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Making Social distancing work in 2020.

By Dr. Pelham Mead

Here are the numbers concerning elementary and secondary school classrooms. Normally on the secondary level 32 students in a class is the norm. This number is also part of the Teacher’s Union contract. The classrooms are built to hand no more than 32-35 desks and chairs. One solution to the Corona virus pandemic for schools is to cut the class size in half to 16 and shorten the class times to 20 minutes. The eight classes a day would be doubled to equal 16 shortened periods. In a day only five classes are academic courses. The lunch period takes up one period and the remaining two classes are often Study Halls, School service, and elective courses. What makes a change in the class times is negotiations with the Teacher Union to change an ages old eight period day to sixteen short Periods. If School districts could get over this obstacle, then Education can finally change it’s age old format.

I don’t believe two days of face to fact contact and three days of online courses is a wise approach. It does not provide for reduced class sizes with 32 students packed into the same small classrooms. This approach invites spreading of the virus by just one or two students.

School districts have historically never been able to make long term future changes in education easily. Politics get in the way and political interests over-ride the real needs of the students.

It is time to make some drastic school day changes.