This article by Yinon Weiss at RealClearPolitics catalogs the evidence supporting the safety of reopening schools, concluding:
If children are at minimal risk, transmission to adults is rare, and both can be accommodated with optional distance learning, why are some schools suspending all in-person education? It’s certainly not because of the parents, who would be the last people to send their children into a dangerous situation. The vast majority of parents support reopening schools with modifications, perhaps because they best understand the cost-benefit of depriving their children of a full education.
The reason many schools won’t open, just like why so many places originally locked down, comes back to fear and politics.
I think he’s missing something basic. The teachers’ unions will inevitably be focused on the safety of the oldest and most health-impaired teachers. There are a vast number of such impairments to consider—everything from suppressed immune systems to autoimmune diseases to obesity and COPD.
What disappoints me is the framing of the question. Resuming with whatever form of pedagogy is most effective for individual students should be a constraint rather than a variable. The question should never have been “whether” but “how”.