Legal Expert: Don’t sign COVID-19 liability waivers

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As school districts and universities grapple with the risks of reopening in the fall, many are asking students and staff to waive their right to sue in the event that they contract the virus. But according to experts, they aren’t enforceable. As schools across the country announce their reopening plans, many officials have said that they want students, faculty, and staff to sign COVID-19 liability waivers, legal documents waiving their right to sue the school in the event that they contract the virus. Read Full Story

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The U.S. sent a rocket to the moon. We can figure out how to open schools safely

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Examining the Apollo mission can provide lessons for how to tackle today’s most complex problems—like reopening our schools. Dealing with the social and economic upheaval from the coronavirus pandemic will require the skills and talents of many types of professions—medical personnel, public health experts, parents, students, educators, legislators, enforcement authorities, and many others. Until now, though, the U.S. has struggled to mount a coordinated national response to effectively stamp out COVID-19, even as other countries in Europe and East Asia have shown that the disease can be controlled . Read Full Story

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5 ways the pandemic has changed professional and staff development forever

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Like so many other things, learning at work has morphed to meet the times. This Deloitte exec says the evolution is a net positive. With the back-to-school season in full swing, students and teachers alike are dealing with the challenges of remote learning. But they’re not the only ones. Employees—of all kinds, across all industries—are, too. With both the traditional classroom and the traditional conference room off-limits, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the status quo for all types of education. Read Full Story

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I’m a former superintendent. Here’s what really worries me about reopening schools

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Schools and classrooms attended by low-income students of color could become epicenters of a second wave of pandemic. Here’s why. Classrooms, gyms, and cafeterias at schools across the U.S. have remained empty for months now. And despite some districts beginning to reopen , many others will remain closed amid fears that prematurely restarting in-person classes could cost more lives in the pandemic . Read Full Story

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We need to keep focusing on indoor air quality after the pandemic is over

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Ventilation is important for more than just preventing the spread of COVID-19 In a gym in Virginia, a carbon dioxide monitor helps the owner, and the gym goers, understand the risk of COVID-19 transmission in that space. Carbon dioxide levels are a proxy for how well-ventilated the gym is and thus how many COVID-19-containing aerosols might be floating around indoor air if someone inside is contagious. If CO2 levels are high, “it means that people’s exhaled breath is accumulating in that room, and their respiratory aerosols are also accumulating,” says Linsey Marr, an expert on the airborne transmission of viruses and a member of that gym who helped it reopen safely. “If someone is infected, those could contain virus.” Read Full Story

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Apple, Google, and Microsoft are failing U.S. students during the COVID-19 crisis

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With their cash on hand, the tech companies could buy every student in America eight laptops. In the midst of COVID-19, schools across the country have closed their doors, and a majority of the 50 million K-12 students are now learning from home. For many, that means logging on to laptops to teleconference teachers who take digital attendance, then accessing lessons and homework to do on their own. Read Full Story

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Can your school open while avoiding a COVID-19 outbreak? These 2 factors matter most

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Keeping kids in classrooms will depend on how many resources a school and a local public health department has—and whether the greater community can keep coronavirus transmission under control. This story is part of Fast Company’s Reinventing Education package. As millions of students begin school during a deadly pandemic and global recession, we’re highlighting the ongoing efforts to keep children safe in the classroom, educate them remotely, and help their parents manage a new second shift. Click here to read the whole series. Read Full Story

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