DETROIT — With just days to go before the start of the new academic year, schools around the country are rushing to gather materials they never thought they would need: plexiglass dividers, piles of masks and internet hot spots to connect with students remotely.
And then there are schools that have an even more unusual list.
The Detroit Waldorf School in Michigan is buying carriage bolts, berry bushes and 8,000 square feet of cedar wood.
The San Francisco Unified School District has been busy gathering tree stumps.
And the Five Town Community School District in Maine is buying tents, yurts and enough all-weather snowsuits for each of its elementary school students.
These schools and districts are all laying the groundwork to move at least some instruction to outdoor classrooms. They’re making a bet that the lower risk of disease transmission in the open air, and the extra space outside for