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Help The Hechinger Report document back to school during Covid

Chalk squares to keep children physically distant during recess. Bus seats wrapped in red cellophane. School auditoriums and cafeterias transformed into classrooms.

As summer break comes to a close and millions of K-12 students in the U.S. head back to school, much of the nation will be watching to see what in-person schooling looks like during a pandemic.

In states like Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Texas and Utah, students have already returned to campus — or will soon — as local officials choose a full reopening or hybrid option for families. The Hechinger Report hopes to document this educational experiment by sharing photos and videos from students, parents and teachers that show how schools have been physically transformed.

Are desks spread far apart in classrooms? Are students required to wear masks? How are children kept from sitting near each other on school buses? Have you seen classes move outside, or children using “airplane arms” to keep distance between their friends in the hallway?

Meanwhile, in many of the nation’s largest school districts, kids will still be learning from paper packets, sitting at kitchen tables and logging onto Zoom lessons. We want to hear from families about what a second round of remote learning looks like, as well from as parents who decided to start “micro-schools” or “pandemic pods” with friends and neighbors to communally educate their children at home. What spaces did you renovate to make room for the pods? What did your lessons look like on day one of back to school during Covid? Did you hire teachers to keep kids on track, and if so, how are they handling instruction?

The easiest way to share your images and videos?

Email them to [email protected] or send them via text to 212-678-8247. We also have a Dropbox folder where you can upload the visuals.

And we welcome direct messages on Instagram (@hechingerreport) and Twitter (@hechingerreport). When you make a submission, please include the name(s) of anyone in the pictures or videos that you’d like to identify, location and relevant information (grade level, etc.) as well as your contact information in case we need to be in touch before publishing the images on our site and social media.

We’ll accept submissions on a rolling basis, as school districts in different parts of the country return to in-person classes over the next few months. We look forward to hearing from you. And we hope you’ll share this callout with your friends, family and classmates so that, together, we can provide all our readers a glimpse into a new world of education.

This story about back to school during Covid was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education. Sign up for the Hechinger newsletter.