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Support for School Closures, Shift to the Suburbs, Socially Distant Graduation

By Net Assets posted 05-20-2020 01:16 PM


(From The 74 Million) More than two-thirds of parents support keeping schools closed until officials are certain that reopening will not pose a health risk, according to a new survey of 500 parents commissioned by the National Parents Union, an educational advocacy network. The findings come as some states consider reopening and as 45% of parents acknowledge that their children are learning less than they normally would when attending school. Meanwhile, when students do return to school, most parents do not want to go back to the status quo. By a nearly two-to-one margin, parents said schools should be focused on rethinking how they educate students.

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(From The Wall Street Journal and Axios) While it’s not yet clear how the pandemic will reshape independent schools in the long run, experts are predicting shifts in regional enrollment trends. In New York, for instance, schools in the Hamptons are seeing a small wave of inquiries from New York City parents exploring schools there for the fall in hopes of escaping the coronavirus and some lockdown restrictions. The Ross School, a K-12 day school in East Hampton, said it has already enrolled 15 new students from the city for the fall, a jump from the usual tally by this point in spring. Meanwhile, new data from Harris Poll shows nearly a third of Americans are considering moving to less densely populated areas in the wake of the pandemic. "Space now means something more than square feet," Harris Poll CEO John Gerzema said. "Already beset by high rents and clogged streets, the virus is now forcing urbanites to consider social distancing as a lifestyle."

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(From multiple sources) Several independent schools across the country are moving forward with plans for socially distant graduation ceremonies. Joseph Academy, a grades 9-12 girls school in Cleveland, Ohio, held graduation for 182 seniors last week inside the church where girls from the academy have been holding their graduation ceremonies for more than 75 years. To adhere to social distancing rules, each girl and her immediate family members were allowed inside the church when they heard the graduate’s name called. The family walked to the altar and posed for a photos. The walk was recorded on video and shown at a local drive-in theater. Westbrook Christian School in Rainbow City, Alabama, is holding graduation on the school’s football field, several weeks after graduation was originally scheduled. Westbrook Christian says it is working with health care officials, and families and guests will be seated on both sides of the stadium to allow for social distancing.

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