Analyses of different studies released in recent weeks look at the possibility of students further spreading the coronavirus if schools return to in-person instruction. A study of 20 countries' reopenings found that outbreaks were lessened at schools that mandated face masks, physical distancing and "pandemic pods" -- yet the determining factor often was the rate of community infection.
A report in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report shows that, beginning the week of April 19-25, the rates of routine vaccination for children younger than 2 in New York City began to increase after a steep decline because of the COVID-19 pandemic, returning to levels comparable with those in 2019 beginning the week of May 17. The report also showed that 35% fewer vaccines were administered to youths ages 2 to 18 during June 21-27, compared with the same week in 2019.
Human emotions and response can vary from day to day, but healthy emotion regulation can help manage stress and anxiety during this challenging time, according to Marc Brackett, director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. In this commentary, Brackett describes self-care strategies to manage emotions, including mindful breathing and adjusting thoughts.
Students' emotional health has become more of a priority during the coronavirus pandemic in the wake of the spring closures. As schools prepare to resume classes in the fall, some districts have announced plans to devote time to the mental health of students, such as spending the first week of school on establishing routines, offering grief support services along with daily and weekly times to connect and build community.
A New Jersey man's nonprofit has provided more than 1 million free images for people to color since Color a Smile was founded in the 1980s. Jerry Harris has received many of the images back, colored with crayons and including information about the artists who range in age from 5 to 95.
New software called GPT-3 uses artificial intelligence to read and write in styles ranging from poetry to computer code, writes columnist Farhad Manjoo. In this column, Manjoo writes that the program can convincingly mimic human speech and presents both opportunities and challenges.
Some New York City students who struggled through spring classes enrolled in the district's virtual summer school to get caught up on classes. Designed to support more than 100,000 students, the virtual summer school is reportedly leaving students overwhelmed by lessons and the limited interactions with teachers, especially those they have never met.
A summer-school program in California used online platforms to complete hands-on activities, giving students and teachers practice with the tools they will be using in the fall as remote learning continues. Innovation and coaching were the focus of the summer program, and one special-education teacher noted the support from families so far.
Utah state Rep. Marsha Judkins wants public schools to get funding for special education based on how many children attended the school one year ago, not two years ago as funding currently works, and she wants lawmakers to reconsider the bill in the next session. She says it's an uphill battle with state revenue hit by the pandemic, but she emphasizes the importance of the funding for students in special education.
Allison Walbrecht, a teenager in Nebraska, started the nonprofit Unified Showing to give children with special needs a way to show animals at the county fair. The program used lambs this year, and Walbrecht said families said their children bonded with their volunteer buddies during the experience.