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.
Like many educators across the country right now, professors at Berklee College of Music in Boston are scrambling to compose online courses and tune up their remote teaching skills. Berklee has a bit of a head start, though, since its online program already enrolls more than 11,000 students each year.
Debbie Cavalier, the CEO of Berklee Online, said music actually lends itself to teaching remotely.
In Cincinnati, school officials were trying to figure out what kind of nonperishable meals they could distribute to homeless students, who constitute nearly a tenth of the student body. In New Rochelle, N.Y., where residents have been confined to their homes, the National Guard delivered food to needy students. And in Baltimore, a high school senior was contemplating how he would go two weeks without a school lunch.
Michigan’s state superintendent of instruction and the president of the State Board of Education urged U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on Tuesday to grant a nationwide waiver of statewide student assessments.
State superintendent Michael Rice and state school board president Casandra Ulbrich wrote to DeVos to say that federally mandated state testing should be waived this year in favor of focusing on the more immediate needs of children amid the current coronavirus pandemic that has led to the closure of schools in Michigan and across the country.
EWA Radio: The Impact of the Coronavirus on Education
How the health crisis is impacting students, schools
(EWA Radio: Episode 232)
As the coronavirus pandemic expands in the U.S., education reporters are on the front lines of the news coverage, with nearly three-quarters of public schools either closed or planning to close in coming days, and many colleges and universities moving to online learning or ending the semester outright.
With at least 70% of America’s schools shutting down and a chorus of prominent voices calling to close the rest, millions of parents entered a strange new reality this week: attempting to manage their children’s education from the confines of home.
The new landscape of remote work coupled with remote schooling is bizarre and chaotic. And it stands to get worse before it gets better: Districts and states vary wildly in their ability to deliver educational services at a time of social isolation.
As states and school districts consider closing public schools amid the coronavirus pandemic, educators are debating moving instruction from classrooms to families’ living rooms via the internet. But setting up online schools wouldn’t be easy and, according to research, moving from the actual classroom to a virtual classroom can hurt student performance.
Take it down, rip it up, and forget it. The college-admissions calendar, on which an entire industry depends, is kaput.
Last week, as the threat of Covid-19 shuttered dorms and silenced quads, the lights in many enrollment offices stayed on late. Huddled around tables, scrawling on whiteboards, harried officials confronted a difficult question: How do you reel in a freshman class during an unprecedented national crisis?
Shock, Fear, and Fatalism: As Coronavirus Prompts Colleges to Close, Students Grapple With Uncertainty
Effectively booted off campus in an effort to contain coronavirus contagion, hundreds of thousands of college students are reacting with shock, uncertainty, sadness, and, in some cases, devil-may-care fatalism. Even as they hurriedly arrange logistical details, the stress of an uncertain future is taking a toll.
The Covid-19 pandemic threatens the health of millions across the country, and it has pitched the remainder of the academic year into chaos and uncertainty. While students wait to learn how, or if, they can finish out their terms, college leaders are beginning to grapple with the longer-term financial ramifications.
Families across New York City grappled Monday with the first day of an unprecedented systemwide shutdown of schools.
Learning from home sparked a range of early concerns. Top among them: What role are parents expected to play in their children’s remote education while balancing life’s other demands?
Michigan State University is offering to refund the remaining students living on campus to leave amid heightened coronavirus concerns.
Vennie Gore, MSU’s vice president for auxiliary enterprises, emailed student housing residents Monday offering $1,120 in cash or credits toward next fall’s on-campus dining and housing costs or off-campus dining plan to any student who moves out by 5 p.m. on April 12.
When some college students first got the news that their school was canceling in-person classes due to the coronavirus outbreak, they broke out into spontaneous dining-hall dance parties, joked about nabbing dirt-cheap flights to Italy, and plotted elaborate pranks to dupe their professors over video chat.
More than 60 Colorado school districts have closed their schools for at least the next two weeks, and more than 794,000 students — roughly 87% of the state’s K-12 students — are home for what could turn into a very extended spring break.
This has left many parents of young children who still have to work scrambling for child care, while parents of older children who are used to more independence are wondering what is and isn’t OK.
Can children still go to the park? Can teenagers hang out with their friends? Can families get together for playdates?
Coronavirus, already upending the schooling of millions of U.S. students, is poised to wreak widespread havoc on spring testing, a disruption that will affect dozens of important decisions, from teacher evaluation and 3rd grade promotion to the way schools measure and report their progress to the public. The virus has also thrown college-admissions testing into disarray in hundreds of cities.
As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the United States, people with jobs that put them in physical contact with many others are at the greatest risk of becoming sick.
School systems around the country have been closing. Teachers rate high both for exposure to illnesses and for their proximity to other people.
In an unprecedented move, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday he would waive testing requirements for this year’s STAAR exam, as many schools expect to be closed at least through the April testing window, due to the new coronavirus.
New York City public schools will close down Monday through at least April 20 to stem the spread of the new coronavirus pandemic, a decision that has sweeping ramifications for the city’s 1.1 million students and their families.
As the pace of virus-related school closures quickens nationwide, the shuttered Jacqueline B. Vaughn Occupational High School, which serves students with special needs in Chicago, has become an extraordinary test case for the restrictive new reality soon to be felt by millions of kids and families across the country.
As former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders faced off Sunday in the first debate with only two Democratic presidential candidates, concerns about the new coronavirus dominated the discussion — including how the country should feed students whose schools will be shuttered for weeks and how to help parents in desperate need of child care.
Both Biden and Sanders spoke about plans they announced earlier this week to tackle the coronavirus pandemic that has closed schools in most of the nation’s largest school districts and in more than two dozen states.
Scores of universities and colleges across the country are moving online or closing campuses amid the coronavirus outbreak, transforming U.S. higher education in a matter of days. At least 200 universities and colleges have canceled or postponed in-person classes, according to a list monitored by Georgetown University senior scholar Bryan Alexander.