In an exclusive research partnership with Business Insider, business advisory firm Brunswick surveyed US workers who have enrolled either themselves or a child in school about their feelings regarding the return of in-person learning this upcoming season. The results show 58% of US workers support schools reopening.
Brunswick asked the 42% of those who do not want this return about why they're opposed to reopening. The following chart highlights the reasons some US workers are against returning to school in the upcoming fall:
The main concern held by those who didn't want a return to in-person learning was the uncertainty of social distancing in schools, with nearly 70% of those respondents listing that issue. About 63% are unsure schools can properly adapt their buildings to be safe, and 60% don't want to contribute to spread of the coronavirus.
The results from Brunswick also show differences in the degree of support for reopening among political parties and racial and ethnic groups. 70% of Republican US workers who enrolled themselves or a child in school support in-person learning in the fall, while only 47% of Democrats reported they were in favor of this.
Among racial groups, white workers had the highest share of respondents in favor of schools reopening at 65%. About 44% of Black workers are in favor, giving a 21 percentage point difference between white and Black US workers. Only 39% of Asians and Hispanic workers support in-person learning in the fall.
The CDC has put out a list of recommendations to help schools prepare if they do reopen, including providing sufficient cleaning and safety supplies, like soap and disinfectant wipes. The CDC suggests routinely cleaning areas that multiple people come in contact with, such as sinks.
To help with social distancing practices, the CDC recommends desks should be at least six feet apart, and that students should be spaced out on buses, with one student per row if possible. Schools could also use partitions in especially crowded or close-contact places, such as in between bathroom sinks and at reception. Placing tape on sidewalks can also help students and staff maintain a six-foot distance at all times.
Business Insider's Taylor Borden recently reported some school districts, like New York City public schools, are planning a hybrid-model of learning, a mixture of remote and in-person classes, to help get students back to the classroom while still saying safe.