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.

Highlight

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.

Latest News

‘Organized Chaos’: Many Massachusetts Colleges Unprepared for Transition to Online Teaching

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.

Latest News

Schools Serve More Than 20 Million Free Lunches Every Day. If They Close, Where Will Children Eat?

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.

Latest News

Michigan Education Leaders Ask DeVos for Test Waiver

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

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.

Latest News

Coronavirus School Closings: Online Learning, No Reopen Date in Sight

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. 

Latest News

Online Schools: Student Performance Often Falls Behind Regular Schools

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.

Latest News

2020: The Year That Shredded the Admissions Calendar

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?

Latest News

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.

Latest News

As the Coronavirus Scrambles Colleges’ Finances, Leaders Hope for the Best and Plan for the Worst

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.

Latest News

Coronavirus: Michigan State Will Pay Students to Leave Dorms

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.

Latest News

Coronavirus College Closures Will Hurt Poor Students

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.

Latest News

School’s Out for Coronavirus. Can My Kids Have a Playdate?

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?

Latest News

Coronavirus Throws Spring Testing Into Disarray

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.

Latest News

Biden and Sanders Demand Coronavirus Relief for Parents, Schools

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.

Latest News

Coronavirus Hits Colleges, Universities Hard

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.

Read the full story here.