Coronavirus and Education
Updated March 20
Forty-five states have decided to close schools in response to the new coronavirus pandemic, Education Week reports. The newspaper says at least at least 118,000 public and private schools are closed, are scheduled to close, or were closed and later reopened, affecting at least 53.7 million students.
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.
While higher education leaders and experts may disagree on how this recession — and complications arising from the novel coronavirus — will play out, they all agree this is a difficult, unique time for the sector.
The spread of the coronavirus has led many institutions to close and pivot to online. S&P Global just announced that the world is in a recession. Moody’s Investors Service moved higher education’s outlook rating from stable to negative.
Every elementary school student in Glastonbury was sent home with an iPad on the day Connecticut’s governor declared a “public health emergency” to blunt the spread of the coronavirus. On it were all the learning platforms students would need to resume learning online. Students without internet access at home were provided a connection by the district.
Schools in Central Texas are closed for at least three weeks to avoid spreading the coronavirus. With so many kids stuck at home (without the library, Thinkery or playdates to entertain them), we wanted to see how they are holding up.
Some North Carolina public schools could reopen to serve as emergency childcare centers to take care of children of “front line workers” who are providing critical services.
All North Carolina K-12 public schools have been closed since Monday and will remain that way through at least March 30 as a a result of an executive order from Gov. Roy Cooper.
But state leaders are worried that the closures of schools and many childcare centers could hurt the ability of people such as healthcare and public safety professionals to serve during the crisis.
With their doors closed, their reopening dates in flux and their promised “distance learning” offerings in doubt, the nation’s school administrators are pleading with the federal government for guidance to respond to the worsening coronavirus outbreak.
In Response To Coronavirus Pandemic, Tennessee Governor Slashes Proposed School Budget, Retains Vouchers
Gov. Bill Lee’s administration unveiled a revised budget plan Wednesday that halves the proposed increase for teacher pay and cuts most of the education initiatives he announced before the new coronavirus created a public health emergency in Tennessee.
Gone is the $250 million trust fund that the Republican governor proposed to support and grow mental health services for students in the state’s highest-risk schools.
It was a Tuesday like no other.
Crosswalks were empty. Children’s backpacks and lunch boxes sat unused. Yellow buses weren’t rumbling down many streets, and school doors didn’t swing open at dismissal.
Schools were closed from New York to San Jose and so many points in between, causing an unprecedented disruption to American life with no end in sight.
As schools and many businesses close across the country amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, child care providers are left in a predicament. Do they stay open despite the public health and safety concerns and the fear of putting children — who some believe could help spread the virus without showing symptoms — and their families at risk?
Or do they close, which could mean long-term financial repercussions for these small businesses, as well as for the parents who suddenly must choose between a paycheck and leaving a child alone at home?
It was a Tuesday like no other. Crosswalks were empty. Children’s backpacks and lunch boxes sat unused. Yellow buses weren’t rumbling down many streets, and school doors didn’t swing open at dismissal. Schools were closed from New York to San Jose and so many points in between, causing an unprecedented disruption to American life with no end in sight.
School districts in Hampton Roads will pay staff — including contracted and hourly employees like bus drivers, custodians and cafeteria workers — while schools are closed in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus. At least for the next first two weeks of the statewide closure.
‘Digital Divide’ Leaves Some Schools Giving Lessons on Paper, Some Online During Coronavirus Closures
Solon teachers are spending the first two days of Ohio’s coronavirus shutdown preparing videos and lessons to provide to students online.
But in districts like Cleveland and Lorain, the task is less high-tech: Teachers are creating lessons on paper or making copies from books and websites.
The Legislature hurriedly approved emergency financial relief to help school districts cope with the costs of the coronavirus on Monday before adjourning for a month to comply with state and federal orders limiting gatherings to stem the spread of the contagion.
Celina Cabral used to do filing and payroll at her sister’s concession business 40 minutes away from her Houston apartment. But when the 200,000-student Houston Independent School District announced it would close schools at least until mid-April in response to the spread of the new coronavirus, she was forced to stay at home with her four children, a spotty internet connection and a dwindling supply of food.
New York City to Open an Initial 100 Centers to Provide Care, Instruction for Children of City Workers
New York City schools will set up 100 centers throughout the city to accommodate children of city workers as it hashes out the logistics of schools shutting down, according to a two-page memo issued by the Department Of Education Tuesday on its contingency plans.
Hours into the first day of a statewide school closure, around what should have been lunchtime, Rangeland Elementary’s cafeteria sat quiet and empty.
Instead, the Newburg school’s cafeteria manager, Boyd Rouse, stood watch outside as a trickle of families showed up to grab meals to eat at home.
By noon, Rouse and a few others had handed out about 30 lunches to students who either walked or drove with their families to the school. Some of the kids grabbed breakfasts, too.
OPINION: As Coronavirus Forces Schools to Go Virtual, We Must Innovate — and Embrace Learning As We Go. How One Washington District at the Epicenter Is Doing Just That
I’m distressed that my hometown, Seattle, is ground zero for the U.S. outbreak of COVID-19.
I am heartened, though, by the fact that our community is primed to offer innovative responses, including in K-12 education.
As we face the prospect that the disease will spread in other parts of the country, it is imperative that we study those responses so other communities can learn from them.
Community colleges across California should prepare for significant disruptions through the end of the academic year and possibly into next academic year because of the spread of the coronavirus, the system’s chancellor said Monday.
Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley was also given broad emergency powers Monday by the system’s Board of Governors to ensure that students at the state’s 114 community colleges can continue their education as the virus spreads.
Professor Daniel Stanford has spent the past 14 years at DePaul University creating trainings and resources for faculty members, including a whole section about teaching remotely. When the university joined schools across the country this week in announcing it was shifting all classes online due to the new coronavirus, he and his colleagues were ready to help.
Five miles south of the Life Care Center of Kirkland, where the coronavirus outbreak has killed residents and sown fear, a prestigious private school is going remote.
Starting next week, Eastside Preparatory School, which charges $37,900 a year for tuition, will conduct its classes online for nearly a month “as a preventative measure to prioritize the health and safety of students,” according to a statement from Terry Macaluso, who heads the school.
Schools across Alabama are stepping up, implementing new ways to feed students who rely on schools for meals during the extended closures related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Meals are available for all children, aged 18 and under. In nearly all cases, the child does not have to be enrolled in a public school in the district in order to receive a meal.