K-12 Schools Press to Reopen as Omicron Variant Surges

Douglas Belkin:

K-12 schools around the country are pressing forward with tentative plans to reopen after the holiday break in the midst of a surge in Covid-19 cases. Their biggest challenge: getting enough rapid tests to be able to step up or launch “test-to-stay” strategies.

School-district superintendents are weighing how—and when—to reopen, a decision driven partly by the availability of tests. The superintendents have different appetites for risk, and the level of teacher enthusiasm for returning to the classroom varies. Regional surges in pediatric hospitalizations for Covid-19 are contributing to differences across the country.

In contrast to 2020, there is much broader support to continue school in-person following the grim record of remote teaching on student mental health and learning loss.

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