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.

Latest News

To Close or Not? How Superintendents Decide to Shut Down Schools

With COVID-19 continuing to spread throughout the United States, thousands of superintendents are suddenly becoming fluent in a peculiar new idiom: that of “social distancing” and “flattening the curve” of infection to prevent overwhelming medical facilities. Increasingly, they’re faced with the tough decision of if and when they should decide to close their schools to stave off transmission.

Latest News

Gov. Whitmer Orders Closure of All K-12 Schools in Michigan Over Coronavirus

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has ordered all K-12 schools in the state to close in light of concerns about the coronavirus.

Whitmer announced the order during an 11 p.m. press conference, where she was accompanied by State Superintendent Michael Rice and other state officials.

The order affects nearly 1.5 million public school students, 537 school districts and nearly 300 charter schools. Private schools are also affected.

Latest News

Coronavirus in Ohio: Schools Suspended, Public Gatherings Over 100 Banned

Ohio’s Department of Health has banned “mass gatherings” of over 100 people in Ohio. Gov. Mike DeWine says the state will also suspend schools for three weeks to stop the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus.

Gov. Mike DeWine says the state will suspend schools for three weeks to stop the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus.

“This action is not an action I took lightly,” DeWine said at a press conference Thursday afternoon.

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Virtual Learning and Coronavirus Poised to Inflame Inequality in Schools

The threat of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, is forcing educators across the country to think about what they’ll do if they have to close their schools for weeks or even months at a time. State and federal agencies have advised schools to create online learning plans to minimize the disruption to student learning. For some schools, that’s a small leap. Their students have internet connections at home, laptops they can work from, teachers who know how to design online lessons and a strong foundation of in-school blended learning experience.

Latest News

Coronavirus Forces Hundreds of Sites to Cancel the March SAT

NEARLY 150 TESTING centers in the U.S. canceled their administration of the SAT college entrance exam to students as planned for March 14 – the latest interruption to American life caused by the coronavirus.

The administration of the SAT is also canceled countrywide in 17 countries, including places like China, Italy, Japan, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates.

Latest News

Georgia Keeps Its Public Campuses Open Despite Coronavirus Fears

Bucking the national trend, the University of Georgia plans to resume normal class operations following spring break on Monday. And the University System of Georgia intends to keep all 26 public campuses open, contrary to decisions by more than 150 other colleges, including the entire University of North Carolina System, to close down because of the coronavirus. 

On Wednesday, Emory announced it is moving classes online and closing its dorms, followed by a similar decision earlier today by the Atlanta University Center campuses, Spelman, Morehouse and Clark Atlanta,

Latest News

As Coronavirus Hits, Only About 1 In 10 Denver Public Schools Has a Full-Time Nurse

As the new coronavirus continues to sicken Coloradans, school nurses in Denver are calling attention to a concerning fact: While the school district’s protocol heavily relies on nurses to detect suspected outbreaks, only 11% of the city’s public schools have a full-time nurse.

That percentage goes up to 15% when factoring in schools that span grade levels, such as a middle/high school, that share a full-time nurse between them. The rest of Denver’s more than 220 schools have a nurse only part time.

Latest News

Why Are Some Colleges Closing Over Virus Concerns While Others Stay Open?

As the new coronavirus continues to cause chaos and anxiety in the U.S., many colleges and universities are responding by closing up shop. Some have canceled face-to-face instruction and moved online, while others have gone a step further and called for residence halls to be emptied. One institution, Berea College, has said there will be no further instruction at all, effectively ending the semester early.

Latest News

Here’s Why San Francisco Public Schools Will Remain Open

Cases of the coronavirus will inevitably hit students and staff in San Francisco classrooms, but for now, all public schools will remain open across the city, officials said Wednesday.

“After careful consideration and hours of consultation” and despite calls from parents to shut down to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the 132 schools serving 56,000 students in the district will remain open, said San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Vincent Matthews.

Latest News

Seattle Public Schools to Close for Two Weeks in Light of Coronavirus Concerns

Seattle Public Schools will close for a minimum of two weeks starting Thursday, according to an email sent to school administrators Wednesday. The district later confirmed the news in a press release.

The email said the decision was made after conferring with county and school officials. It instructs principals to treat the closure as if they are going on spring break, and lists some guidance for going forward.

“We know you do not have time to do everything and we trust that you will do your best given the circumstances,” the email said.

Latest News

When Should Schools Close for Coronavirus?

Amid the spread of COVID-19, the growing health crisis presents school leaders with a painful choice. Closing schools — as has been done, so far, in China, Japan, Italy and elsewhere — is a proven measure that has been shown to slow the spread of disease and, in turn, save lives. But it also causes huge economic and social disruption, especially for children, millions of whom depend on the free and reduced-cost meals they get at school.

Latest News

Rules Eased on Colleges Seeking to Close Their Campuses Amid Outbreak

 The U.S. Department of Education has moved to ease rules on colleges and universities looking to shift their classes onto the internet, as closures of campuses cascaded with the hastening spread of the coronavirus.

With fears growing in higher education, the department has granted what it said was “broad approval” to schools seeking relief from federal standards as they activated “distance learning” programs that still must comply with higher education laws.

Latest News

University Of Michigan Cancels Thursday, Friday Classes, Then Online

The University of Michigan will cancel all classes on Thursday and Friday before starting online instruction on Monday. The announcement covers the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses. In addition, all events with more than 100 people scheduled are cancelled. Michigan Athletics is limiting spectators at all campus athletic events to family members and media.

Latest News

How Area Schools are Planning to Instruct Thousands of Students in the Event of Long-Term Coronavirus Closures

School districts across the region are creating online lesson plans and sending students home with packets of assignments as they brace for the prospect of the spreading coronavirus causing extended school closures.

More than a dozen districts serving thousands of students said they would preemptively close in the coming days to give administrators and teachers time to plan how best to deliver instruction to students in the event that schools are shut down.