This week we look at districts' increasingly finely-tuned Covid mitigation strategies, annual reporting on progress and priorities, enhanced summer...
12/31 Update: : Approaching the New Year
We are sending this update before the holiday weekend as announcements among districts are winding down for the week. Burbio's School Opening Tracker page will be kept up to date over the weekend and can be checked for changes. We expect to issue our next report early the week of January 3rd.
1. Below is our school closure by week map. In the last week we saw an increase to 1,591 schools that will close for in-person learning for at least one day the week of January 3rd. Closures tend to fall into two categories: a) The majority of district closures are one or two week virtual learning breaks due to rising Covid 19 cases b) A handful of big districts are spending the first one to three days of the New Year distributing testing kids to staff and families. The average closure length for schools closing the week of January 3rd is 6 days.
- Richmond, VA school district will be opening as scheduled while distributing tests on Sunday, January 2nd, and announcing a test-to-stay program launching the week of January 10th.
- Fairfax, VA school district is conducting testing on December 30th and 31st before its scheduled return. "This testing opportunity is available for symptomatic students and staff who want to check their status before returning to school," reports the district.
- Seattle, WA schools will be closed on Monday, January 3rd, for voluntary, in-person testing. "Because 80% to 90% of positive cases are asymptomatic, identifying them before, and quickly after, classes resume will reduce the spread of the virus in our schools," reads the announcement.
- The Massachusetts Department of Education announced on Wednesday they are distributing rapid antigen tests state-wide. "Every school district will receive enough tests to distribute two tests to all school staff. DESE strongly encourages all school personnel take one of the at-home antigen tests no more than 24 hours before they return to work to help prevent the spread of COVID-19." reads the press release.
- Springfield, VT announced test kit distribution on December 30th and 31st. "Please have your student(s) take these tests at least 24 hours apart, starting two days before school begins. (One on January 1st and the other on January 2nd)," read the instructions.
- Beechwood, OH school district is delaying the start of school until January 6th and conducting testing on January 3rd. "This delay will provide more time before reopening after the winter break to receive staff and student test results, determine the extent of virus spread and any staffing level implications," announces the district.
- Camden, NJ schools will be virtual for the first two weeks in January, as will Newark, NJ public schools and Linden, NJ schools.
- New Jersey districts that are remote for the first week of January include Union City, Bayonne, West New York, North Bergen, Jersey City, and Weehawken.
- Charles County, MD schools will be virtual the first week of January.
- Cleveland, OH school district will be virtual the first week of January, the largest of a handful of other districts in that area delaying their in-person start.
- Clayton County, GA school district will delay in-person learning from Wednesday January 5th to January 10th. "COVID-19 testing will be available at each school location on Wednesday, January 5, 2022, from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m," notes the post about the delay.
- Reading, PA school district will be virtual the first week in January due to rising cases.
- Providence, RI schools will engage in a staggered start with a mix of different grades starting over the course of the week.
- Madison, WI school district will delay their start until late in the first week of January due to rising Covid 19 cases.