Through 9/3 roughly 90% of US K-12 public school students have started school. This week over half the students in New Jersey, Oregon and Minnesota...
Week of 8/30: Disruption Trends
Through 8/27 approximately 75% of US K-12 students had started school. This week 15% of US K-12 students start, including the majority in Northeast states such as Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, Delaware, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. Other states where the majority of students return include Wisconsin, Washington, and the District of Columbia. Just under one-third of New York, New Jersey and Minnesota students start this week. The balance of New Jersey and Minnesota start right after Labor Day, and the rest of New York in the two weeks after Labor Day (NYC starts 9/13).
- To date we have identified closures of just under 700 schools in 158 districts across 25 states.
- The types of closures can be broken into four categories. The most frequent are schools in districts that moved to remote learning (77 districts). The next most common is schools in districts that temporarily close with no instruction being offered (58 districts). A third category is a delayed start of school (11 districts). We also saw schools in eight districts that went into hybrid learning, and four that have had disruptions starting as closures and then shifting to virtual instruction.
- The average in-person learning disruption (across all categories) is 9.7 days.
- The first schools to close, in early August, came from very small districts. That is still the case but we have started to see schools close within bigger districts as well. School closures occurred in 40 districts with less than 1,000 students, and just under 100 districts affected by school closures have less than 4,000 total students. That said, we found closures of schools in 10 districts in our Top 200 including a middle school in Williamson County, TN, several schools in Clayton County, GA, a K-8 school in Osceola County, FL, elementary schools in Fort Bend ISD, TX, an elementary school in Clark County, NV, and a hybrid plan implemented at a high school in DeSoto County, MS school district.
- In this Facebook post Lansing, MI schools refers to a busing waitlist, alternative transportation options, and adjusted school bell times.
- This Illinois school district advertisement for school bus drivers gives a flavor of the situation: "stay at home parents - bring up to two children to work. .. retirees, give back to the community and earn a bit of spending money . . . "
- This bus driving job in East Glastonbury, CT is offering signing bonuses and referral bonuses, and this Georgia district has a driver ad at the top of their Facebook page.
- In Henrico, VA this local media report describes signing bonuses amidst a 100+ driver shortage, and this piece describes a similar situation in the Virginia Beach/Chesapeake VA area.
- This piece out of Rhode Island references Cranston, RI asking parents for help in driving their children to school amidst a state-wide shortage of drivers.
- This piece out of Bethesda, MD covers the issue in that region and these pieces this past week from the Associated Press and The New York Times cover the issue nationally.
- Massachusetts instituted an in-school mask mandate that could be lifted for vaccinated students after October 1st if a school reaches an 80% vaccination rate.
- New York's new governor directed health officials to institute a mask mandate for schools and we have turned New York dark blue.
- Kentucky's Governor rescinded his recent executive order on school masks after a recent court defeat, but a mandate remains in effect as one was recently passed by the Kentucky Board of Education.
- After legal defeats in Florida and the ongoing suspension of enforcement of anti-mask regulations in Texas amidst legal action, plus over twenty districts across both states mandating masks, we created a new color on our School Mask Policy Tracker. - orange - for states where legal action is preventing enforcement of laws that prevent mask mandates. We are also changing Arkansas to orange due to a judge's order in that state preventing enforcement.
- Even outside of Texas and Florida districts are defying existing bans on state mask mandates. Oklahoma City Schools imposed a mask mandate, with the Superintendent saying the Oklahoma legislation applies only to school boards implementing bans while he is acting alone as Superintendent. In South Carolina Charleston, SC imposed a mask mandate. In Utah, the Mayor of Salt Lake City imposed a mask mandate on schools and for now the school district is enforcing it.
- Maryland's state board of education voted to impose a mask mandate. It requires legislative approval which is expected to come next week.