Amid a low local infection rate and starting with small clusters of students, Alcoa Middle School last week became one of the nation’s first schools to reopen its campus to students during the pandemic. Within two days, a teacher with the sniffles tested positive for COVID-19.
The school, just south of Knoxville, Tennessee, didn’t shutter its building, however, as certainly would have happened last spring when the coronavirus began to spread across America. Instead, school officials quickly notified students and staff who came in contact with the infected teacher and directed them either to quarantine for 14 days or provide medical documentation showing they can safely return. The school got a thorough cleaning, and classes resumed the next school day.
Welcome to what could be the new normal of education in the age of the coronavirus.