What Are the Reopening Plans for the Nation’s 15 Largest School Districts?

As of this writing, only one district is offering in-person only education; all the other districts are offering modified/hybrid models. Of course, these plans may be altered as COVID-19 surges continue; this feature will be regularly updated as districts change their respective approaches to dealing with this pandemic.

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National Security Reports – July 2020 Update

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Historic Accounts of Epidemics

This collection from Harvard – Contagion: Historical Views of Diseases and Epidemics – contains hundreds of items spanning the 15th to the early 20th centuries. You will find here works dealing with yellow fever, small pox, plague, and other diseases that have beset mankind.

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Heads of Big Tech Firms Testify Before Congress

The five-hour hearing, along with a transcript, can be found here courtesy of C-SPAN.

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What Colleges Have COVID-19 On Their Campuses?

This interactive New York Times feature, while not comprehensive, does list the hundreds of colleges that have reported coronavirus on campus; many institutions did not report citing privacy concerns.

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How Are Other Countries Reopening Their Schools?

This backgrounder from the Council on Foreign Affairs offers some insights; Science also provides some solid information supplemented by additional links. Other valuable sites include: Education Week presents some cases studies; utilization of safety measures in a handful of cities as presented by Education Source highlight what procedures should be employed; Brookings investigates reopenings in Denmark and Finland; Weill Cornell offers What Other Nations Can Tell the U.S. About How To Safely Reopen Schools During the COVID-19 Pandemic; and The Conversation publishes How other countries reopened schools during the pandemic – and what the US can learn from them.

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New CDC Guidelines for Reopening Schools

You can find the revised guidance here.

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University of Michigan Press Books Freely Available Online

The University of Michigan not only fields winning football teams, but it also hosts a powerhouse university press. This site has at last count 168 tomes on a wide variety of topics; most of these titles are of recent vintage. If you come here, you will have access to some of the press’ earlier volumes, more than 1400.

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Following COVID-19 Vaccine Development

We are starting to read about a ever-increasing number of COVID-19 vaccines, drugs, therapies; trying to keep all the news about them to manageable level is proving problematic at best. However, The New York Times has produced a daily-updated feature called Coronavirus Drug and Treatment Tracker. It lists the various drugs and treatments, 19 of the most widely-mentioned products, and gives us a range of observations from “widely used” to “pseudoscience or fraud”. There are embedded references within each entry for additional information.

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Here Is the Article on the Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Results

Again, tough reading for a layperson, but you can tease out the important information.

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Greek Stone Inscriptions

Those who know me know of my fascination with ancient Greek and Latin history/language/culture; I spent years studying Latin and a lesser amount of time with Greek. Here is a tool consisting of primary source documentation revolving around ancient Athens and its environs – Attica. Attic Inscriptions Online presents English translations and annotations of the hundreds of inscriptions that have been found, cataloged and produced in numerous scholarly volumes. There are multiple access points to these writings, along with explanatory papers. It is a remarkable achievement.

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Here Is the Scientific Report on Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine

It is heavy going, but this is the original document that has given hope to many.

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Reopening K-12: The Recommendations from the National Academies

The National Academic Press has just released Reopening K-12 Schools During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Prioritizing Health, Equity, and Communities.

The first recommendation is:

“Districts should weigh the relative health risks of reopening against the educational risks of providing no in-person instruction in Fall 2020. Given the importance of in-person interaction for learning and development, districts should prioritize reopening with an emphasis on providing fulltime, in-person instruction in grades K-5 and for students with special needs who would be best served by in-person instruction.”(Summary, 3)

Another recommendation is that:

“Based on what is currently known about the spread of COVID-19, districts should prioritize mask wearing, providing healthy hand hygiene solutions, physical distancing, and limiting large gatherings. Cleaning, ventilation, and air filtration are also important, but attending to those strategies alone will not sufficiently lower the risk of transmission. Creating small cohorts of
students is another promising strategy. (Summary, 5)

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2020 Audubon Photography Winners

For an escape into color and glory, please go to this site where you will find stirring photos of birds in their various guises and habitats. Each entry has a “story behind” the work as well as a “bird lore” section. A wonderful respite from the daily news.

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CDC Guidelines for Re-opening K-12 Schools

For those who may have missed this guidance that is now the subject of intense debate, here it is. Here is a webinar from the Brookings Institution that addresses some of the concerns; an informative and relevant study can be found in the June 2019 issue of Preventive Medicine Reports. An Ethics Framework for the COVID-19 Reopening Process from Johns Hopkins is worth a perusal; it has also issued the COVID-19 School Reopening Response Checklist, and JHU Tracking State and National School Reopening Plans.

New Jersey’s plan is The Road Back: Restart and Recovery Plan for Education.

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National Security Reports – June 2020 Update

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Open Access Books – UCL (University College of London)

One of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Great Britain (I know them through their now-named Centre for Water and Development), UCL Press has published dozens of academic monographs on a wide variety of topics from the papers of Jeremy Bentham (on whose principles UCL was founded) to works dealing with social media in various countries. It is worth a look.

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UN Publications on COVID-19

From reports to working papers, here is a listing of relevant writings.

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What Will Work Look Like in a COVID-19 Environment?

This insightful report from McKinsey poses many questions that need to be answered about the nature of work and the need to acknowledge a new reality in the workplace.

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Guided Reading Lists

JSTOR has started publishing curated lists of accessible writings pertaining to current topics of interest. From African American studies to disability literature to pandemic articles, these timely and scholarly collections provide insightful explorations of relevant literature. Well worth a perusal.

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