Reopening

Education news, analysis, and opinion about efforts to reopen school buildings during the COVID-19 pandemic
Students from Regional School Unit 5 wear COVID face coverings as they head home on a school bus, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, in Freeport, Maine. Under the new rules following Christmas break, students and staff will no longer be considered a "close contact" if they are exposed to someone with the virus in an outdoor setting or on a school bus, as masks are required on Maine school buses.
Students head home from school in Freeport, Maine, this week. Most schools are open for in-person learning in the first week of the new year, but the surging Omicron variant is wreaking havoc on the continuity of instruction.
Robert F. Bukaty/AP
Teaching Omicron Is Making a Mess of Instruction, Even Where Schools Are Open
Teachers say that kids’ absences and staff shortages have thrown a wrench in their plans for the beginning of this semester.
8 min read
Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Amber Updegrove interacts with her students, while she and the students are wearing masks to protect against COVID-19 at Warner Arts Magnet Elementary in Nashville, Tenn, on Friday, Aug. 20, 2021.
Kindergarten teacher Amber Updegrove interacts with her students at Warner Arts Magnet Elementary in Nashville, Tenn., in August.
John Partipilo/AP
Teaching Profession For Anxious Teachers, Omicron 'Feels Like Walking Into a Trap'
As COVID cases rise sharply, educators brace for another semester of staffing shortages, student absences, and potentially getting sick.
Madeline Will, January 3, 2022
9 min read
Parents pick up their children while wearing masks outside of P.S. 64 in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan on Dec. 21, 2021, in New York.
Parents pick up their children while wearing masks outside of P.S. 64 in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan on Dec. 21, 2021, in New York.
Brittainy Newman/AP Photo
School & District Management As Omicron Surges, Schools Battle Pressure to Stay Open
The hyper-contagious Omicron variant is spreading swiftly, prompting some K-12 leaders to shut down schools amid intense pressure to stay open.
Catherine Gewertz, December 21, 2021
6 min read
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Classroom Technology From Our Research Center Why School Districts Are Unprepared for COVID-19 Disruptions, Again
Bad state policy, misplaced optimism, and a focus on full-time virtual schools left districts scrambling to educate quarantined students.
Benjamin Herold, September 14, 2021
11 min read
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Take 5 for Schools: Five Essential Steps for Safe School Openings This Fall
Faced with the highly transmissible Delta variant, school districts across the country are grappling with the biggest challenge of the pandemic to date. With schools reopening every day and education leaders reassessing their opening plans,
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Yellow school bus parked next to playground and school.
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School & District Management Amid Pressure, S.C. District That Closed Due to a COVID Outbreak to Reopen, Without Masks
The Pickens County School District will reopen after a dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases forced schools to close and shift to remote learning.
Lyn Riddle, The State (Columbia, S.C.), August 19, 2021
3 min read
Man trapped in maze.
Researchers found a patchwork of state policies on masks in schools, remote learning, and tracking teacher vaccinations.
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States Many States Have Left Schools Hanging About How to Reopen Safely, Analysis Finds
Researchers found a patchwork of state policies on masks in schools, remote learning, and tracking teacher vaccinations.
Evie Blad, August 17, 2021
5 min read
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona talks with Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott after a tour of Graceland Park-O'Donnell Heights Elementary Middle School in Baltimore on Aug. 4, 2021.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona talks with Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott after a tour of Graceland Park-O'Donnell Heights Elementary Middle School in Baltimore this week.
Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun via TNS
Federal Cardona Admonishes Governors Who Ban Mask Mandates, Says 'All Teachers' Want Schools Open
At a White House press conference, the education secretary said schools have sufficient resources and experience to operate safely.
Andrew Ujifusa, August 5, 2021
5 min read
Palmcroft Elementary School Principal Jennette Arviso, right, helps a parent on the first day of school Aug. 2 in Yuma, Ariz.
Palmcroft Elementary School Principal Jennette Arviso, right, helps a parent on the first day of school Aug. 2 in Yuma, Ariz. Teachers are worried about returning to school amid surging coronavirus cases.
Randy Hoeft/The Yuma Sun via AP
Teaching Profession 'Here We Are Again:' Weary Teachers Brace for Another COVID School Year
With coronavirus cases surging due to the Delta variant, and mask mandates off the table in some places, teachers say they're worried once again.
Madeline Will, August 4, 2021
7 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
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Teaching Opinion 11 Strategies for Facing This Year's Classroom Challenges
Four educators share suggestions on facing pandemic-related challenges this coming school year, including implementing consistent routines.
Larry Ferlazzo, August 3, 2021
12 min read
Protesters rally outside the San Diego Unified School District headquarters demanding that schools reopen for in-person learning and that voters oust some of the sitting school board members on Oct. 27, 2020 in San Diego.
Protesters rally outside the San Diego Unified School District headquarters demanding that schools reopen for in-person learning and that voters oust some of the sitting school board members on Oct. 27, 2020 in San Diego.
Sam Hodgson/The San Diego Union-Tribune via TNS
School & District Management Opinion How Did Ed. Leaders Decide Whether to Reopen Schools In Person Last Fall?
As school leaders face tough reopening decisions amid Delta variant concerns, we must understand how those decisions were made last year.
Douglas N. Harris & Katharine O. Strunk, August 3, 2021
4 min read
Students and parents walk into school on the first day of school at Enrique S. Camarena Elementary School on July 21, 2021, in Chula Vista, Calif.
Students and parents walk into school on the first day of school at Enrique S. Camarena Elementary School on July 21, 2021, in Chula Vista, Calif.
Denis Poroy/AP
School & District Management 4 Ways to Keep Staff and Students Safe From the Delta Variant
Just as schools reopen, a super-contagious COVID-19 variant is infecting people nationwide at alarming rates. Here's what schools can do.
Catherine Gewertz, August 2, 2021
5 min read
Image of a student holding a mask and a backpack near the entrance of a classroom.
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Federal As New COVID Concerns Emerge, Biden Administration Keeps Focus on School Reopenings
Amid new COVID-19 concerns, the Biden administration kept its focus on in-person learning, stressing the need for safety precautions.
Evie Blad, August 2, 2021
2 min read
Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi, center, joins with students at Lehman High School for a roundtable discussion about the COVID-19 vaccine, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in New York.
With schools around the country set to reopen and the Delta variant causing a surge in coronavirus cases, schools leaders are trying to figure out how to keep kids and staff safe.
Mark Lennihan/AP
School & District Management Fighting the Delta Variant: School Reopening Just Got a Lot More Complicated
With COVID-19 cases surging and mitigation measures waning, a perfect storm is taking shape that could undercut the safe reopening of schools.
Catherine Gewertz, July 28, 2021
8 min read