October 16, 2020

Throughout California, few high schools have reopened in counties where health data say they can. Scheduling can be a nightmare, social distancing is a challenge, and there are worries about the asymptomatic spread of the coronavirus to staff and families.

This week, we speak with Donnie Rafter, principal of Beckman High in Tustin Unified in Orange County, which reopened three weeks ago. Students come to school in small groups a couple days a week and participate from home the other days. The same teachers broadcast lessons daily to students who to want only do remote learning. There’s no Covid-19 testing of students and staff — and no infections, so far.

Also, UCLA Education Professor John Rogers discusses a report he co-authored that examined the unheralded efforts by principals nationwide to meet the emotional, nutritional and financial needs of their students when the coronavirus hit. The survey revealed widening learning gaps in low-income communities that were thrust into distance learning with growing challenges and unmet needs for computers and internet connections.

For background to this podcast, check out the following: