Schools weigh outdoor learning as education crisis solution during coronavirus

Children sitting under a shade tree learning their ABCs and multiplication tables might sound like a scene from a long-lost era, but it also might be the answer for some school systems desperately seeking ways to resume operations.

With school buildings shuttered and complaints surging about the shortcomings of online instruction, some administrators are going back to the future by taking advantage of balmy fall climates and the relative safety of the great outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Utah, teachers at the Salt Lake Center for Science Education are selecting spots that offer plentiful shade and good Wi-Fi access for students returning to the physical classroom next month.

In Bend, Oregon, preschool children at Bend Forest School will forge ahead with another year — with boots, mittens and scarfs at the ready — to learn and play in the woods. Bend is one of hundreds of “forest schools” across

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Conspiracy theories around COVID-19 continue to spread. Experts weigh in on why people believe them.

More than 200 people gathered at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus to protest the face mask mandate that multiple counties are under in the state. (Photo: Megan Jelinger/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
More than 200 people gathered at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus to protest the face mask mandate that multiple counties are under in the state. (Photo: Megan Jelinger/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

When Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Republican who has publicly shunned face masks, tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, the news sparked a chain reaction. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced new rules that required lawmakers to wear masks on the House floor, and several members of the House revealed that they were planning to go into quarantine.

Soon after, Gohmert released a video on Twitter, revealing that he is asymptomatic. He then shared a conspiracy theory about wearing masks that, apparently, he also believes. Gohmert said he “can’t help but wonder” if he contracted COVID-19 from adjusting his mask with his hands. “It is interesting, and I don’t know about everybody, but when I have a mask

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CPS parents weigh difficult options for fall as officials try to quell fears about open schools and remote learning

Parents clamored for details about remote learning options at Chicago Public Schools’ fourth virtual feedback session on Thursday, even as officials laid out plans for a partial return to the classroom this fall and said an eventual return to the classroom is inevitable.

“At some point students will return to school,” said CPS CEO Janice Jackson. “It may be on Sept. 8, it’s possible it could be later in the year, but whatever the case may be, students will be returning to school.”

Jackson and other CPS leaders described the district’s tentative hybrid plan for fall, which for most students would include two days of in-person instruction, with students grouped in small “pods” meant to silo them off reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. The rest of the week would involve two days of remote learning and one day with live online classes.

Officials, including Chicago’s Public Health Commissioner

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Your kids could get the coronavirus when they go back to school. These are the risks and benefits to weigh before sending them.

school coronavirus
school coronavirus


  • Parents are weighing the coronavirus-related risks of sending their kids to school against the education and social losses of keeping them home. 

  • Kids are generally less susceptible to severe illness than adults, but it’s still possible for them to be infected. 

  • Keeping your child home could negatively impact their mental health and delay their social and educational development. 

  • The prevalence of the virus in your community and your school’s plans for controlling the virus also matter. 

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

This was supposed to be Vanessa Wingerath’s “golden year.” For the first time, her three young children would all be in school, and the Tucson-based doula would have more time to focus on herself and career.  

Then the coronavirus pandemic hit, and sending kids to school was no longer a given. 

Sending only one or two kids to school could topple the family dynamic. Keeping

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Foreign students weigh studying in person vs. losing visas

PHOENIX (AP) — International students worried about a new immigration policy that could potentially cost them their visas say they feel stuck between being unnecessarily exposed during the coronavirus pandemic and being able to finish their studies in America.

The students from countries as diverse as India, China and Brazil say they are scrambling to devise plans after federal immigration authorities notified colleges this week that international students must leave the U.S. or transfer to another college if their schools operate entirely online this fall. Some say they are thinking about returning home or moving to nearby Canada.

“I’m generating research, I’m doing work in a great economy,” said Batuhan Mekiker, a Ph.D. student from Turkey studying computer science at Montana State University in Bozeman. He’s in the third year of a five-year program.

”If I go to Turkey, I would not have that,” he said. “I would like to

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Teachers weigh risks as COVID-19 looms

Christy Karwatt teaches social studies, but she’s been thinking more like a math teacher the last few days.

At 61, the Sarasota High teacher is entering her 27th year in Florida’s retirement system, and she loves her job. She had planned on teaching three more years to maximize her retirement payment. 

But as COVID-19 cases continue to spike across the state and the country, officials are pouring on pressure to reopen schools full time this fall.

On Monday, Florida’s education commissioner ordered the state’s schools to open full-time in August. U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday criticized plans to offer in-person instruction only a few days a week. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reworking its guidance on reopening schools after President Donald Trump thought the guidelines were too tough. 

Early guidance from health experts: Scheduled days home, more online learning, lots of hand-washing

In the

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