Coronavirus and Education

Overview

Coronavirus and Education
How schools and colleges are responding to COVID-19

The rapid spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — which the World Health Organization has declared a global pandemic — has big implications for P-12 and higher education in the United States. Education journalists around the country are playing a vital role in helping communities understand the situation, from school closures to plans for remote learning and making sure high-need students maintain access to wraparound services like health care and meals.

Education Week is tracking state-level K-12 school closures, which includes the closure of both the buildings and in-person instruction. 

While the response to the health crisis is fluid, it’s clear that educators will have to rethink teaching methods. Challenges include adopting new methods of digital learning and instruction if bricks-and-mortar classrooms remain closed for an extended period, as well as helping families struggling with child care issues or mandated quarantines.

The rapid spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — which the World Health Organization has declared a global pandemic — has big implications for P-12 and higher education in the United States. Education journalists around the country are playing a vital role in helping communities understand the situation, from school closures to plans for remote learning and making sure high-need students maintain access to wraparound services like health care and meals.

Education Week is tracking state-level K-12 school closures, which includes the closure of both the buildings and in-person instruction. 

While the response to the health crisis is fluid, it’s clear that educators will have to rethink teaching methods. Challenges include adopting new methods of digital learning and instruction if bricks-and-mortar classrooms remain closed for an extended period, as well as helping families struggling with child care issues or mandated quarantines.

Highlight

Word on the Beat: Remote Learning

As communities nationwide grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, educators are struggling to provide young people with meaningful opportunities to continue learning even with most public schools now closed. In this installment of Word on the Beat, we look at how digital tools are being put into quick action for K-12 education — and how that’s creating both opportunities and challenges for teachers, students, and families.

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Five Tips for Education Reporters Covering the Coronavirus

Keep Calm and Report On

In any health crisis, the news media is a critical source of information for the public. Education reporters can, and should, play a key role in their newsroom coverage, given that schools are a significant factor in efforts to contain and limit the existing outbreak of the coronavirus.

Latest News

After 2 Educators Die of COVID, Cobb County Teachers Demand Classrooms Stay Closed

Hours after two educators died of COVID-19, more than 100 teachers, students, parents and community members packed the parking lot outside a Cobb County Board of Education meeting to demand the school district continue with remote-only learning.

Two educators — Kemp Elementary School teacher Dana Johnson and Sedalia Park Elementary School paraprofessional Cynthia Lindsey — died Thursday from COVID-19. Patrick Key, another Cobb educator, died Christmas Day after a month-long battle with the disease.

Latest News

Rural Schools Have Battled Bad Internet, Low Attendance and Academic Decline Through the Pandemic. Now the Push Is On to Return Students to Classrooms — Safely

As the first full semester for U.S. schools during the pandemic comes to an end, education experts and parents alike are concerned about its effects on children’s academic progress. From the Mexican border to the Upper Midwest, Oregon to Virginia and on Native American reservations across the West, that anxiety is magnified in rural areas, which are far less likely to have access to high-speed or even consistent internet in a time of extensive virtual schooling.

Latest News

13,000 School Districts, 13,000 Approaches to Teaching During Covid

What does it mean to go to public school in the United States during the pandemic?

The answer looks so different in different parts of the country, it is hard to tell that we are one nation.

In some rural and suburban areas, especially in the South, Midwest and Great Plains, almost all students began the 2020-21 academic year attending school in person, and they have continued to do so, except for temporary closures during outbreaks.

Latest News

Biden’s Covid-19 Stimulus Plan Includes $40 Billion For Child Care

America’s child care providers have hit a breaking point.

In a survey last summer, 86 percent said the Covid-19 pandemic had hurt their enrollment. Seventy percent said it had driven up costs. With less money coming in and more going out, just 18 percent believed they could stay open longer than a year without some kind of help.

Those numbers are just one sign of a crisis that’s been brewing ever since the pandemic began spreading across the US.

Latest News

Pandemic Teacher Shortages Imperil In-Person Schooling

As exposure to the coronavirus forced thousands of teachers across the United States to stay home and quarantine this winter, administrators in the Washoe County School District, which serves 62,000 students in western Nevada, pulled out all the stops to try to continue in-person instruction for students.

Read the full story here.

Latest News

Biden Outlines Plan to Solve Child Care Crisis

PRESIDENT-ELECT JOE Biden outlined a sweeping plan Thursday to address the country’s child care crisis.

