A Statement on Reopening Schools

“The American Federation of School Administrators has long called for us to focus on reopening the nation’s schools as quickly as we can safely do so. We must return to full-time, in-person learning in our classrooms.

"In fact, school principals, assistant principals and other school leaders have never left the school buildings that we must once again fill with students and educators. Throughout the pandemic, school leaders have been at their posts, coordinating services for students, ensuring that teachers can teach and students can learn remotely, and working with parents to meet the many challenges our students face learning under these difficult circumstances.

"More than 10 months ago, AFSA issued a comprehensive guide for reopening our schools safely.  In that report, we stressed the importance of getting students back into classrooms, writing: ‘To be fully engaged in learning, students require face-to-face interaction with their teachers. For us, distance learning serves an important purpose, but it does not equal in-person learning. It is insufficient to the demands of mind and heart. There is no place like school to ensure our students’ academic, social and emotional progress.’

"The value and importance of in-person learning is even more apparent today, and it’s incumbent upon educators and parents to now work together to get all students back into classrooms.

"But as we prepare for a new day in American education, we cannot be satisfied with returning to the way things were before the pandemic. Our experience with remote learning highlighted the many inequities that have long existed among our students and the nation’s schools.  

"Yes, let’s reopen our schools. But let’s also rethink how our schools operate. The lessons we’ve learned over the past year shed new light on reforms we must make to better serve all of our students and provide the kind of education they need and deserve.”