Local schools look overseas for reopening guidance

They're examining what's happening in Australia, South Korea, Israel, China and Germany.

Brian Kelly
July 01, 2020 - 4:17 pm

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - As local school administrators put together plans to reopen for the fall semester, they are scouring the Earth for guidance.

The 59 area superintendents and principals who are members of Education Plus spent Wednesday morning checking out what's being done in Australia, Israel, Germany, South Korea and China.

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"Each of them had a different take on the way they brought students back," says CEO Paul Ziegler. "Whether that was with a mask or with different distancing policies in place."

He says in Asia mask wearing was commonplace even before the outbreak while Australia brought students back without masks. Some have instituted one-way hallways and having teachers, instead of students, change classes. 

Ziegler says the data shows that no matter how they reopened, those countries are not seeing coronavirus transmission among students as a major concern.

"Schools haven't been a real hotbed for contracting the virus or spreading the virus, at this point," he says. "Now granted," he adds, "that's based on what we know now. That could change if we see another country that opens with some different standards in place."

Education Plus members plan to release reopening plans on July 20, but with COVID still spreading, Ziegler says those plans will probably be written in pencil rather than in ink.

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