ICE says international students cannot remain in US if schools are online only

International students taking classes in the U.S. this fall could be deported if their schools switch to online-only learning during the coronavirus pandemic, according to new guidelines released Monday by the U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement agency.

During the spring and summer, the government-run Student and Exchange Visitor program exempted international students from rules requiring enrollment in in-person classes to remain in the country.

On Monday, the program said it would soon issue a temporary final rule that walked back those exemptions for fall 2020. The guidelines come as colleges and universities across the state have begun to announce their plans for fall, most of which do not include fully reopening their campuses.

The California State University and California Community College system have decided to remain online, except for a small number of courses that cannot be taught through distance learning.

According to the guidelines, students with an F1 visa, the most commonly held student visa, cannot remain in the country while taking more than one online course, or three units. Students with M1 visas cannot enroll in any online classes. Hybrid courses are allowed — meaning students will be able to take a course if it’s at least partially taught in-person.

If classes are forced online-only again, which colleges have warned may happen if coronavirus infections surge, students will have to leave the country or transfer to another college that offers in-person classes. Students are allowed to take the online courses in their home country, according to the rule.

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Schools buy miles of plexiglass ahead of potential reopenings amid coronavirus pandemic

As millions of students return to school — be it K-12 or university — they’ll return to familiar settings in their classroom with one obvious addition: layers of plexiglass.

It remains unclear if schools — universities in particular — can reopen campuses amid a surge of coronavirus cases and new restrictions such as the 14-day quarantines demanded from those who travel from various to the tri-state area of Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.

Sheets of plexiglass would play a big role in a reopening, and schools across the country are investing in the plastic sheet to create a division in common spaces such as in libraries, classrooms — and even school buses — to defend against transmission of coronavirus.

“We’re hitting records… week in week out, at this point from a sales perspective,” Ryan Schroeder, CEO of Plaskolite, one of the country’s biggest plexiglass makers, told Yahoo Finance. “Orders have been substantially higher [than normal]. So we are really, at this point, running all our sheet machines at full capacity… around the clock.” 

Pupils sitting behind partition boards made of plexiglass attend a class at a primary school, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Den Bosch, Netherlands, May 8, 2020. (PHOTO: REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw)

Plexiglass seller is ‘hitting records’

A Dallas-area school district recently ordered 30,000 sheets of plexiglass, or about five miles.

In Roanoke County, Virginia, the school district has placed an order for 3,600 square feet of plexiglass “to create barriers for each school

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‘How the hell are we going to do this?’ The panic over reopening schools

Pediatricians say schools should strive to bring kids back to classrooms. Teachers unions are on the verge of revolt, in fear of infections. Local school districts are struggling with everything from technology to staging schools for socially distanced learning.

And Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is largely on the sidelines, saying the coronavirus back-to-school planning is a state and local issue.

No wonder parents across America are freaking out.

The CDC issued additional guidance this week on safely reopening schools, with infections spiking in the South and West. Some education leaders fear the guidelines are being disregarded, casting doubt anew on how the new school year will even be able to launch. Yet the beginning of the school year is nearing and worried parents are wondering if they will be able to count on in-person classes resuming by the time they must return to work, inextricably tying school reopenings to the revival of the economy.

In Virginia, Fairfax County’s teachers unions say teachers aren’t comfortable returning to schools and are encouraging members to state their preference for online learning until more information about face-to-face instruction is available. In Texas, the governor is now requiring face masks in public spaces in counties with 20 or more Covid-19 cases — but his order didn’t mention schools. Arizona has delayed schools’ reopening date until mid-August as cases surge.

From social distancing to health checks, the list of concerns is seemingly endless as school districts draft their plans, many of which are still in the

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You can’t reopen Florida schools when thousands of children are infected with COVID

In a blunt and candid response delivered in the midst of a recharged coronavirus crisis sweeping through Florida, Miami-Dade’s Superintendent of Schools confessed that he can’t “guarantee” social distancing when schools open in the fall.

Of course he can’t.

Kids will be kids — and Miami-Dade’s school district is the fourth-largest in the nation.

That’s a heady combination.

Crowded halls. Crowded classrooms. Crowded cafeterias.

“Part of the [reopening] plan relies on increased social distancing, but we cannot guarantee six feet of distance,” Alberto Carvalho said during a virtual School Board meeting to vote on an opening plan for the fall that — thankfully — gives parents options.

Because the times aren’t right for a return to campus at all.

The hot summer months were supposed to bring less coronavirus infection, but the complete opposite has happened. Florida is seeing record numbers of coronavirus cases — not only in the 18-34 group of asymptomatic super spreaders, but also among children and adolescents.

“Our plan includes the ability to quickly pivot to an online- or distance-learning model should conditions worsen significantly,” Carvalho said.

But, how much worse does it have to get than what we’re experiencing now?

If schools weren’t considered safe when the novel coronavirus made its presence known in early March, they’re most certainly not safe now that we’re seeing stratospheric numbers of COVID-19 infections in Florida.

Thursday, the state set yet another single-day record with 10,000 new cases, and people in Miami-Dade are reporting that testing sites are fully

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If schools don’t reopen, will parents have to choose between jobs and kids?

With as little as a month before school starts in some areas and COVID-19 diagnoses spiking in some of those same places, parents are wondering whether they have to choose between their jobs and their kids.

“This situation isn’t just untenable, it’s impossible.”

After word reached parents in New York City that the department of education was considering a hybrid plan for reopening schools that would allow students at school for part of the week, Smitten Kitchen founder Deb Perelman tweeted what she later called the “primal scream that we — and countless other parents for whom this situation isn’t just untenable, it’s impossible — have been feeling since March.”


Perelman said a hybrid reopening plan would leave working parents “ground up in the gears” between reopened cities and closed or partially closed schools.


“I wish someone would just say the quiet part out loud,” Perelman tweeted. “In the COVID economy, you’re only allowed a kid OR a job.”

Perelman concluded her self-described rant, “What I am simmering with white hot rage over is the idea that both plans are moving ahead — an open economy but mostly closed schools, camps — as if it would be totally okay if a generation of parents lost their careers, insurance, and livelihoods in the process. It’s outrageous.”

Other school systems have begun to announce plans, including those for Lexington, Massachusetts, public schools, where the only two options for parents and students will be remote learning or a hybrid plan.

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