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Faye Flam

How Schools Will Reopen Safely This Fall

Hand sanitizer will be ubiquitous. 

All the cool kids will be wearing them.

All the cool kids will be wearing them.

Photographer: Damien Meyer/AFP/Getty Images

For children, keeping schools closed in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic amounts to a cure that’s worse than the disease. Children are much less likely than adults to suffer any severe consequences of the virus, and they are at risk of suffering academically and emotionally if they miss more months of school.

That’s one reason it’s good news that K-12 schools are gearing up to reopen in the fall. “We know that in all kids, active engagement in learning is important for their development,” says Yale University infectious disease expert Albert Ko. There will be changes, however, that will make the school year far from normal.