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How schools can reopen during the COVID-19 crisis

In this webinar, McKinsey experts discuss how to reopen schools around the globe safely and effectively.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shuttered schools across the globe, affecting approximately 1.2 billion students. As schools, teachers, and caregivers scramble to implement patchwork solutions, students face gaps in their learning and education. Moreover, inequities in the lives of children and families have been laid bare. In the face of these challenges, school-system decision makers must answer the question of how they can safely reopen.

There is no clear blueprint or international precedent, so school systems can begin finding their way by focusing on several important considerations.

  • When to reopen and for whom. School-system leaders must consider public health risks, the role schools play in economic activity, the impact on student learning, and the ability of the school to put safeguarding measures in place. They must also decide which students to bring back. The approaches vary by country. Some are reopening for students with specific needs, while others are bringing in students to take high-stakes exams.
  • How to reopen. New and heightened health and safety measures for students, teachers, staff, and society as a whole will be paramount. School-system leaders must also put strategies in place for re-enrollment and remediation, along with preparing for a resurgence of the virus.
  • Which tools and solutions to apply. A decision matrix can help leaders organize facts and analysis to make data-driven decisions about reopening, while a school-readiness dashboard helps monitor critical information in a dynamic fashion. Leaders should also create a centralized nerve center to make reopening as effective as possible.

For more, please see “Safely back to school after coronavirus closures” and “School-system priorities in the age of coronavirus.”

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