By Leonid Nevezhin
On March 15, 2020, Mayor Bill de Blaiso announced that all New York City schools will be closed in order to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. He stated that it was an “extraordinarily painful” moment for the city’s schooling system.
These were not the only schools that closed down in the country. At its peak,124,000 public and private schools closed and over 55.1 million students were affected.
However, the sudden change to students and teachers learning and working from home may have many varying effects on the educational system in schools and institutions.
1. Schools go online during snow days and out-of-school suspensions
As schools across America are wrapping up the 2019-2020 school year, it would mark about 2-3 months of school being conducted online.
These 2-3 months have allowed for both students and teachers to become better adjusted to the new situation. Now, students are much less shocked by this interface and way of learning.
An idea that schools and institutions might try out is continuing school online during snow days or for those students who are suspended out of school.
But, believe it or not, continuing education through school days may actually have more negative effects than positive ones.
According to an article published by the National Education Association, teachers actually use this time to catch up on emails, grading, and planning lesson plans which would be taken away with the introduction of online school during snow days.
And as for students, it is always assumed that more time spent learning contributes to better results. However, according to research conducted by a Harvard professor, the amount of snow days has absolutely no effect on children’s math and reading test scores.
Also, according to a study published in 2013 in the journal Evolutionary Psychology, cold temperatures cause people to be less cooperative and trusting, which are both essential skills in order to be able to learn.
So, continuing school during snow days is evidently not a good idea, but it’s a different story for out-of-school suspensions.
Students are most often suspended from school for the violent or inappropriate behavior that they have displayed. But when students go through the work they were assigned and receive little to no guidance, it results in long-term, negative impacts.
According to research conducted by the University of North Carolina Population Center, five years after a student’s first suspension, they were 8% less likely to receive a high school diploma and 40% more likely to have been arrested.
In conclusion, continuing school online through snow days will have a much more negative impact on both students and teachers, but teaching students who have been suspended online will have a very positive impact on the student’s lives and future development.
2. Better health services will be available in school
This would be a big change, according to a National Public Radio episode titled “No, The School Nurse Is Not In”, more than half of American schools do not have a full time nurse and many of these are being let go.
This is already adding to the problem that most schools have only one nurse to look after over 1,000-1,500 students.
The situation can be best summed up by a quote from Oakland school nurse, Liz Hurt, “It’s challenging, it’s nerve-wracking. Nurses are going to work and they’re afraid. They’re just praying to get to Friday with nothing bad happening!”
This pandemic might remind officials of the importance of healthcare and cause them to better staff schools with trained medical professionals.
3. More children can receive education online
These past few months, educators and students have gotten used to learning and working online.
This means that teachers can now teach children that do not go to school online. This can open a world of possibilities.
Theoretically, students can access the internet through a personal or public computer and attend classes, complete homework and assignments and learn.
So potentially, as a result of the closing of schools to prevent the virus, the 264 million students that do not go to school can receive an education, which is incredibly crucial to not only their development, but the development of the rest of the world and society as a whole.
Educated kids will grow up to be educated adults and educated adults will be better equipped to lead society forward.
In conclusion, COVID-19’s effect on school closures could lead to many new creative ideas and changes in the future that can be both bad and good.
The opinions and views expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not reflect the views, opinions or standpoints of Youth4Better. Any content published in this blog is not with the intent of harm towards any religion, ethnicity, race, organization, club, society, individual, or anyone or anything.