| Updated: October 16, 2020
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School Districts' Reopening Plans: A Snapshot


After the coronavirus forced a mass closing of K-12 school buildings in the spring of 2020, district leaders had to decide how to provide instruction for 2020-21. From July to September, Education Week tracked the first-day instructional plans for over 900 of the nation’s 13,000 public school districts.

The collection captures what school reopenings looked like in this most unorthodox year.

This data provides a snapshot of how districts began the 2020-21 school year. We did not track changes after a district's first day of classes. When the project concluded Sept. 22, the dataset included:

  • 907 districts
  • The 100 largest districts in the U.S., including Puerto Rico
  • The largest district in each state
  • At least 5 districts from each state (exceptions are Hawaii, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico)

Some key findings:

  • 74% of the 100 largest school districts, chose remote learning only as their back-to-school instructional model, affecting over 9 million students.
  • Almost half (49%) of all districts opened with remote learning.
  • Hybrid instruction was used in 27% of the school districts.
  • Full in-person instruction was available to all students in 24% of the districts.

Was this data useful to you? Let us know how you used it by emailing us at [email protected].





Looking for state-level information? Education Week is tracking state-level openings and closures due to COVID-19 here: Map: Where Has COVID-19 Closed Schools? Where Are They Open?




Download This District Reopening Data

Data file last updated: Sept. 23, 2020 5 pm ET


Click Here to Download the Data




Data Notes/Methodology

  • Key/definitions of reopening plan types:
    • Remote learning only—no in-person instruction. May include exceptions for special populations of students.
    • Hybrid/Partial—limited, in-person reopening. Examples include less than 5x/week in-person attendance, or having some grades/levels remote and others in-person.
    • Full in-person available for all students—full-time, in-person instruction is either the return to school model or an option for all students.
    • Undecided
  • Reopening date – date listed in district announcement, news report, or district calendar.
  • Last verified – The date last checked by Education Week staff.
  • This data includes public school districts only.

Clarification: On Oct. 16, we changed the project conclusion date to reflect our last verified date for the Woburn school district.





Contact Information

For media or research inquiries about this table and data, contact [email protected].




How to Cite This Page

School Districts’ Reopening Plans: A Snapshot (2020, July 15). Education Week. Retrieved Month Day, Year from https://www.edweek.org/ew/section/multimedia/school-districts-reopening-plans-a-snapshot.html




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Data Compilation/Reporting: Hannah Farrow, Holly Peele, Maya Riser-Kositsky, and Gabrielle Wanneh

Design/Visualization: Emma Patti Harris

Web Production: Hyon-Young Kim

Editor: Lesli Maxwell

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