Written by Adrian Cohen
Teachers, parents and officials in every school district in the country have been desperately trying to figure out how we go back to school in August, and the recent explosion of infections just made that a whole lot harder. Debate is raging in all the school districts we work with. Everyone wants to go back, yes, including the teachers. But there is so much “unknown.” 
Recent surveys sent out in all the school districts we work with suggest 30%-55% of all parents won’t send their kids to in-person school in August even if that option is available. It’s not just the coronavirus and its dangers, it’s the way a state, city or school community can gauge the public perception. That percentage changes weekly, so everyone has been hedging their bets because “you never know.” Monday LAUSD came off the fence.
To reaffirm this decision, today I heard from one expert who warned that opening schools with infections out of control could lead to “super spreader events” a fate none of us would want to see or experience.
Upstage has been talking to principals and school administrators throughout the summer, and we have concluded that all forms of our after-school enrichment and independent programs during the Fall semester will be online and at home. Schools districts will need very well produced online programming to supplement the limited online curriculums from the schools. We’ve been perfecting our online programs all summer to provide a genuinely enriching experience for any student taking our programs in the Fall, live and online. We will have a full complement of school-centered musical theatre (crafted specifically for the schools we are usually serving) programs, independent musical theatre programs (any one from anywhere in the country can join) and a great line-up of online one-hour enrichment classes.  Here’s a clip of one of our summer camp presentations.
We all want our kids to go back to school “face to face five days a week”. Just not yet.