The future landscape of the school classroom after COVID-19

School boards are currently addressing the “what ifs” of the physical classroom experience.

Health+officials+and+educators+across+the+globe+are+coming+up+with+ideas+on+how+to+reduce+physical+interaction+in+the+classroom+this+fall.+However%2C+questions+about+the+coronavirus+are+continually+being+addressed+and+these+ideas+are+largely+uncertain+as+of+now.+Photo+by+Gracie+Huebner.

Health officials and educators across the globe are coming up with ideas on how to reduce physical interaction in the classroom this fall. However, questions about the coronavirus are continually being addressed and these ideas are largely uncertain as of now. Photo by Gracie Huebner.

Gracie Huebner, Editor-in-Chief

It’s no doubt that the coronavirus has taken away public functions due to social distancing precautions. However, even if a vaccine is soon to be found and sanctions are lifted, will our normal school schedules adjust differently? While most of these answers remain unknown, we can only speculate what the future may look like if fears of the coronavirus continue to linger.  

If schools were to reopen in the fall, it is possible that they may need to modify hygienic standards in order to ensure social distancing more effectively. According to the CDC, “every American has been called upon to slow the spread of the virus through social distancing and prevention hygiene.” As for the classroom, things such as close desk placement question this very statement.

“I don’t think desks at our school are currently spread out far from each other,” junior Sofia Charvel said. “I have been in classes where the aisles are very narrow and seats are like two to three feet apart. The current layout of classrooms would not meet the COVID-19 protocols. In order to meet these protocols, classroom sizes would need to be reduced. This would require more buildings and more teachers, which means a lot of money would need to be invested.”

Other factors schools may need to consider include the debatable face mask, making cleaning supplies more readily available to students, and reducing condensed areas. The most densely populated parts of a school campus include cafeteria lines, parking lots, intermission between classes and sports games. Yet, it is still uncertain if the fall season of sports this year is yet to occur given this current situation.

“I would be disappointed if sports games were cancelled for fall of next year. It will be my senior year and that makes it even worse for all of the seniors. In general, I think it would let down most students,” junior Addie Rowells said.

Although the thin line between human health and economic health is currently dividing the country, school is one of those implications which still remain in the ‘unknown’ category. Even if we were to find a vaccine anytime soon, will fears of the virus continue to linger amongst this divisiveness and ultimately change the landscape of the physical classroom? Only the future is yet to give us this answer. 

Just like we have with the school closures, when we look ahead to school reopening and what that means for the physical layout of classrooms we are relying on guidance from the state and local health departments and state and local offices of education”

— Dr. Brockett

“Just like we have with the school closures, when we look ahead to school reopening and what that means for the physical layout of classrooms we are relying on guidance from the state and local health departments and state and local offices of education,” Dr. Bryan Brockett said. “We’ll then evaluate that guidance and develop plans to reopen the school in a way that is best educationally for students and protects the safety of students, staff and families.”