Mock COVID-19 Response School Board Activity

Created by: Nausheen Husain, Political Science Dept, Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, NJ

[This could be used for political science classes or education classes]

Simulation of a school board meeting at which parents, students, and teachers make their case to the school board for their COVID-19 response.

  • Group 1: Students
  • Group 2: Parents
  • Group 3: Teachers
  • Group 4: School Board

Objective: Given the current situation of COVID-19, groups 1-3 will present what the response should be for schools to take into account COVID-19 measures for the remainder of the school year.

Scenario: The school board has announced that they are proposing to close all public schools for the remainder of the year so teachers may complete all virtual instruction and have lesson plans ready for the students through the end of the year. The school board believes that the option of opening up schools is not possible with the rise of COVID-19 cases in the country.

Group 1:

Students: What is your response?

Possible student scenarios:

      • Student 1, Student Government President
      • Student 2, Captain of the Baseball team
      • Student 3, Class Valedictorian
      • *Think about how each of these students and their interests will be affected

Group 2:

Parents: What is your response?

Possible parent scenarios:

      • Parent 1, Full time worker in the healthcare field, unable to help children learn
      • Parent 2, President of the Parent Teacher Association
      • Parent 3, Parent of a student who is struggling to learn

Group 3: 

Teachers: What is your response?

Possible teacher scenarios:

      • Teacher 1, Has a preexisting condition, fears for his/her health
      • Teacher 2, Top school teacher and head coach of the baseball team
      • Teacher 3, New teacher in his/her first year of teaching

Each group is representing the interests of their peers.

Activity: Each group will present to the School Board what they think of the proposed plan of closing schools for the remainder of the year. They must:

    • Suggest new plans (if they disagree)
    • Offer their opinions/feedback
    • Represent the interests of their group

After each group presents, the board will review and come up with a final decision of what plan of action they will be taking.

*Board will deliberate and talk to each other to decide what course of action they will take.

Final Questions to Think About:

Board

    • Were the decisions difficult to make?
    • Had you made up your mind prior to the statements?
    • Did you change your mind as a result of the statements?

Teachers and students

    • Did you feel as though this was a real scenario since you are living through this pandemic?
    • What would you have done after the announcement of the board’s decision?