DC charters offer innovations in pandemic-era education

WASHINGTON (AP) — Returning to school in the nation’s capital during the pandemic has proven to be an ongoing experiment in learning — and not just for students.

Tall, three-sided partitions were set up at Meridian Charter School to protect students against COVID-19 — until administrators learned that the enclosures wouldn’t do much to prevent spread of the virus. Now the cardboard is optional, but more than half of the students still use them as personalized organizers — taping up calendars, decorations and schedules.

“It’s all a learning experience, and it’s all playing out in real time,” said Matt McCrea, Meridian’s head of school.

While most of Washington’s 52,000 public school kids are dealing with computer screens and Zoom rooms in a remote learning environment, about a dozen charter schools have essentially chosen to become medical-educational experiments, offering in-person instruction for select groups of students.

Smaller and more nimble than

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DC charters lead the way on in-school teaching experiment

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