‘Too much masking is real’: More districts call on students to mask up outside, but scientists are skeptical
It wasn’t long after school started in California’s Solana Beach School District that some classrooms shifted to remote learning because of positive COVID-19 cases. During the first four weeks of school, there were 19 positive cases among students and staff and eight classrooms in quarantine. But on Aug. 30, the 2,800-student district began requiring students to...
By Linda Jacobson | September 22, 2021
Ask the doctor: Did we miscalculate the risk of COVID for kids?
Not so long ago, it seemed the data on COVID-19 held a degree of comfort when it came to children: not too many of them got infected, fewer still got sick and almost none were hospitalized. As for schools, they were not believed to be super spreaders of the virus, for either adults or students....
By Asher Lehrer-Small | September 16, 2021
‘I don’t know that the tests would survive’: As students enter third pandemic school year, researchers make case for assessments
In the spring of 2020, facing massive disruptions to in-person instruction, state education chiefs urged then-U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to waive federal test requirements that had been in place for nearly 20 years. She granted a blanket, one-year “accountability waiver.” But in February, with a new administration in place, then-Education Secretary nominee Miguel Cardona...
By Greg Toppo | September 14, 2021
A national call for college COVID safe zones: How higher education leaders can accelerate America’s vaccination push — and keep their campuses open
As students return to colleges and universities this fall, the highly communicable Delta variant of COVID-19 creates unexpected challenges to keep campuses safe and open. Higher education leaders now need to respond rapidly to protect their students, staff, faculty, and people with whom they come in contact. Everyone recognizes the benefits of in-person learning, but...
By Mark McClellan, Andy Slavitt and John Bridgeland | August 26, 2021
‘Buried’ CDC guidance emphasizes universal masking in schools, says properly protected ‘close contacts’ needn’t quarantine
Some key absences complicated the return to school in Wayne Township, Indiana: 461 to be exact. After just eight days in classrooms, 37 positive coronavirus cases in the 16,000-student district outside Indianapolis had triggered hundreds of student quarantines, forcing young people to miss out on classes and extracurriculars. Superintendent Jeff Butts knew he had to...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | August 25, 2021
LAUSD partners with DonorsChoose to crowdfund food, clothes and more for students during pandemic
Witnessing the growth of food and income insecurity during the pandemic, teachers and districts are turning to DonorsChoose — a nonprofit crowdfunding site for public educators — to leverage financial support. Founded in 2000 and historically utilized for instructional materials that teachers would either have to pay for out of pocket or go without, like...
By Marianna McMurdock | August 24, 2021
Virtual pre-K filled a void for ‘overwhelmed’ parents last year, but experts disagree about its role — and federal funding — in a post-pandemic world
As in most pre-K classrooms, Geneva Gadsden’s students — known as the All Stars — rotate through different stations, from dress-up corners to building block areas. But the All Stars, the Happy Owls and other groups of preschoolers at the Whitted School in Durham, North Carolina, also take turns with Chromebooks, spending 15 minutes a...
By Linda Jacobson | August 17, 2021
When parents disagree over doses for kids: How mothers’ caretaking instinct may be slowing youth COVID vaccination
Fatou and Modou have two healthy children. A 5-year-old boy who likes to build Lego towers. A 7-year-old girl who’s into anime. With each parenting decision the couple has faced over the years — picking a religious Sunday school for their kids, setting bedtime — they have mostly been on the same page. But now,...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | July 20, 2021
Updated CDC guidance relaxing mask requirements for some students, but not others, puts school districts in tough spot
Friday’s updated school reopening guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts districts in a tough spot — do they require all students to wear masks indoors or just those who haven’t been vaccinated? District leaders say it would be difficult to implement a policy where masks are optional for some but not...
By Linda Jacobson | July 14, 2021
Research from Europe points to online tutoring as a potent weapon against learning loss
During the early days of the pandemic, with students around the world shut out of school buildings and many struggling to succeed in virtual classrooms, academics and philanthropies in several countries embraced a novel solution: online tutoring. In recent months, the first research studies on those initial efforts — one based in the United Kingdom,...
By Kevin Mahnken | June 14, 2021