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.

Outlets including Education Week, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Inside Higher Ed are tracking the rapidly increasing closures of K-12 schools and colleges and universities. 

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.

Outlets including Education Week, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Inside Higher Ed are tracking the rapidly increasing closures of K-12 schools and colleges and universities. 

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.

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Status of School and University Closures

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.

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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.

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How Coronavirus And The Recession Will Affect Open-access Colleges

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.

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Two Districts, Two Very Different Plans For Students While School Is Out Indefinitely

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.

Latest News

Coronavirus In NC: Schools May Reopen As Childcare Centers

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.

Latest News

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.

Latest News

A Day Without School: What Life Looks Like Across America When Children Stay 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.

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Child Care Providers Grapple With Whether To Close Or Remain Open Amid COVID-19 Concerns

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?

Latest News

A Day Without School: What Life Looks Like Across America When Children Stay 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.

Latest News

Texas Parents Struggle Finding Child Care as School Closings Keep Kids Home

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.

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Kentucky School District Offers Meals Amid School Closures

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.

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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.

Latest News

Disruptions to California Community Colleges Possible Into Next Academic Year, Chancellor Says

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.

Latest News

College Professors Make A Mad Dash Online As Classes Go Virtual
WBEZ

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.

Latest News

Seattle Schools Grapple With Online Learning and Equity

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.

Latest News

Here Are the Alabama Schools Offering Meals to Students

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.

Read the full story here.