School Closures

With only open windows and fans to cool the room down, students enter their non-air-conditioned classroom at Campbell High School in Ewa, Hawaii, on Aug. 3, 2015. Most of Hawaii's public schools don't have air conditioning, and record-high temperatures have left teachers and students saying they can't focus because of the heat. Hawaii lawmakers are saying it's time to cool Hawaii's public schools. A proposal being considered by the House Committee of Finance would fund air conditioning for Hawaii Department of Education schools and expedite the process to get cooling systems installed in classrooms.
Only open windows and fans cooled the room as students arrived at Campbell High School in Ewa, Hawaii, in August, 2015. Most of Hawaii's public schools don't have air conditioning, even as research shows that heat can depress student learning.
Marco Garcia/AP
Student Well-Being Explainer The School Year Is Getting Hotter. How Does Heat Affect Student Learning and Well-Being?
Climate change will lead to more hot school days, and experts say schools are not prepared.
Madeline Will, September 26, 2022
10 min read
A Black man in jeans and a tan, short-sleeve shirt and navy pants holds a cell phone to his ear with one hand while he uses his other hand to drag a large grey trash can filled with water from a nearby tanker truck across a school parking lot.
Santonia Matthews, a custodian at Forest Hill High School in Jackson, Miss., hauls away a trash can filled with water from a tanker in the school's parking lot Wednesday. A recent flood worsened Jackson's longstanding water system problems, forcing schools to switch to remote learning.
Rogelio V. Solis/AP
School & District Management Emergency Readiness Lessons From a District's Water Crisis
District leaders in Jackson, Miss., relied on "muscle memory" to get kids back in remote learning when the city's water system failed.
Evie Blad, September 2, 2022
7 min read
Image of students getting off of a bus.
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School & District Management Race Is a Strong Predictor of Which Schools Will Close Permanently, Study Shows
While enrollment and school achievement are the highest predictors of school closure, racial demographics play a big role.
Libby Stanford, May 26, 2022
4 min read
Children attend a lesson in a school in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin has lifted the restrictions on schools in Russia's capital, students of all grades will to return for face-to-face education after months studying remotely.
Children attend a lesson in a school in Moscow last January. Russian schools had relatively shorter periods of academic disruptions than other countries, a new study finds.
Pavel Golovkin/AP
International What the Research Says Schooling in a Pandemic: How Other Countries Are Doing It
A new study highlights how instruction in 11 countries has changed following pandemic closures and outbreaks.
Sarah D. Sparks, January 24, 2022
3 min read
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Student Well-Being What the Research Says New Research Shows How Bad the Pandemic Has Been for Student Mental Health
Researchers say the road to recovery will be a long one.
Sarah D. Sparks, January 18, 2022
4 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
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Student Achievement Opinion No, Temporarily Closing Schools Is Not Like Invading Iraq
Are academic challenges experienced by students now primarily attributable to virtual learning or to overall pandemic stress?
Larry Ferlazzo, January 11, 2022
5 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
Paul Martino at his Doylestown home this month.
Paul Martino at his Doylestown home this month.
Elizabeth Robertson/Tribune News Service
School & District Management Parent Frustrated by School Closures Funnels $600K Into School Board Races
“I really started this to get accountability over the administration who dropped the ball, in my opinion," said the Pa. venture capitalist.
Peter Hall, The Morning Call, October 29, 2021
5 min read
Empty desks in a dark classrooom
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Student Achievement Longer COVID-Related School Closures Could Hurt Students' Future Earnings
Students who experienced the longest school closures will face lower future earnings and are less likely to go to college, a new study says.
Olivia Rockeman and Nic Querolo, Bloomberg News, October 26, 2021
1 min read
A Brownsville Independent School District bus acts as a WI-FI hotspot for students needing to connect online for distance learning on the first day of class Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, in the parking lot of the Margaret M. Clark Aquatic Center in Brownsville, Texas. The bus is one of 20 hotspots throughout the city to help students have access to their online classes as part of the remote start to the school year due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Several shool buildings in different parts of the country have had to shut down in recent weeks due to a lack of available bus drivers.
Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald via AP
School & District Management Staff Shortages Affect Students, Too. Here's Where Schools Are Shutting Down
A few months into the third academic year in a row disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, at least several dozen school buildings in numerous states have had to shut down due to inadequate staffing.
Mark Lieberman, October 21, 2021
1 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
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School & District Management Opinion The Consequence of Public-Health Officials Racing to Shutter Schools
Public-health officials' lack of concern for the risks of closing schools may shed light on Americans' reticence to embrace their directives.
Rick Hess, September 20, 2021
5 min read
Image of an empty desk.
Laura Baker/Education Week and kazuma seki/iStock/Getty
School & District Management In Kentucky, 4 Counties Close Schools Over COVID and a New Law Halts Learning for Some
Amid a recent surge in COVID-19 cases, school leaders are asking state lawmakers for more remote learning days and more flexibility.
Valarie Honeycutt Spears, Lexington Herald-Leader, August 26, 2021
4 min read
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
Empty desks in a dark classrooom
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School & District Management S.C. District’s Decision to Go Virtual Following a COVID Outbreak Sparks Angry Protest
At one point parents, including children, rushed the district office's doors and windows holding their signs and shouting, "We want school."
Lyn Riddle, The State (Columbia, S.C.), August 17, 2021
2 min read