Remote school opening a reckoning


Everett Public Schools opening off campus is a reckoning.

Parents know this. Teachers understand this. Administrators of the school system view this as an earthquake in public school education.

It is the same for college presidents and students all over the nation.

The pandemic’s power to alter the course of educational history as well as economic history is something playing out all around us during this fall of our discontent.

Whether you believe in the dangers of the virus or not, the stark reality is that everything having to do with education right now across the land is in a state of extraordinary change.

The same way most of Boston’s skyscrapers are empty of employees now working at home or outside of the city has changed the future for many businesses, and the owners of the buildings, and for the owners of the mortgages on those buildings.

It is no different for cities and towns paying huge money for new schools when the schools are now, and at least until November, empty of students.

Teaching remotely is the new normal.

If you believe in science and the need for the virus to be snuffed out for the greater benefit of everyone or if you believe a virus running amuck among us is OK, one thing is certain – the schools being empty on opening day 2020 is the beginning of a new era.

It was new era overnight that has been hoisted upon all of us.

How this plays out in the future is anyone’s guess.

We know that the virus is quite likely to explode again during the fall as people go inside and the virus spreads its wings, again in closed environments.

When November comes along, the state will revisit the numbers of infected and deaths, and where we stand in the fight against the spread of the virus or the containment of it – however you choose to look at it.

Maybe the schools will reopen then to in class instruction.

Maybe then hundreds of thousands of employees will be seated aside one another at their desks in front of their computers inside tall skyscrapers in downtown Boston with windows that can’t be opened inside environments that are hermetically sealed, entirely closed and especially conducive to the spread of the virus.

This is possible but highly doubtful, especially in a state like ours where our leaders are competent, and sensible and in a city like Everett, which goes along with the state.

The road back is not so important as the road going for- ward for public school education.

This is a time when our leaders in the school system will need to be especially entrepreneurial.

It is a brave new world for public school education.

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