Reopening Schools

John Bailey, March 2021

One year after nationwide public school closures, a growing body of medical research and firsthand experiences of school systems worldwide can provide a sound basis for determining a reopening strategy. This report examines the collective findings of more than 120 studies and considers their implications for current decisions.

These studies cover a wide array of topics, including risks for children, transmissibility concerns, and the impact of school reopenings on community spread.

Center on Reinventing Public Education

The Center on Reinventing Public Education analyzed a statistically representative sample of 477 school districts with the goal of capturing a national portrait of school district practices.

Reopening Resources

The American Enterprise Institute and The College Crisis Initiative partnered together to launch the Return to Learn Tracker. This tool identifies the instructional model statuses of nearly 8,500 U.S. school districts and monitors any changes on a weekly basis. This data can also be broken down by poverty, broadband, urbanicity, and presidential vote.

The Center on Reinventing Public Education is tracking state and district reopening plans and considers how they are making operational changes to schools and shifting their approach to instruction. Compare reopening data from August to December through this interactive data visualization tool.

EdWeek summarizes the landscape of K–12 learning over the past year, covering major events since the first school closure.

What do we know about how reopening schools affects public health?

See here for the latest guidelines from the CDC on school operations during COVID-19.

A comprehensive synthesis of health and safety research, compiled by John Bailey, reviews an extensive list of over 130 studies on COVID-19 and schools to inform implications for school reopening policies.

Burbio released a school tracker that displays which transmission zone each county falls under according to CDC guidance.

Two reports on COVID-19 testing programs in schools have been released: Mathematica and RAND share early findings and provide recommendations based on findings from early adopters.

Want the latest epidemiological research on COVID-19 delivered to your inbox? Sign up for the University of Washington's COVID-19 Literature Report.

What are parents' and teachers' perspectives on reopening?

What do parents, students and other educator stakeholders think about school reopening? The Evidence Project's data portal is tracking the latest surveys so you don't have to.

The Evidence Project synthesized nationally representative survey data on parents’ and teachers’ attitudes around reopening schools and the impacts of the pandemic on students’ academic and emotional well-being.

EdChoice offers monthly public opinion tracking, including parents' and teachers' attitudes about reopening schools.

Parent surveys administered by Education Next provides insight into how children are attending schools and how this differs by virus spread, demography, and partisanship.

Fall 2020: The State of School Reopening

This briefing deck outlines what CRPE researchers learned from eight months of analysis of school systems' responses to COVID-19.