School & District Management Interactive

School Districts’ Reopening Plans: A Snapshot

July 15, 2020 | Updated: October 16, 2020 2 min read
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Clarification: On Oct. 16, 2020 we changed the project conclusion date to reflect our last verified date for the Woburn school district.

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.

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 on Sept. 22, 2020, 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 library@educationweek.org.

Looking for state-level information? Education Week tracked state-level openings and closures due to COVID-19 here: Map: Where Were Schools Required to Be Open for the 2020-21 School Year?

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, 2020 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 library@educationweek.org.

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/leadership/school-districts-reopening-plans-a-snapshot/2020/07

Related Links:
Map: Where Were Schools Required to Be Open for the 2020-21 School Year?
Reopening America’s Schools: A Snapshot of What It Looked Like in 2020-21
Special Report: How We Go Back to School
The Coronavirus Spring: The Historic Closing of U.S. Schools

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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