There's a thread going for local news from RS members who live in or currently are in Europe but as this virus thing has expanded, it would be interesting to hear from members across the U.S. too.
I'm listening to the end of a long press conference with the Governor, Education Commissioner and some other state officials of my state (MN) regarding temporary closure of all MN K-12 schools from 3/18 - 3/27. As simply as I can put it, it is sort of a "calm before the storm" dress rehearsal should schools need to close for a much longer period of time. Also to nail down a working plan that could be quickly and efficiently executed should there be a future pandemic even more severe than the one we're experiencing now.
As the Governor put it, there has never been a comprehensive, tested plan for long-term shutdown of our schools, should that need occur. Given the current situation, they don't want to wait until a critical point, should there be one, to have to figure it out on the fly.
“My top priority as Governor is the safety of Minnesotans. As a former teacher, and father of two teenage kids, I’m especially focused on the safety of our children.” said Governor Walz. “I am ordering the temporary closure of schools so educators can make plans to provide a safe learning environment for all Minnesota students during this pandemic. Closing schools is never an easy decision, but we need to make sure we have plans in place to educate and feed our kids regardless of what’s to come.”
"The executive order requires schools to provide care for elementary-age children of health care professionals, first responders, and other emergency workers during previously planned school days."
....Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. "This decision was made with children and families in mind, as well as our educators, to best support our schools and educational system in the weeks and months ahead and make sure that we have a plan in place for our kids who rely on school for meals and other critical needs." This includes remote learning plans for all areas of the state, including those with limited internet services.
Make sense to me. No, it won't be easy but I give them high marks for the many bases they've taken into consideration and creative solutions they'll be testing to try and cover them. Too bad the airports didn't have a plan in place to avoid the chaos we're seeing right now, eh?