Professor Robert Bordley Provides a Systems Engineering Approach to Reopening Schools

Little girl wearing a mask in a classroom.
One way to organize school plans is to break into subcommittees to address specific issues, such as in-school safety. izusek/Getty Images

As K-12 and higher education schools across the country prepare to reopen, there have been recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local and state governments. Professor and Systems Engineering + Design Program Director Robert Bordley presents a systems engineering approach to reopening schools in an article on The Conversation. Bordley proposes using a systems engineering model, adapting the same approach used to send astronauts to the moon during the Apollo missions. Using this method could help individual school districts determine the appropriate division of responsibility based on expertise using systems engineering’s six key steps: define requirements; create the relevant communities and assign responsibilities; create the relevant subcommittees and assign responsibilities; work the plan; integrate proposals from every committee; and support rollout.

Children in a pre-school class wear masks and sit at desks spaced apart as per coronavirus guidelines during summer school sessions in Monterey Park, California on July 9, 2020. Photo courtesy of Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images via The Conversation