% US K-12 students attending "virtual-only" schools = 2.1% (from 2.4 % last week)
% US K-12 students attending "traditional" in-person/every day" schools = 69.6% (from 69.2%)
% US K-12 students attending "hybrid" schools = 28.3% (from 28.4%)
The above percentages are set to Sunday, May 30th. 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 2.1% of US K-12 students are currently attending schools that offer virtual-only plans, 69.6% offering traditional, etc.
Trends and Observations
Some interesting trends from around the US, including what is a preview to changing distancing guidance.
In this TV interview the Mayor of New York City announced a full in-person return - "No remote," said Mayor de Blasio. As for distancing guidelines, he said, "I think the CDC will be changing those rules quite a bit between now and September .. by August, the CDC will relax those rules further."
Along those lines, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issued the following in their traditional in-person announcement: "For the fall, all districts and schools will be required to be in-person, full-time, five days a week, and all DESE health and safety requirements will be lifted. This includes all physical distancing requirements."
In our update last week we noted language in both the state of Washington and the City of Philadelphia's in-person announcements that assumptions were being made about changes to distancing guidelines in their planning for next year.
Even as announcements for traditional in-person plans for next year proceed, evidence of high in-person opt out rates from this year continue to appear. Jersey City, NJ reported 80 percent of students opted to stay remote after their recent re-opening.
Next Fall, Aurora, CO school district will have an option for K-8 where remote students will learn live with their in-person classmates part of the day. The option will only be for the first semester. It is a rare example of a hybrid situation similar to what we saw in much of the US this past year.
Results from Duval County's parent survey in heavily in-person Florida provide an interesting window into stakeholder concerns. Based on results Duval will make face coverings optional for next year (while encouraging them for elementary students) and temperature checks will be discontinued. The survey detail doesn't break out whether answers were different among the categories of parents, teachers, and students who responded.
The situation around in-school mask requirements continued to evolve.
In this week's School Mask Policy Tracker we see a continued shift to away from mandates with the movement in Massachusetts and Wisconsin and now over half US K-12 students live in states where in-school mask mandates have been loosened. The map is based on the most recently announced guidance even if the date is in the future. For example, a state that has lifted a mandate for the Fall and is allowing flexibility during that period will be light green even if a mandate remains in place currently. It is worth reiterating that in places where flexibility exists, districts very often keep the mandates in place.
Year in Review: One of the defining characteristics of in-person learning in 2020/21 was the difference in urban and non-urban learning plans. As part of a series of "year in review" summaries, we took a look at the Top 50 metro areas and measured the in-person learning index for their city school district, and compared it to the rest of the country. The following chart is weighted for student population over the course of the year.
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