% US K-12 students attending "virtual-only" schools = 14.4% (from 16.3% last week)
% US K-12 students attending "traditional" in-person/every day" schools = 55.3% (from 53.1%)
% US K-12 students attending "hybrid" schools = 30.3% (from 30.6%)
The above percentages are set to Sunday, April 4th. Our data is presented as "students attending schools that offer this learning plan" - most districts also offer virtual even when providing in-person. For above, 14.4% of US K-12 students are currently attending schools that offer virtual-only plans, 55.3% offering traditional, etc.
Trends and Observations
We continued to see reactions to the CDC guidance shift from 6 feet to 3 feet.
At the local level, Norwalk, CT cited the 3 foot rule explicitly in their move from hybrid to traditional as did Toledo, OH schools, who announced their 'Green Light" traditional plan. Marshall, MI Public Schools. and Merced, CA schools also cited the new guidance . Bend-La Pine, OR schools announced their "All-In" Traditional learning plan in response to the new guidelines as well. San Juan Unified, CA will also be going traditional as a result of the new CDC guidelines. In Normal, IL they cite "2-5 foot" distancing and in their traditional transition and highlight higher likelihoods of quarantining due to the lower spacing
In New York some districts are waiting on the state to endorse the guidelines before doing anything, including Pittsford, NY, Port Washington, NY and Lockport City, NY. Conversely, Auburn, NY schools are going to traditional after getting sign off from Cayuga County, NY Board of Health to switch to 3 feet.
Some districts are warning three feet is still too much distance to accommodate traditional in-person. West Orange, NJ mentions concerns in this letter, and Indian River School District in Delaware notes, "Due to a high percentage of families opting for in-person instruction at our elementary and middle schools, we are unable to combine cohorts with the current three (3) feet social distancing guidelines." Kenmore-Tonawanda, NY cites spacing issues in buses and the cafeteria around 3 foot rules even as it waits for NY state guidance. Given the percentage of parents opting to keep their children at home in many districts across the U.S. - who presumably would return next year, but whose absence creates more room in classrooms this year - these notes raise the question of whether three feet spacing will be enough for some districts to offer traditional next year.
With pockets of virtual-only learning dropping to some urban areas and big chunks of the West Coast, we wanted to focus on states with hybrid learning. As noted, the past two weeks have seen a small drop in hybrid learning nationally, but we are showing 30.3% of the US K-12 population - which would total approximately 15MM students - attending schools that offer that format. Below is the breakdown of states by percentage of K-12 students attending hybrid schools:
After this week over 50% of 6-8 students are now attending traditional in-person learning, as high school students nationally approach that threshold as well.