After teleworking for years, adjusting to social distancing and hunkering down has been relatively easy for me in terms of doing my job. Getting the hang of parenting during the new normal is harder. I have two children, both in middle school. Fortunately, they have their own devices, the requisite bandwidth and great teachers. But they were learning much more before the sudden switch to remote education in mid-March. Like most parents, I’m eager to see them return to brick-and-mortar classrooms once it’s safe.

If you’re looking forward to seeing your kids move on from Zoomed instruction, check out the practical explanation about what it may take from Samantha Keppler, a University of Michigan scholar who specializes in public education logistics. Together with a fellow operations researcher, she spells out some strategies schools everywhere may soon follow as they aim to “de-densify.”

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Emily Schwartz Greco

Philanthropy + Nonprofits | Childhood + Parenting Editor

Top story

A teacher drops by her idled classroom. Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

School buildings need more space to safely reopen

Samantha Keppler, University of Michigan; Karen Smilowitz, Northwestern University

Making classrooms, cafeterias and other spaces less crowded will be essential. There are two main ways to do that.

Economy + Business

Ethics + Religion

Health + Medicine

Politics + Society

  • Without child care, work and family are impossible

    Shauna Shames, Rutgers University

    A scholar and mother of a young child who is now working at home explores what's called the 'work-family conflict' – and finds that's the wrong label for the impossible choices faced by parents.

  • US seeks to change the rules for mining the Moon

    Scott Shackelford, Indiana University

    US and international law conflicts about who would be in charge if a private company established a Moon base or colonized Mars.

Environment + Energy

Arts + Culture

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