The Center Square) — U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said Wednesday that K-12 students need to return to their routines of in-classroom learning, with schools having the ability to adapt quickly to a spike in COVID-19 cases.
DeVos told viewers of a Georgia Public Policy Foundation virtual forum that returning to normal is essential to the well-being and development of children.
“It is really a matter of health versus health,” DeVos said as the keynote speaker in Wednesday’s forum. “We know that there are too many kids today who are suffering because of the isolation and the distance from their peers and their teachers, and having missed several months of learning in some cases – in many cases.”
DeVos said parents and educators should use what they learned from school closures in the spring to prepare children for the fall semester.
School districts that responded well and resumed classes quickly amid the initial coronavirus outbreak in March were the ones that performed the best, DeVos said.
“In some cases, there was also a sort of a propensity to give up quickly, because it was so different, and it was so unexpected,” DeVos said. “But that said, we are very much focused on doing everything we can do here, to continue to encourage and urge states to do that next right thing for their students.”
American Academy of Pediatrics researchers last month said children and adolescents are less likely to be susceptible to severe complications from COVID-19 and are low-risk for contraction and death.
Nyamekye Daniel is a staff reporter for The Center Square