% US K-12 Students Attending 'Virtual only" schools = 40.3% (up from 36.9% Sunday's report, and this is as of Tuesday night + NYC)
% US K-12 Students Attending 'Traditional In-person/Every day" schools = 36.4%
% US K-12 Students Attending "Hybrid" Schools = 23.3%
Kentucky has announced closures of all schools beginning next week.
Smaller districts who have flexibility to stay open from the state, but choosing to close, are closing for 2-3 weeks. We have caught quite a bit of those in the last 48 hours.
The major reasons for closures are Covid quarantine rules in the schools . Two representative notes below.
NY actually closed for reasons that are a bit different than the many other districts we see - NYC has a low community threshold and little quarantining going on. Kentucky and Michigan (in our Sunday note) are blanket state lockdowns.
The 40.3% number is going to rise quite a bit in the next two weeks; as we noted below our number goes up when a district actually goes virtual and districts such as Kentucky, Cincinnati and Indianapolis aren't going virtual until Monday.
% US K-12 Students Attending 'Virtual only" schools = 36.9%
% US K-12 Students Attending 'Traditional In-person/Every day" schools = 37.4%
% US K-12 Students Attending "Hybrid" Schools = 25.7 %
Note: 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, 36.9% of US K-12 students are currently attending schools that offer only virtual plans, 37.4% offering traditional, etc.
Notes for this Week's Report:
As of this writing (Sunday, 11/15 at mid-day), NYC schools are still open. If they are shut down, the number of US K-12 students attending "virtual only" schools will increase by roughly 2% in the above numbers and the number of students attending "hybrid" schools will decrease by that amount.
The above percentages are set to Monday, November 16th. We have always set our numbers to the day of our reports due to changes that occur the day before announced plans. Many of the Covid-closures will hit the above figures in later reports as the closures don't begin until later this month. More below.
Trends and Observations
To review, Burbio launched the audit on August 11th showing 52% "virtual only" and it shifted dramatically as the month went on and increased to 62% by Labor Day as large districts such as Hawaii, Dallas, small cities in the Northeast, Boston and parts of the Midwest and Sun Belt reversed previously announced in-person plans. In our Labor Day releasewe noted that many districts had announced plans to shift from virtual to in-person plans and that trend took hold and the number of students attending virtual-only schools in the US has dropped below 40%. However, introduction of in-person learning has slowed dramatically the past three weeks and we are now looking at closures in large districts that will increase the "virtual-only" number in the coming weeks.
Some districts, including some larger ones, are still moving ahead with in-person plans previously set in motion. Honolulu, HI, Wake County, NC, sections of Delaware, VA, and MD, and small parts of the Midwest all opened for in-person this week.
A few weeks ago we noted the issue of "Community Spread" thresholds to close schools in juxtaposition to growing consensus that schools are not a source of spread of Covid. A further issue we noted last week is rules around quarantining that were affecting schools ability to operate, and this week we saw that issue become much more prevalent. Whether Covid is spreading in the schools becomes a moot point if community spread results in exposure to infected individuals on site, and then results in a number of quarantined staffers that make operating schools in person untenable. It is a rapidly evolving situation that is difficult to measure but, in addition to the districts in Colorado who mentioned it this week in their announcements, we are seeing individual schools across our 'open' districts close with even one staff member or students who has had Covid. Different states have different guidance on this issue, and differing levels of Covid, making the entire issue very fluid but it seems to be of increasing importance.
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