Reporting on school reopenings in the time of COVID-19


Thursday, July 30, 11 a.m. ET

Everyone agrees that reopening schools this fall has been a priority for parents, students and teachers, but the nation's inability to curb the COVID-19 outbreak is leading to an extremely challenging environment for deciding when and if to open schools. 

A July 22 AP-NORC poll found that 46% of Americans believe schools need major modifications to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, and 31% think they shouldn’t reopen for in-person learning at all.

Communities are wrestling to answer questions such as:

  • What conditions are needed for schools to reopen safely?

  • What role do children play in the transmission of COVID-19?

  • What do public schools need to have in place to reopen safely or conduct virtual learning?

Three experts, in education policy, the education work force and infectious disease, will help journalists answer these questions and more.

There will be time for Q&A during the webcast. You can submit it ahead of time here.

  • Enriqueta Bond, Ph.D., chair, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine advisory committee on Reopening K-12 Schools in the Time of COVID-19

  • Lily Eskelsen García, president, National Education Association

  • Tina Q. Tan, M.D., professor of pediatrics, pediatric infectious diseases attending physician, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine

  • Moderator: Bara Vaida, AHCJ topic leader/infectious diseases

Tina Q. Tan, M.D., is professor of pediatrics at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, and a pediatric infectious diseases attending; medical director of the International Patient Services Program (IPS); co-Director of the Pediatric Travel Medicine Clinic; and director of the International Adoptee Clinic at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. She is board certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectious Diseases. Tan received her medical degree from Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans. She completed her residency, chief residency, and pediatric infectious diseases fellowship in the Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston. Tan is the chairperson of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Infectious Diseases (SOID).

Lily Eskelsen García (@Lily_NEA) is president of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest labor union. She began her career in education as a school lunch lady and now leads a professional association of 3 million educators. She is the first Latina to lead the NEA and one of the country’s most influential Hispanic educators. Prior to assuming the top post, she served two terms as NEA vice president and secretary-treasurer. Most recently, García was appointed to serve on the Executive Committee as secretary of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, providing leadership development programs and educational services to students and young emerging Latino leaders.

Enriqueta Bond, M.A., Ph.D., until recently served as president of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, an independent private foundation that advances medical science and the treatment of disease by supporting research and other scientific, scholarly, and educational efforts. Prior to joining Burroughs Wellcome, Bond served a distinguished tenure at the National Academy of Sciences, most recently as chief executive officer of the Institute of Medicine but also as director of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, director of the Division of Health Sciences Policy, and senior staff officer. She holds a Ph.D. in biology-biochemical genetics from Georgetown University, an M.A. in biology-genetics from the University of Virginia, and an A.B. in zoology and physiology from Wellesley College.

Enriqueta Bond

Lily Eskelsen García

Tina Q. Tan

Bara Vaida