Updated Mar 25, 2021 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on classrooms after COVID-19

On Thursday, March 25, Axios national technology correspondent Kim Hart and business reporter Erica Pandey hosted one-on-one conversations with Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond to discuss the safe return to in-person learning.

Rep. Bobby Scott discussed ventilation as an integral part of school reopenings, as well as the sense of urgency around returning students to their classrooms.

  • On the widespread crisis of proper ventilation in schools: "40 percent of the school districts in this country need to repair or replace the heating, ventilation, air conditioning systems and more than half their schools. So those schools cannot open safely without ventilation."
  • On in-person learning being essential to educational development: "We know the students do better academically when they are in person. We know they have access to school meals and nutrition. We know that their social and emotional learning can take place when they're interacting with [other] students."

Tony Thurmond unpacked critical safety measures in school reopenings, and how the state is working to bridge learning gaps that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

  • What the COVID-19 relief package looks like on the ground in schools: "It gives access to COVID testing...We still need people to be wearing masks, social distancing, and having the supplies for disinfecting campuses. Those resources will also help to accelerate learning, to offset those learning gaps, more tutoring or summer programs, more afterschool programs."
  • On essential safety precautions in classrooms: "There has to be social distancing. There has to be the wearing of face masks and people have to wash their hands. I would say that those are certainly the three keys...And from my standpoint, rapid COVID testing is really just everything."

Axios Vice President Yolanda Brignoni hosted a View from the Top segment with Siemens Corporation President and CEO Barbara Humpton to discuss new safety protocols and technologies in schools to help keep students, teachers, and staff safe.

  • "How might our indoor environments be transformed actually into a front line of defense?... We found everything from improving the air quality purification to thermal imaging to UV lighting...a whole array of technologies that could help."

Thank you Siemens for sponsoring this event.

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