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Teachers union calls for nationwide summer school

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Posted at 6:33 AM, Apr 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 07:40:31-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Governor Bill Lee has recommended schools to stay closed for the rest of the year. However, some educators are concerned about students falling behind. That’s why one of the country's largest teacher's unions is calling for students to attend summer school.

The American Federation of Teachers is proposing a nationwide, four week summer school program. The plan is contingent on whether it is safe enough to be in school by then.

"It is really to get kids ready for next year," said Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers. "So instead of thinking about it as remedial, think of it as a bridge toward next year."

Researchers say ultimately, school closures will impact the classroom. Next year, students could return to school with only 70% of the reading level they should be on and almost 50% of the expected math knowledge.

"It's instruction to deal with summer loss or this year's loss or this change that has upended everything, it reinforces and provides instruction, it provides food and nurturing, it provides some well-being issues and it also really helps parents,” said Weingarten.

The teachers union has asked for a $25 billion federal relief to pay for this program. This would be separate funds from what should be used next year.

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What is COVID-19 (a.k.a. the new coronavirus?)

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Examples include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. COVID-19 stands for "Coronavirus disease 2019," which is when this strain of the coronavirus was discovered.

What are the symptoms?

The CDC says patients confirmed to have the 2019-nCoV reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

At this time, the CDC believes symptoms could appear as soon as two days after exposure, or as long as 14 days.

Prevention

The CDC is recommending "common sense" measures such as:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.