Week of 3/14: Covid-Era In-Person Indexes

Over two-thirds of the Top 500 districts are now mask-optional. We take a look at national school opening indexes during the Covid-19 era, and highlight ESSER III spending in professional development.

Over two-thirds of the Top 500 districts are now mask-optional.  We take a look at national school opening indexes during the Covid-19 era, and highlight ESSER III spending in professional development.  
To receive a sample of Burbio's detailed by-district ESSER III spending dataset featuring over 75 categories of spending, visit our ESSER III page.
FutureEd and Burbio are hosting a webinar at 2 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 15, to explore ESSER III spending plans and what’s next for reporting expenditures and measuring impact. Panelists include Curtis Jones, Bibb County School District Superintendent; Nick Simmons, Special Assistant to the Secretary, U.S. Department of Education; Burbio co-founder Julie Roche, and the team from FutureEd.  For more information and to register, click here.
1.  The number of mask-required schools continued to drop as an increasing number of city districts are going mask-optional.  Among the urban districts going mask-optional, and their effective date: Philadelphia, PA (3/9), Buffalo, NY (3/9)  St Louis, MO (3/7), Cincinnati, OH (3/8), Cleveland, OH (3/9), Worcester, MA (3/8),  Boise, ID (3/8),  Chicago, IL (3/14),  Washington, DC (3/16),  Baltimore City (3/14), Portland, ME (3/14), Seattle, WA (3/14), and Portland, OR (3/14).
Ten percent of the Top 500 districts went mask optional this week alone and over two thirds are now mask optional.  With school mask requirements dropping next week in West Coast states, and continued removals in cities, we expect to the pace continue in the next two weeks.  Below is the Top 500 summary as of end of day 3/11: 
Mask Numbers 3-12-22

2. Burbio has been researching school opening trends since August 2020 when K-12 schools began re-opening for in-person learning after shutting down in the Spring of 2020.   With the recent decline in school disruptions, we thought it would be a good time to look at the indexes over this period.  Below we present two charts: the first has the in-person index from August 2020 to date, and the second is just for the 2021/22 academic year.  

Aug 2020 to Feb 2022 IPI
2021-2022 School Year IPI
*In-Person Index (IPI) is a student enrollment weighted index with students receiving traditional in-person instruction weighted at 100, students receiving hybrid instruction (2-3 days per week in-person) weighted at 50 and students receiving virtual instruction weighted at 0.
2020/2021 School Year Methodology
IPI calculations are for a specific date based on projections using district level closures from a nationwide, representative sample of 1200 School Districts representing 47% of US K-12 students. 

2021/2022 School Year Methodology
IPI calculations are based on daily average schools disrupted during a week based on nationwide, comprehensive search for all school closures.  5,000 districts representing over 70% of US students are reviewed weekly, plus a sweeping coverage of news sites, government sources, and social media to identify closures beyond those.
3. Burbio continues to grow its detailed dataset of ESSER III spending plans, now up to over 3,200 districts and $68 billion of spending.  One of the key areas of spending is professional development for staff.   Below are examples from across the US with the ESSER III allocation for the district in parenthesis: 
  • Hale County, AL ($8.3MM) is funding programs in evidence-based interventions for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, mathematics curriculum training, technical education, curriculum planning, and ELA. 
  • Carlsbad Municipal Schools, NM ($8.4MM) is working with two agencies to  "help our staff provide just in time interventions and improve their instructional strategies" and "to support our instruction and equitable access for all students. . .   We will also use our Instructional Specialists and Coaches to move our curriculum mapping work forward."
  • Auburn, ME ($7.4MM) will be providing graduate-level reading courses for teachers and reading interventionists. 
  • Arcadia Unified, CA ($7.3MM) will be providing "professional development opportunities for staff to include safety protocols and best practices as well as lesson design within the MTSS  (multi-tiered system of supports) framework to address learning gaps and social emotional needs of students," as well as  "training for school staff on strategies to engage students and families in addressing students’ social-emotional health."
  • Syracuse City School District, NY ($108.9MM) will partner with a number of local agencies "to improve the quality and effectiveness of both school leaders and instructional staff. This funding will also support ongoing paid professional development for instructional coaches to lead professional development sessions, as well as support the addition of five new Technology Integration Specialists to assist staff with the use of technology and software."
  • Jersey City, NJ ($101.7MM) will "Provide evidence-based professional learning and coaching opportunities to a variety of school staff, including educators and key support staff (e.g., school counselors, special education personnel, nurses, social workers, and psychologists) . . . "
  • Palmdale Elementary, CA ($58.1MM) is providing "Summer Reading Boot Camps" for teachers of students in grades K-5 and 6-8, plus a "Teaching Core Reading Academy" and various training and coaching programs for teachers. 
  • South Sioux City Community Schools, NE ($7.7MM) is spending on a variety of programs for curriculum implementation support, reading system certifications. and MTSS.  
  • Nottaway County Public Schools, VA ($6.1MM)  "will provide for additional professional development training for teachers in effective technology use as a supplemental learning tool and strategies to support the needs of struggling learners.  Professional development will provide teachers with the support needed to effectively engage learners and differentiate instruction to meet learning needs."
  • Fairfield County School District, SC ($10,5MM) highlights specific platforms in saying, "Professional development and continued implementation training for Schoology and PowerSchool will support . .. expanded implementation for teachers and staff." 

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