New York City, home of the nation’s largest school district, will not reopen schools in September unless a five-point safety plan is adopted (“New York City Teachers Push for Specific Safety Measures Before Schools Reopen,” The Wall Street Journal, May 18). I hope the plan, which includes widespread testing, temperature-taking, rigorous cleaning and protective equipment, is followed by all other school districts.
But I wonder how it will be carried out in light of the size of the district. With 1,800 schools, it will be extremely difficult to do so. The average class has 30 students. How can social distancing be done? There are simply not enough classrooms to space students out.
Elementary school will be even more difficult because so many activities involve children working closely together. Will they be required to wear face masks? If so, will they keep their hands away from their faces?
When I was teaching high school in the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nearest restroom was too far away to allow me to thoroughly wash my hands and get back to my bungalow. Moreover, soap dispensers were rarely filled and paper towels were absent.
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