This week we highlight districts starting the school year earliest of those that were hybrid or virtual at the end of the 2020/21 school year. The...
Burbio - US K-12 School Opening Tracker W/O 9/28: 50%+ Virtual
Where there have been state-wide bans on in person learning, the decision to have in person schooling is a multi-step process. A state level regulation allowing schools to open is the beginning - a discussion then ensues at the local level among all stake-holders.
% US K-12 Students attending 'Virtual only" schools = 53%
% US K-12 Students Attending 'Traditional In person/Every day" schools = 27%
% US K-12 Students Attending "Hybrid" Schools = 20%
1) 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 announced in-person plans. Burbio's launched the audit showing 52% "virtual only" on August 11th and it shifted dramatically as the month went on and increased to 62 percent by Labor Day.
2) Post Labor Day, Sun Belt areas of Texas, Georgia, and Florida, converted to in -person from virtual starts. They had announced this in August - and we noted it in our Labor Day release announcing that 62% of students were attending "Virtual only" schools- and they went through with it - a significant data point.
3) During the balance of September and into early October, we continue to see areas of the Sun Belt moving to in person, but also shifts in states such as California, Illinois the Northeast and previously virtual-only Arizona. '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.
Where there have been state-wide bans on in person learning, the decision to have in person schooling is a multi-step process. A state level regulation allowing schools to open is the beginning - a discussion then ensues at the local level among all stake-holders. It's a bit fluid and varies by state, but "XYZ state allows schools to have in person learning" does not mean "Schools are now having in person learning in XYZ state"
Nationally, it appears all large "virtual only" districts will either be revisiting plans by January or saying "we are virtual until" a date that is January or earlier.
4) Covid closures are not yet moving the percentages. They vary from one day cleaning to two week closures; most are individual school closures.
5) Our data is presented as "students attending schools that offer this learning plan" - most districts offer virtual even when providing in person. Where reported the numbers of students "opting out" of in person learning is below 20% and in many cases they aren't being discussed at all. That said - NYC is seeing a large percentage of students "opt out" of their yet-to-be launched hybrid plan and it's a trend we are watching closely as larger urban districts consider in person schooling.
Some recent press mentions: