Coronarvius concerns shut several schools across U.S.

Northshore School District north of Seattle closed Thursday for up two weeks
By: | March 6, 2020
Coronavirus is forcing more school closures and shifts to online education on both coasts.Coronavirus is forcing more school closures and shifts to online education on both coasts.

Coronavirus concerns have shut schools from coast to coast, with administrators from Washington to California to Pennsylvania shutting buildings for up to two weeks.

The Northshore School District north of Seattle will shift to online education after closing Thursday for up two weeks.

A parent/volunteer at one of the district’s elementary schools tested positive for the virus on Thursday while all 26 of district’s schools have faced direct and indirect exposure to the COVID-19 virus, Superintendent Michelle Reid said in a message to families.

As the district’s online learning page will guide students in shifting to online education. Students who don’t have adequate access will receive devices and Wi-Fi hot spots from the district, Reid said.

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“Our instructional staff have and will continue to develop their skills for providing instruction to our students within an online environment,” Reid wrote.

Lowell High School in San Francisco USD closed Thursday and Friday after a relative of a student tested positive for COVID-19, the San Francisco Examiner reported.

The student has not shown symptoms but has been quarantined, the district said.

North of Philadelphia, five schools in the Central Bucks School District were closed Friday after members of the community were “exposed to a confirmed case of the coronavirus that originated in another state,” Superintendent John J. Kopicki wrote on the district’s website.

Two elementaries, two middle schools and one high school were shuttered. The Bucks County health department is evaluating the exposed individuals to determine when they may return to school, Kopicki wrote.

Yet, health officials across the country have been hesitant to recommend school closures, in part, because coronavirus has had limited effect on children, Reuters reported.

Jeffrey Duchin, health officer for Seattle and King County, told Reuters that sending students home to grandparents or older caregivers could expose them to the virus.

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But children who are carrying the infection but not showing symptoms could be an “invisible reservoir: for community spread, Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told Reuters.

Teaching online during coronavirus

The threat of coronavrius has many district leaders preparing for a shift to online education and learning should extended school closures occur.

The nonprofit Common Sense has compiled the following list of digital tools for teaching online:

Common Sense also offers lessons in digital communication:

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