Week of 10/19: Fauci Interview

Burbio's data was used in an interview with Dr Fauci last Wednesday by CBS; the spirit of the question was that millions of students are back in the classroom and what have we learned.

Burbio's data was used in an interview with Dr Fauci last Wednesday by CBS; the spirit of the question was that millions of students are back in the classroom and what have we learned.    
Below is our latest weekly report on school learning plans, along with additional flavor.  Happy to answer questions.  

Burbio School Opening Tracker- Map

% US K-12 Students attending 'Virtual only" schools = 42.6%
% US K-12 Students Attending 'Traditional In-person/Every day" schools = 34.7%
% US K-12 Students Attending "Hybrid" Schools = 22.7%


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, 42.6% of US K-12 students are currently attending schools that offer only virtual plans, 34.7% offering traditional, etc. 

Trends and observations:

1) To review, Burbio 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 as large districts such as Hawaii, Dallas, small cities in the Northeast, Boston and parts of the Midwest reversed previously announced in-person plans.   In our  Labor Day release  we noted that many districts had announced plans to shift from virtual to in-person during September, and that trend has taken hold as the virtual-only number is now 42.6%.


2) Over 3% of US K-12 students  moved from attending virtual-only schools to traditional in-person or hybrid plans this week.   Broward County, FL (traditional)  Middlesex County, NJ (hybrid) went from virtual to completely in-person offerings.  Miami-Dade County, FL completed its transition to in-person (traditional) as did Orleans County, LA (both hybrid and traditional)  while chunks of Oakland County, MI, Virginia Beach County, VA,  Mercer County, NJ, Burlington County, NJ and  St Joseph County, Indiana made switches.   Smaller sections of Bucks and  Delaware Counties in, PA,  Middlesex County, MA. and Macomb County, MI switched to variations of in-person as well, as the trend of incremental changes across the Northeast continued.    We again noted shifts in over 20 states from all regions of the US. 

3) Covid closings are moving beyond school specific outbreaks to community spread thresholds.  NY was the first widely reported state to close schools due to community spread but this week we noted Lowell, MA schools closed for three weeks due to elevated Covid levels, schools in San Diego County postponed their opening due to Covid levels, St. Cloud, MN area schools closed due to "forecasted"- their words - Covid increases next week,  while   Hartford is monitoring Covid levels for district school closing that could occur this week.   Outbreaks don't appear to be occurring in schools themselves and often come from outside the district.   Given the use of community thresholds in certain states where schools have in-person schooling,  and the highly prescriptive nature of reopening plans in places like Washington and California where in-person schooling is currently limited, we expect this to be a permanent part of the education landscape over the next few months. 


4) As referenced last week many districts in Texas had begun limiting remote-learning options, in particular targeting low performing students to return to in person learning.  The Texas Commissioner of Education ruled that schools cannot target struggling students when discontinuing online learning. The result appears to be some districts in Texas eliminating remote learning altogether outside of health concerns. 


5) With Miami, FL, having recently returned, the next large urban area to bring students back is Houston, TX.  Other big districts are taking it much slower, with Philadelphia  only targeting the youngest grades before January and Kansas City not returning students until the new year at the earliest.


CBS featured Burbio data in an interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci and Burbio has been a resource for numerous government organizations, trade associations, think tanks and non-profits. 


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