K-12 School Reopening Trends

May 23, 2022

For more detail on Burbio's dataset, please email dennis@burbio.com

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Where We Are Now

This is Dennis from Burbio and below is our weekly update.  Feel free to share. 


This week we look at districts' increasingly finely-tuned Covid mitigation strategies, annual reporting on progress and priorities, enhanced summer programs among big districts, and ESSER III spending plans in the area of arts and extracurriculars. 


Burbio's ESSER III plan dataset is now up to over 4,700 districts covering 72% of U.S. K-12 students and over $81 billion in school spending.  Click here for a short video on how partners can search the database.



Burbio School Opening Tracker


Burbio Mask Policy Tracker


Burbio ESSER III - Request Sample Data

Trends and Observations

  •  With Covid 19 cases continuing to rise in certain parts of the country we note short-term adjustments to mitigation and mask strategies:

  • Many districts around the country issue reports early in the calendar year summarizing district strategies, priorities, challenges and progress.  This week we highlight plans from five different states that take different approaches:  

  • Pharr San Juan Alamo ISD, TX provides a 30 page overview covering staff, teaching and learning, student support, "District & School Climate," and outlook for next year, while also highlighting a visit from the U.S. Secretary of Education.  
  • Westbrook School Department, ME produces "The State of the Schools," which reviews enrollment trends, demographics, and curriculum, and features dozens of charts breaking down everything from graduation rates, test scores, truancy, homelessness, athletics and more. 
  • Norwalk, CT issues a 'State of the Schools' report that frames the update through the lens of the district's strategic priorities ("Future Readiness, Equity, Excellence, Engagement, High Quality Instruction & Support"), and the district's ten core values, plus gives an overview of recent milestones. 
  • Needham Public Schools MA's "Performance Report" measures the district's performance against their four district priorities while also providing a detailed chart comparing the district to other Massachusetts districts in the areas of tax burden, staff salaries, and student test scores.
  • Ferndale Public Schools, MI presents their state of the district as a mixtape, a series of short videos featuring classroom scenes and staff updates on school accomplishments and activities. 
  • This week Burbio did a sweep of summer school programs at the largest districts.  For 156 of the top 200 we were able to identify the full selection of offerings.  In addition to standard remediation/credit recovery summer offerings, below are the percentage of districts offering additional content:

  • Tallassee City Schools, AL ($2.6MM) will establish a media arts program at the high school that will allow students to "utilize technology for sound recording incorporation with visual images, art creation, reporting, video projects, and TV programing."   The district will also establish an art class at the Middle School: "Students from all economic and cultural backgrounds can be diverse and find their place in an art classroom because it is a universal language for everyone.  It has been shown that art increases critical thinking and problem-solving skills in children," notes the report.  
  • Shasta Union High School District, CA ($6.2MM) is planning on spending $10,000 to "Increase the number of intramural activities at lunch on comprehensive sites to improve campus climate."
  • Windham Public Schools, CT  ($13.7MM) will be spending $20,000 a year for two years for local field trips for the "Windham Goes to College" program, as well as local business and community opportunities.
  • Community Unit School District 200, IL  ($9.1MM) will be spending just over $250,000 each of the next three years for stipends, transportation and supervision related to expanding clubs and activities for students. 
  • Gadsen Independent School District, NM ($67MM) will be spending $400,000 on art and music classrooms, purchase a mobile food truck to supplement the Hospitality and Tourism Pathway at the high school and for use at extracurricular events, add baseball and softball pitching machines at the middle school for extracurricular activities, and add new bleachers for the football field. 
  • Randolph Central School Corporation, IN ($3MM) will spend $30,000 on Esports, as well over $300,000 for "Outdoor Learning Lab - Barn" and "Outdoor Learning Lab-Greenhouse." 
  • Marlboro County School District, SC ($19.8MM) will be hiring five full-time music and dance artists-in-residence across the district.  "Involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking and verbal skills. . ..  Opportunities for students in rural areas such as Marlboro County are often limited due to lack of access to quality programs or instructors," reads the plan. 
  • Solanco School District, PA ($14MM) and Chariho Regional School District, RI ($2.6MM) will both be contracting with therapy dogs for work with students with social and emotional needs. 
  • Belton 124 School District, MO ($5.4MM) will be adding drones, culinary, coding and e-sports to summer school to better engage students. 
  • Collier County Public Schools, FL ($80MM) has budgeted for over 2,000 theatre tickets for field trips to be taken by middle and high school students. 

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