Our opinion: No easy school solutions
Warren County parents, students and other community stakeholders all agree that they want to see schools open in the fall.
How, exactly, that will happen is anybody’s guess. Reading the comments made by Amy Stewart, Warren County school superintendent, however, it’s apparent that no one should get the feeling that schools will be back to normal in a scant few months.
More guidance is needed from state and federal officials on exact social distancing measures in classrooms and on school buses.
Enforcing 6 feet of separation in all instances, however, will break both the bank and your wallet. Classrooms that typically have 24 students in them would average between seven and 14, depending on the school, while buses that typically carry 72 students at a time could only carry 12 at a time.
Finding additional classroom space in former school buildings would increase costs exponentially — about $2 million for 20 teachers, Stewart said.
Stewart is also concerned with the health of the district’s older teachers, 20% of whom are considered at-risk of catching COVID-19. The district could not find enough substitute teachers if those 72 teachers are ever out on the same day.
School board officials expect to make recommendations in about a week and decisions in mid-July. Right now, all we know for sure is this is going to get messy.