Really remote school should continue, partially, forever
The virus has forced many schools to close and students to go to online learning. There are a lot of different approaches. Some schools have gone for Kahn academy style learning, with students watching videos of top teachers and using their time with their teacher for more one on one teaching. Some schools have fairly full days, others have the students in virtual class a small fraction of what they did in school.
As the push comes to open up, but greatly reduce class size in order to allow sitting far apart in class, some have proposed having students not go to physical school every day. You might go just 2 days out of 5, rotating with other students to keep the class unpacked.
They say never waste a good crisis, and this one might present some opportunities to rethink education, even after the virus goes away.
Students all learn at different levels, but in most schools it is necessary to put students of many different levels and abilities together in one class. It's not like the days of old rural schools, where everybody from grade 1-6 was in the same classroom with the same teacher, but it's not the best thing for all students. More advanced students have to put up with a pace that bores them or doesn't challenge them as much. Other students may find the classes too challenging -- or may benefit by being challenged by material harder than the teachers thought they were ready for.
In the online world, students don't have to join one class at a local school. Students could be gathered together in classes from anywhere in the world that it's also school-time. They could have some classes with their global classmates and other classes with their local ones.
As such, the global classrooms could be tailored so every student is at a similar level, ready to be challenged and learn well from the material provided. If it's judged a student is having too much trouble in a class, or to little, it's very simple to switch them until they find just the right level. (Of course, students will try to cheat, and some will deliberately seek an easier level, so care must be taken.)
In addition to doing a program just right for them, students would get experience of a much more diverse world, with other students from many places, all at their level. In the modern online world, they can easily make friends with these students and keep those friendships through life. Ideally, if time zones allow, they should get friends from other countries and cultures, and certainly other subcultures within their own region.
Students having difficulty can be more easily given more resources if they need it and there is budget. And they can get access to a global network of people ready to deal with their learning problems. At the same time the brightest students can find themselves quickly moving years ahead of where they might have in regular school, with losing their local social circles and friends of their own age.
Every student could also spend a few weeks out of their time zone as an "exchange student" to truly broaden their experience.
If the student/teacher ratio averages are kept the same, this all costs the same, and could be worth doing long after the virus is over.
The easiest way to do this would be to have a student take 1 or 2 of their subjects in a remote class, and take the rest in their local class. It would also be possible to take the same subject both locally and remote, though covering different areas within that subject, since coordination would be difficult. In most cases, though, the local teacher could assist with problems with the remote class.
Remote class could actually be done at school, by adapting some rooms to have small cubicles and computers and even a supervisor, for kids who can't spend even 15% of their time at home.
Some kids would possibly end up going more remote. There are the "gifted" students who may be wasting their time in the local school, and who get value from it only in learning to socialize with those around them. There may be special needs children for whom physical school attendance is a burden and who need more and better attention. While few should go all-remote, some students may benefit from a different mix.
Never waste a good crisis.