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Sunday, 19 July 2020

The fight over going back to school: Students and parents in California and Utah push for classrooms to fully reopen whileIowa governor overrules o

Students and parents gathered in California on Saturday to urge the governor to reopen their schools. 
Only officials in Florida, Hawaii and Connecticut have explicitly stated they want students to return to school on a full-time basis in the fall. 
In those states, unions, teachers and parents have expressed outrage and are trying to resist the move.   
Meanwhile, Arizona, Kansas and Texas have officially pushed back the start of their school year amid surging numbers of COVID-19 infections.
Protesters in California on Saturday called for the reopening of their schools in the fall
Protesters in California on Saturday called for the reopening of their schools in the fall
The group demanded to be allowed to resume in-class tuition and sports coaching
The group demanded to be allowed to resume in-class tuition and sports coaching
In Iowa Kim Reynolds, the Republican governor, announced that she was over-ruling local school districts, which were limiting in-person classes this fall to just one day a week.
Kim Reynolds, the governor of Iowa, on Friday ordered that schools must teach in-person for at least half of the week, rather than one day
Kim Reynolds, the governor of Iowa, on Friday ordered that schools must teach in-person for at least half of the week, rather than one day
'One of the most important milestones in our recovery effort is getting Iowa students back to school,' she said on Friday. 
'And while we all know this school year will be different than ever before, it's critical that we prioritize bringing Iowa's children back to the classroom safely and responsibly.'
Reynolds's mandate would require students to spend at least 50 per cent of the school week in the school building.
As of Friday, nearly 38,000 Iowans have tested positive for coronavirus, and more than 780 people in the state have died. 
Dozens of students and parents rallied in California on Saturday, gathering outside Foothill High School in North Tustin, 35 miles south of downtown Los Angeles.
'Back in school, back in sports,' they chanted, the day after Governor Gavin Newsom announced that most Southern California counties will not be allowed to reopen campuses this fall unless conditions improve.

'There isn't learning that's happening,' one local mother told KTLA, condemning online instruction. 
'It's busy work that's assigned, not evaluated, not turned back with any response or feedback.'
Staff in Texas install a plexiglass screen in the restroom at Bukhair Elementary School in Dallas
Staff in Texas install a plexiglass screen in the restroom at Bukhair Elementary School in Dallas
A high school in Wylie, Texas, is cleaned in preparation for students returning to class
A high school in Wylie, Texas, is cleaned in preparation for students returning to class
As of Friday, Orange County, in which North Tustin sits, has recorded 469 coronavirus deaths and more than 28,300 positive cases. The region is outpacing the rest of Southern California for COVID-19 spread.
'We're not saying there shouldn't be masks, there shouldn't be plexiglass, there shouldn't be face shields for teachers or anything to that extent,' said one father. 
'We are saying these kids should be in school. 
'They should be able to learn and educate and socialize and do all the things that children do at this point in their lives.' 
One student told KTLA he was not too concerned about the coronavirus, and that his online projects were not forcing him to learn.
'It's really easy to get answers from online,' he said.
A student athlete highlighted the role of sports in some young people's lives.
'It's definitely hard on my life not being able to go outside and play every day, practice a couple hours,' he said. 
'Without that in my life, I'm missing part of myself.' 
Protesters in Utah on Wednesday demanded their children not wear face masks
Protesters in Utah on Wednesday demanded their children not wear face masks
In Utah on Wednesday, a group of parents protested against suggestions that their children wear face masks. 
In North Carolina, a group of around 60 students made their feelings known on Friday at a Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Education Board meeting. 
Luke Pike, a rising senior at East Forsyth, said he and the rest of the students hoped to make a final plea for a better split between a virtual and actual classroom.
'I already know my high school experience is going to be different because we had the last year cut off, and we might not have this year,' the 17-year-old said.  
'It's just the fact that there are going to be many people who struggle to learn that way. 
'They're not going to get the same education as they would just being in person.'
Ethan Bormann agreed, telling the Winston-Salem Journal that remote learning last year was 'a failure.'
'That's the best light I can put it in,' he said. 'It was eight hours of busy work.
'For the tougher classes, someone getting their certified nursing assistant (certification), automotive maintenance class, AP calculus - you can't learn that the way you should on a computer. 
'And so we really need to be in class to work it out.'
Their pleas were ineffective, however.
On Friday evening the board voted to have online-only classes for at least the first nine weeks of the fall term. 
The White House has strongly backed calls for students to return to classrooms.
'We don't think our children should be locked up at home with devastating consequences when it's perfectly safe for them to go to school,' White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. 
'The science should not stand in the way of this.
'The science is on our side here, and we encourage for localities and states to just simply follow the science, open our schools.'
A state-by-state map shows millions of American schoolchildren will be back in the classroom - at least on a part-time basis - when the 2020-2021 academic year commences next month 
A state-by-state map shows millions of American schoolchildren will be back in the classroom from the fall. 
Almost all students have been learning from home since the coronavirus pandemic forced schools to shutter across the country in mid-March, but many are set to reopen their doors from next month, despite the fact that cases of COVID-19 continue to surge.  
However, while millions of students will be back in the classroom, most will only attend on a part-time basis.  
At present, it appears most are opting for a partial reopening - a mix of in-person and online learning. School attendance will be staggered to ensure that students can practice social distancing. 
Schoolchildren may be required to attend classes in person no more than two or three days per week.
For those schools that do reopen from next month, most will be following CDC guidelines, which include having students and teachers stay six feet apart from one another. Most schools will require children and faculty to don face masks inside. 

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