There’s rising doubt among school leaders that their students will return to school this spring.
Most schools in the St. Louis area are closed through April 3, for now, to help contain the spread of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. That date is starting to feel like just a placeholder for a more sustained closure.
A majority of states have ordered their schools closed as the nation rushes to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, hoping to blunt its potential to overwhelm medical resources.
It can be difficult to visualize the sheer scale of this wave, affecting tens of thousands of schools and tens of millions of students.
Schools will not have to administer federally required tests this year, President Trump and the U.S. Department of Education announced Friday — an unprecedented but unsurprising move in the wake of widespread school closures due to the new coronavirus.
“Students need to be focused on staying healthy and continuing to learn. Teachers need to be able to focus on remote learning and other adaptations,” Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said in a statement. “Neither students nor teachers need to be focused on high-stakes tests during this difficult time.”
North Carolina school districts are finding ways to pay employees while schools are closed this month, but employees are worried about how long that will last with the closures expected to continue.
The State Board of Education and state Department of Public Instruction told school districts to consider the weekdays that schools are closed through March 30 to be teacher workdays. This means salaried employees like teachers will continue to be paid and hourly employees will get paid if they work.
For international students studying at U.S. universities that suspended in-person classes, the last week has not been easy.
The Department of Homeland Security has confirmed that international students can take classes online without it adversely affecting their visa statuses. But as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced universities to partially close their campuses, many unanswered questions remain.
Angelina Dixon sat in a lounge chair on her front porch shortly before 9:30 a.m. Wednesday sipping steaming coffee and smoking a cigarette.
A 40-foot long yellow school bus pulled up just across the street, a teacher’s aide popped out, hurried over, greeted her warmly and handed her a white, plastic bag. It contained a breakfast pack of a muffin, a box of cereal, a pint of milk and a box juice. It also included a lunch of turkey and cheese cold cuts on a Kaiser roll and chips or Cheez Its crackers.
Oregon schools will not replace the weeks of traditional classroom instruction students are missing with online classes or another substitute while schools are shuttered until April 28.
The reasons why boil down to two words: Access and equity.
More than one million New York City students are slated to begin remote learning next week, but the education department acknowledged Thursday that it could take weeks before all students have the technology they need to communicate with their teachers.
“We’re not going to have 300,000 devices by Monday — we never said we would,” said Chancellor Richard Carranza, referring to the city’s estimate of the number of families who need technology to work remotely. “We do have a plan for having those devices in the hands of our students in the coming weeks.”
The New York State United Teachers union is calling on U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to waive federal state testing requirements this year as schools continue to close in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
In the span of roughly two weeks, the American higher education system has transformed. Its future is increasingly uncertain.
Most classes are now being held online, often for the rest of the semester. Dorms are emptying across the country. Some universities are even postponing or canceling graduation ceremonies scheduled months out. This is all the more surprising given most universities have a reputation for being reticent to change, especially in a short amount of time.
States Are Begging the Federal Government to Cancel Spring Testing. What Happens If They Get Their Wish?
In the midst of the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic, it has become clear that 2020 will not see a typical round of assessments. Nineteen states, including California, Florida and New York, have either canceled this year’s testing or are asking for federal approval to do so, according to a tracker published by Education Week.
The coronavirus pandemic has turned education upside down in Newark and nationwide, forcing schools to shut their doors and parents to play the role of teachers. But actual teachers, while confined to their homes, are still finding ways to connect virtually with their students, whether through old-fashioned phone calls or more modern tools like Google Classroom and ClassDojo.
New York City teachers streamed onto their campuses Tuesday through Thursday for training on moving instruction entirely online during a citywide school shutdown. In some cases, they walked in without any official word on whether they might have been exposed to someone with the new coronavirus.
City health officials have stopped publicly confirming instances of COVID-19 among school communities, as cases have skyrocketed to more than 3,600 as of Thursday morning in New York City.
Chicago schools will stay closed through April 20 in an effort to stem the exponential growth of the new coronavirus, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a Thursday evening address.
As coronavirus pushed campuses across the country to close, and college after college issued orders to resuscitate courses online, it became clear that faculty needed help, stat.
Diann Maurer answered the call. An instructional designer in Texas who weathered Hurricane Harvey, she knew firsthand what it’s like to try to keep education alive during a crisis. So she whipped up a few online forms, messaged colleagues on Twitter and together they created the Instructional Design Emergency Response Network.
Like lots of other kids, Jocilyn Oyler’s 11-year-old daughter is out of school amid coronavirus fears. But unlike other kids, she can’t just log onto the computer and do her schoolwork at home.
At school, she gets adult help in every classroom, plus speech therapy and other services. With her school closed, all that is gone. “She can’t write a paragraph without having a meltdown,” her mother says.
Advocates of children with special needs are sounding the alarm on Senate Republicans’ proposed “Phase 3” coronavirus stimulus package, saying that it may eventually give the government power to absolve schools of at least some of their legal obligation to educate students with disabilities.
Last year, the news that only a tiny number of black students gained admission into New York City’s most selective public high school, Stuyvesant, touched off a maelstrom about race and merit in the nation’s largest school system.
On Thursday, education officials announced that, one year later, almost nothing had changed: Ten black students got into Stuyvesant, out of a freshman class of roughly 760, up from 7 black students last year. And only 20 Hispanic students gained entry, down from 33 last year.
Claire McInerny of KUT asks kids about avoiding COVID-19 and entertaining themselves.
For The Seattle Times, Anne Hillman provides updated information on resources for families who rely on schools for more than just education.
With nuanced coverage and plentiful online resources, the @seattletimes' education team demonstrates the vital role local news plays in a crisis like the coronavirus pandemic.
These @EdWriters superstars are my pick for this week's #tellEWA. https://t.co/Le8v7w2IhZ
With nuanced coverage and plentiful online resources, the @seattletimes' education team demonstrates the vital role local news plays in a crisis like the coronavirus pandemic.
Chalkbeat reporters cover what life looks like for educators, students and parents as schools across the country close.
Towana Pierre-Floyd said we’d reach the ocean soon. We’d flown over the Gulf of Mexico on our way from New Orleans to Belize, then boarded a bus south. Outside, the road was dust, pocked by craters our chartered bus swerved to miss, but Pierre-Floyd said she could sense it: the Caribbean Sea was close. It was mid-May, technically the first week of Pierre-Floyd’s summer vacation, but she was the kind of high school principal who preferred spending her first days of freedom with students.
As districts scramble to establish distance learning plans for long-term school closures, they’re struggling to provide services to students with disabilities and those with other exceptional circumstances. It’s a challenge with broad implications, tied to financial consequences for districts and developmental consequences for the most vulnerable students in America.
In the chaotic days before and after all public schools in the Washington region shut down for at least two weeks, school systems scrambled to prepare for teaching students from afar. Some teachers are giving lessons through video conferences on Zoom. Others are uploading materials to online learning platforms such as Canvas, or directing students to educational YouTube videos.
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.
Maryland lawmakers gave final approval Tuesday night to a sweeping education reform bill designed to restore the state’s public schools to among the best in the nation. The bill has been debated throughout the General Assembly session, but took on new urgency once lawmakers agreed to end their session Wednesday — more than two weeks early — due to the growing coronavirus outbreak.
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.
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.
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.