dilemma schools in the united states are having when dealing with the closure of schools due to fears of coronavirus. While some have taken steps to ensure that the lockdown does not disrupt the learning schedule of the students, some are just hoping that things will return to normal as soon as possible.

Failing to provide an alternative during this lockdown will prove to be disastrous based on data released by UNESCO. It showed that more than 300 million students’ education has been disrupted in the 22 most-affected countries. This disruption ranges from school closures to students being infected with the virus.

Taking classes online

Considerations for putting classes online, therefore, has dominated the conversation on what the US schools should do. Washington, one of the hardest-hit states by the virus, for instance, is against putting classes online.

Education officials in the state recommended that the schools should not put their learning resources online unless they were sure that no students would be disadvantaged. They argued that, should schools take that path, many will be disenfranchised and only a few of the students will be able to access the lessons.

Rhett Nelson, director of alternative learning at the state’s education department in the state put out a statement which read,

We are putting out a word of caution about the equity lens, We want to discourage practices that disproportionately impact certain populations, especially those that are more at risk.

The conversation on which direction these schools will take will continue as the virus continues to spread across the country. Whichever direction the schools take, it should be out of students’ best interests and schools should also consider the public health safety of their decision.