School Opening Update 10/5: Covid Dashboards

To review, Burbio's launched the audit on August 11th showing 52% "virtual only" and it shifted dramatically as the month went on and increased to 62% by Labor Day. August saw a shift to Virtual as large districts such as Hawaii, Dallas, small cities in the Northeast, Boston and parts of the Midwest reversed previously announced in-person plans



% US K-12 Students attending 'Virtual only" schools = 49.8%
%  US K-12 Students Attending 'Traditional In-person/Every day" schools = 28.8%
%  US K-12 Students Attending "Hybrid" Schools = 21.3%

Note: Our data is presented as "students attending schools that offer this learning plan" - most districts also offer virtual even when providing in person    For above, 49.8% of US K-12 students are currently attending schools that offer only virtual plans, 28.8% offering Traditional, etc. 

Trends and observations:

1) To review, Burbio's launched the audit on August 11th showing 52% "virtual only"  and it shifted dramatically as the month went on and increased to  62% by Labor Day. August saw a shift to Virtual as large districts such as Hawaii, Dallas, small cities in the Northeast, Boston and parts of the Midwest reversed previously announced in-person plans

2) In our  Labor Day release    we noted that many districts had announced plans to shift from virtual to in-person during September - and it has happened.  The percent of US K-12 students attending schools offering "virtual only" options has dropped 49.8%.   The first part of the country to convert to some sort of in-person, early in the month, were Sun Belt states such as Florida, Texas, and Georgia.  In the balance of the month the trend has expanded across the country to states such as Colorado, Minnesota, North Carolina,  the Northeast,  previously-virtual only Arizona, and pockets of California, Illinois and Wisconsin.  

3)  'Virtual-only' districts talk about the future three ways a) "We are going to move to  in-person learning XYZ date" b) "We are going to revisit this decision on this date" c) Or they are not saying anything yet.   For September, districts that moved to in-person schooling were generally in category "a" - an announced intention to convert  from when they opened  school in August.  There are more of those "a" target dates coming in October, but October will see the first decisions described in the "b" category.  Examples include districts in counties such as Davidson, TN, Jefferson, KY, New Castle, DE, and the state of Hawaii.

4) Overall Districts representing 30% of the US K-12 population that are currently virtual (the 49.8% figure)  have either an announced date to return in person, or a declared date to revisit.    These dates stretch as far into late January and early February. 

5) Of the states with the highest percentages, as of today we are showing Hawaii, Maryland, Washington, New Mexico, California, and Oregon at over 90% virtual, plus the District of Columbia. Virginia and Illinois have over 80% of their K-12 students attending virtual-only schools.    Parts of these areas are looking at in-person returns in the next few weeks. 

5) A major impediment to reopening are teacher and staff shortages.  Just a few examples:   Pittsburgh, PA pushed back in person plans, Carroll County, MD is reporting challenges to their move to hybrid, a district in Georgia refers to a a potential waitlist for in person learning, a district in Minnesota is delaying a conversion from hybrid to traditional in person due to staffing issues, Tottentville, NY postponed a hybrid start due to a teacher shortage,  and Charleston County, SC is paying employees a bonus of $500. as part of their re-opening.   

6) Covid-related closures continue to be school specific and vary from a few days for cleaning to two weeks if there is a bigger outbreak. They invariably make news reports, but as an absolute percentage of school activity we are not seeing them move the percentages at this point in time.   Schools are starting to post covid dashboards.  Examples includeOrange County, FL, Stamford, CT, Cambridge, MA,  and Princeton, OH. 

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