There's been a lot of discussion about how prepared we might be medically in case of a bird flu pandemic. But not a lot of attention has been paid to how a serious quarantine would play out. Schools, for example, might have to cope with keeping education going while being closed for weeks:
Schools may be ordered to close to prevent spreading the disease.
In Massachusetts, school administrators are considering using an automated phone bank to announce homework assignments and update parents. Another plan would use the Internet for communication between students and their teachers.
But those plans are limited, and many places have had budget cuts in technology, said Tom Scott, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents. "I don't think we're anywhere near having a systemic way of approaching this," he said.
No kidding. My colleague Bob Caylor, writing about the subject for our page yesterday, got this out of Fort Wayne Community Schools:
. . . Fort Wayne Community Schools isn't likely to provide assignments to children who would stay home.
“We don't have a plan if a pandemic comes around; we can't turn 53 buildings, 32,000 students and 1,800 teachers into a kind of virtual school. We couldn't even do that in a year. We don't have a plan for sending curriculum by e-mail to students,” FWCS spokeswoman Debbie Morgan said.