Safely Opening Schools during the Corona-19 Pandemic

There may only be one logical method where we can safely open schools for children during the Corona-19 virus pandemic.

It is actually rather old-fashioned, but it is amazingly safe. A hundred years ago, public schools were nearly all the same, one-room school houses. There was one Teacher and 6 to 10 children of various Grade levels.

A modern variant of this can make wonderful sense. Several local small abandoned vacant homes could separate groups of children and the Teacher from external disease carriers and even local gangs.

The children can each live at home and walk each day to spend the school day with a trusted Teacher.

Computers are involved for some subjects and for some Grades. A Teacher may not need to Teach some subjects, such as Geography or History or Art, where most of the available information would be provided by computers during "Geography Hour" and "History Hour". The Teacher might be most suited to Teaching English and Spelling and Math (essentially "reading, writing and arithmetic"). The students would each have their own personal computers where the Teacher may need to provide very unique personal Lessons for specific children. Students who shared similar interests, like in math or science or Nurse/Doctor could benefit socially by being around other students who had similar interests.

This might be very advantageous to the children. When I Taught Ninth-Grade High School Science to 150 students in Classes of 35 children, I found it really a problem that a quarter of my Ninth-Grade students only had Reading Scores of 2.0 (they could only read at Second-Grade level). None of them could understand the Ninth-Grade Science textbook! In one class, I sometimes found myself teaching toward the one girl who had a 7.0 Reading Score, as she could actually read and understand much of the textbook. Other times, I had to try to Teach toward my 2.0 or 3.0 level students, who had no chance of understanding the High School General Science textbook. One of my Ninth-Grade girls only had a Reading Score of 0.7 (she could not even read at First-Grade level!)

If I only had 6 to 10 students, of virtually any age or Reading Score level, and we could rely on many modern computer software programs much of the time, they could each call me over to get a clarification on a subject at their own level.

At 9 am, I might take temperature readings of their foreheads, where a student might be sent home if any danger of Corona-19 seemed present. Every few days, all year, I would take Corona-19 mouth swabs to confirm or deny any virus presence. The students and the Teacher(s) could all be assured of excellent health safety, at all times. Each student would benefit from both computer learning and the personal touch of a very familiar teacher at all times.

I don't think that any other approach has any realistic possibility of both health safety and educational advancement of each student.

In any School District, there are many vacant, small homes that might be used for this purpose.

Modern corporate thinking of schools which have thousands of students could still exist, possibly for Shop Class and Music Class. Both this "one-room school house" approach and a more modern "corporate mega-school operation" could simultaneously be operated (in different locations). Individual parents could select from several possibilities for their children. The students of the one-room-schoolhouse, along with all of their relatives, are pretty certainly clear of Corona-19! A few phone calls to each of the (few) students' families would make Contact Tracing of any Corona-19 issues of all the relatives quick and easy.


Carl W. Johnson, Theoretical Physicist, Physics Degree from University of Chicago

FFF USA Thornton (Fridays for Future) (Illinois)

301 South Hunter Street    Thornton, Illinois     60476

Clean heated 11-room house near Chicago