This week the virtual-only figure took another drop as now 5.6% of all K-12 students are attending virtual-only schools. This week we examine the...
Week of 4/25: Post-Grad
This week we take a look at California's K-12 enrollment figures for 2021/22 versus 2020/21, as well as revised national comparisons that incorporate those figures. We take a look at Spring trends from around the US as well as career development programs being funded by ESSER III allocations.
2. Below are updated national charts, which now include 41 states plus the District of Columbia for overall enrollment, and 31 states for grade level. A rollover map can be found at the bottom of our ESSER III page.
- Clear Creek School District, CO announced a four day school week for next school year with Fridays featuring "Compass Day" activities for elementary school students through noon and afternoon 'wraparound care" on Fridays for a "minimal cost to families" through 5 pm. We are seeing adoption of four day school weeks for next year in states such as Arkansas and Texas with staffing issues being cited as a major reason."
- While not changing the length of the school week, Lee County, FL schools will shift their high school schedule from eight periods to seven. They note the increase in instruction time and benefits to learning in summarizing the change, while also pointing out, "In response to the teacher shortage, changing the high school schedule to a 7 period day requires less teachers than our current alternating 4 by 4 schedule."
- Soledad Unified School District, CA announced "With the recent decline in COVID cases in Soledad, the District has determined that plexiglass dividers which had been in place in classrooms may be removed. While the plexiglass dividers provided a barrier between students in classrooms, they made it more challenging for students to see and hear the teacher and interact with each other. If you would prefer to have a plexiglass divider at your child's desk, you may contact the principal at your child's school site to make this request."
- Hawaii announced the extension of the state's K-12 mask mandate through the end of the year. Oakland Unified, CA will remove their mask mandate Monday, April 25th while San Mateo Union High School District, CA extended their mask mandate while reporting 90 cases at a school prom. Palisades Charter High School, CA reinstated their mask mandate through April 29th due to a rise in cases. Kalamazoo, MI schools voted to extend their mask mandate through at least May 4th. Chelsea Public Schools, MA announced on April 14th the mask mandate would expire on May 7th.
- Maine will conclude its pooled testing program by mid-May. "In this new phase of the pandemic, frequent use of over-the-counter rapid antigen tests has become a more effective way to protect the health of school communities," reads the release.
- Weslaco ISD, TX hosted a "Mental Health & Self-Care Parent Conference" with breakout sessions on bullying, depression & anxiety, peer pressure & self-esteem, and preventing youth suicide.
4. One of the things we note in ESSER III plans is the variety of investments in career development programs. Below are some examples from around the country:
- Baldwin County Public Schools, AL ($45MM) is spending $15MM: "Funds will be used to purchase and upgrade equipment related to the expanding workforce for Baldwin County (to) assist in closing the gap between what employers are looking for and what skills students are leaving school with. Areas that will be the focus of this equipment are Manufacturing, HVAC, Electrical, Plumbing, Aerospace, Health Sciences, Cyber-security, Automotive, Hospitality and Tourism, Design, consumer services and others."
- Hartford Public Schools, CT ($98.5MM) has allocated resources for career counselors, NAF certification, a "recruiter-level LinkedIn contract," plus field trips related to career readiness.
- Council Bluffs Community School District, IA ($18MM) will be investing to enhance their "Plus One Pathways" program which "(provides) all students with a wide variety of opportunities to earn a high school diploma and a second credential. Investing in these Pathways provide students with engaging coursework that promotes persistence to graduation and prepares students for life beyond high school." Investments of just under $1MM will be made in the programs associated with computer science, engineering, and tradeworks.
- Thornton Fractional School District 215, IL ($8.8MM) will be spending just under $1.2MM on a Career Development Department and $442,590 on three years of a "Cosmetology and Barbering Teacher, Salary and Benefits."
- West Las Vegas School District, NM ($6.5MM) is spending just over $1.6MM on a career center. The district reports: "The construction of a CTE building would be to meet the needs of our at Risk Students who are struggling academically and are on the verge of dropping out. Our students have been out of the classroom for over a year and many are struggling socially and emotionally. We want the CTE building to serve as a career pathway and sense of hope for those students who are not college bound. Being that our high school services many low income, homeless, foster, and ELL students, learning a trade and giving them an outlet to being successful regardless if they choose to go to college, will be so beneficial for them . . . ."
- Rochester City School District, NY ($196.8MM) will be spending $6.9MM to promote college and career readiness, covering curriculum and support for technical education, careers in public safety, college transition, co-op programs, among many other services.
- Covina Valley Unified School District, CA ($17MM) will spend $1.8MM on "Expanded Career Counseling and Work-Based Learnings Supports" that will include hiring additional college and career counselors, provide daily on-site support from a local workforce investment board, local mentor support, guest speakers and internships, and custom software program. The district will also spend just over $800,000 on afterschool and summer college readiness support.
- Sweetwater County School District # 1, WY ($14.2MM) will spend $900,000 over two years to hire four graduation coaches to " support post-graduation goals and job skills training for students while intervening and tracking student progress and academic achievement." The district will also spend $970,000 for computer sciences courses that will among other things "provide opportunities for students to earn certifications, job shadow, and offer opportunities to work virtually from home."
- Williamsburg County School District, SC ($27.4MM) is creating a new career pathway in "Game and Interactive Media Design. . . With the learning loss of COVID 19, we want to provide as many opportunities to our students so we can motivate students, provide an outlet for social emotional needs, and spark an interest in a career . . . "