Fall 2021 school reopening: Stats so far

The COVID-19 Data Dispatch has, clearly, been pretty focused on school reopening in recent weeks. But our “Opening” project is primarily retrospective, looking back at schools that were successful last school year. This fall, the Delta variant and additional political pressures have made reopening success even harder to achieve.

Read More

Opening profile: Going above and beyond in Crown Heights, Brooklyn

P.S. 705 went above and beyond New York City school reopening guidance, with a particular reliance on the city’s surveillance testing program. This elementary school had a 55% enrollment by the end of the 2020-2021 school year, above the city’s average of about 40%, and made it through the year with just 11 total cases — and zero closures.

Read More

Opening profile: Personal responsibility in Andrews, Texas

Andrews Independent School District, in West Texas, prioritized personal responsibility, giving families information to make individual choices about their children’s safety. Partnerships with the local health department, outdoor classes, increased ventilation, and an intensive cleaning regimen also helped keep cases down — even though the district did not follow all CDC protocols, such as required quarantines and masks for the youngest students.

Read More

Opening profile: Community over wifi in Garrett County, Maryland

Unlike other districts in Maryland, Garrett County Public Schools was able to bring the majority of its students back to classrooms during the spring 2021 semester. The district built trust with its community by utilizing local partnerships, providing families with crucial supplies, setting up task forces to plan reopening, and communicating extensively with parents.

Read More

Opening profile: Public health collaboration in Austin, Indiana

Scott County School District 1 is the subject of the first profile in the COVID-19 Data Dispatch’s “Opening” series. While Austin’s experience with HIV/AIDS is unique, the school district offers lessons for other communities. An open line of communication between Austin’s county public health agency, school administrators, and other local leaders fostered an environment of collaboration and trust. Plus, the administrators took advantage of teachers’ and parents’ knowledge of their students to make them an integral part of identifying COVID-19 cases and stopping outbreaks.

Read More

Opening: Five school districts that kept their communities safe

The divided communities made the news — but not all U.S. schools were fighting grounds. In fact, many districts managed to bring the majority of their students back into classrooms without breeding a dreaded COVID-19 outbreak. Here, at the COVID-19 Data Dispatch, we’re sharing stories from five such districts. The series will be published in installments: one profile a week for the next five weeks, followed by a conclusion with overall insights and lessons for fall 2021.

Read More