(CNN)As states around the country begin to open with different guidelines on how and when schools will restart, parents and school workers are asking many questions about what the future of education will look like. Although each scenario will be different, depending on the type of school and state protocols in place, CNN reached out to experts to answer some of the questions viewers sent in.
Will students have to wear masks for the entire school day and other education questions, answered
Paula Herbart is president of the Michigan Education Association, a teachers union representing more than 120,000 teachers, student members and education support professionals throughout the state.
University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins is also a cardiac surgeon. He's aiming to bring the majority of his 44,000-students back to Tuscon on August 24 but with extensive public health measures, including extensive testing and contact tracing. Although he acknowledges that students participating in any type of testing, or mask wearing, will be voluntary.
Read below for their full answers to your questions.
Would students be required to wear masks for the entire school day, even if class numbers are reduced?
Herbart: "Yes. I believe that's important. I'm not so worried about student to student contact. I'm very worried about student educator contact. Children we know are less susceptible, it seems to be, through all the data from scientists, that adults are not."
She tells CNN that education is going to look very different. "We're going to have to wear protective masks, we may have to wear plastic gloves, we may have to wash. Learning will not be the same as it was prior to March 1. It just won't be, and we can't expect it to be."
She cautions that parents and school workers will need to be flexible in combining both distance and face to face learning and that communities and legislators will need to provide the necessary support to make that happen.
Robbins says he will highly encourage mask wearing at the university, and plans to wear one himself, but can't mandate students wear masks at all times. "The classroom is under the control of the professor," he says.
"We pretty much think that that will be sort of, at the, the professor's discretion and would be more mandatory if you will, that if you're inside our buildings you need to cover your face. And then for the open spaces, it's going to be more difficult to enforce. But that, that's sort of our current thinking."
Robbins recently appointed Dr. Richard Carmona, the 17th US surgeon general, to lead the university's re-entry task force. Together they are looking at robust safety measures and guidelines they can issue before welcoming students back.
How do we manage school bathrooms in middle and high schools where teachers and staff are generally not monitoring students in that space?
Herbart proposes sending kids to the bathroom one at a time. "One way we could do it is put X's on the hallway tapes, 6 feet apart, and one by one go into the restroom. Many elementary schools have bathrooms in classrooms so they've always had a one-on-one experience, but one of the things we're going to do as educators is teach children how to socially distance before we can teach them anything about academics."
She says you should expect lessons on day one about how you wash your hands, how you wear a mask, what a communicable disease is and what Covid-19 means.
How can we control and protect kids during recess or gym?
Herbart: "I'm not certain that recess time will be traditional as to how we used to do it. I think that it will be at the teacher's discretion that she takes her 10 or 12 students that she has in her classroom, goes outside for five or 10 minutes and you know, assigns students equipment or whatever. It's all very nebulous right now at best."
Will universities suspend in campus living in the fall semester?
The University of Arizona is not planning on suspending in campus living but they will reduce the capacity. Robbins tells CNN they initially planned on single occupancy dorm rooms that would give them capacity for 4,500 students, "but we heard from our students that many of them would prefer a roommate," so they're looking into it.
He adds that the majority of their students live off campus, in an "unregulated, uncontrolled environment," that they need to take into account as those students will be coming to and from the school grounds.
What is stopping college students interacting in close contact outside of class?
Robbins: Nothing. "College students just like everybody else, they have some mission creep and lack of discipline. And so this is a great opportunity for us to educate them and say, this is not so much about protecting yourself except it's about protecting society and others, particularly the high risk individuals and you don't know who those are."
How do we protect older professors on campuses that will have in-person classes? And younger teachers who may be care-givers taking care of older parents at home?
Herbart: "We've done preliminary survey results and I can tell you that educators are not concerned about themselves, they're concerned about taking it home to their family, they're concerned about their students getting it and giving it to their families." She explains how one university is setting up clear dividers in lecture halls, like the ones that shield grocery workers, and says that could be an option, as educators will "always want to roam the class to see how student work is going."
Robbins: "We're going to build in appropriate social distancing in all classrooms and activities. We're going to have educational programs to encourage vigorous hand-washing, social distancing, face covers, tracing. And then for those who are positive to be able to isolate and treat them in a quarantine environment."
Will teachers get the option to work from home if they feel unsafe?
Herbart: "We may have teachers who are doing face to face, with stronger immune systems and better situations, and teachers who are supporting the distance learning that have compromised situations. I don't think that's an unreasonable thing to consider and I think it allows both educators to have and fulfill their obligations... we can't let one educator go to waste right now."
Robbins: "A hundred percent. We'll have a flexible policy. If they don't feel safe enough, they can teach their class by Zoom. Now it may be that they have 20 students who want the in class experience and there may be, you know, a large screen with the professor giving a lecture, remotely, but there would be proctors or TAs to faci