“We are facing an acute, immediate child care crisis in America, which is exacerbating our economic crisis,” he said in a statement. “If left unaddressed, many child care providers will close – some permanently – and millions of children could go without necessary care, and millions of parents could be left to make devastating choices this winter between caring for their children and working to put food on the table.”

Latest News

Biden Calls for $130 Billion in New K-12 Relief, Scaled Up Testing, Vaccination Efforts

President-elect Joe Biden is calling for $130 billion in additional COVID-19 relief funding for schools, ramped up testing efforts, and accelerated vaccine distribution strategies to help reopen “the majority of K-8 schools” within the first 100 days of his administration.

The proposals, which Biden announced in a speech Thursday night, are part of a $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” that also seeks $350 billion in aid to state, local, and territorial governments.

Latest News

How The Pandemic Highlights Racial Disparities In Higher Education

Typically during a recession, community college enrollment goes up as unemployed workers start looking for new skills. But that’s not happening this time around, signaling trouble for the economy and individual families going forward, particularly for lower-income students and students of color. This is part of a PBS NewsHour ongoing series, “Rethinking College.”

Latest News

How The Pandemic Highlights Racial Disparities In Higher Education

Typically during a recession, community college enrollment goes up as unemployed workers start looking for new skills. But that’s not happening this time around, signaling trouble for the economy and individual families going forward, particularly for lower-income students and students of color. This is part of a PBS NewsHour ongoing series, “Rethinking College.”

Latest News

State Planning COVID Testing Pilot for Child Care Staff, After Continued Pleas by Providers

When state leaders announced that they would be making widespread pooled coronavirus testing available to public schools, many child care providers and after school program directors were frustrated that they were left out.

Many had been caring for children throughout the pandemic as emergency child care providers reopened before most public schools. After school programs had transformed their spaces into remote learning centers to support students who needed to log on to their virtual classrooms.

How Will Your Community Benefit From the New $81 Billion in Pandemic Relief for Education?
Webinar

How Will Your Community Benefit From the New $81 Billion in Pandemic Relief for Education?
Experts explain ins and outs of new aid flowing to schools and universities, and how to track it

More than $81 billion in new stimulus aid is coming to schools and universities as part of the new federal COVID relief measure. Get a quick introduction to tracking the money that will flow to the schools you cover in this EWA webinar.

Two policy experts explain:

Latest News

Statewide Child Care Strike Remains on the Table as Grants Go Out to Providers

YAKIMA — A statewide strike of small child care providers proposed earlier this month remains on the table, and union leaders say it could take place in mid-January.

In mid-December, 5,400 providers in Washington began to vote on whether to take the first statewide strike in the sector, said Mary Curry, president of the SEIU 925 union chapter that represents these providers statewide.

“More than half have voted, and voted to strike,” Curry said Tuesday.

Latest News

Newsom Pledges Aid For California Schools’ Reopening Plans

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday announced a $2-billion package of incentives to encourage a return to in-person classes for California elementary school students as early as mid-February, an effort that could require frequent coronavirus testing for students, teachers and staff.

Latest News

How the Pandemic Is Imperiling a Working-Class College

Rachel Foor’s grandparents are in their 70s, so when the pandemic hit, its stresses gave her such stomach pains that she could not eat or sleep. She worried she would infect them if she brought the coronavirus home from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she is a senior, or from Walmart, where she stocks milk and eggs to help pay tuition.

Latest News

Biden’s Pick for Ed. Secretary: U.S. Must Help Schools ‘Forge Opportunity Out of Crisis’

The coronavirus crisis has taken some of the “most painful disparities” in America’s schools and “wrenched them open even wider,” Connecticut Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona said as President-elect Joe Biden introduced him as his choice for U.S. secretary of education Wednesday.

Cardona laid out a two-fold vision of helping schools, educators, and families rebound from the pandemic while also addressing long-standing concerns about equity and opportunity.

Latest News

Educators, Students and Schools Come Up Short in Coronavirus Relief Package

AS CONGRESS TIES THE bow on a long-awaited and contentious coronavirus relief package, superintendents, principals and educators are disappointed – though not surprised – by how little aid it includes for their efforts to reopen the country’s public school system for millions of children who have been learning remotely since the pandemic shuttered schools in March.