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Getting Back to School: An Update on Plans from Across the Country

This brief gives a snapshot of how school districts across the country are currently planning for fall 2020, how they are planning for contingencies of COVID-19 spread, and how this varies based on district characteristics.

From August 17–21, we reviewed district websites, social media, and local news to collect data from a sample of 477 districts that provide a statistical representation of all districts across the U.S. This sample includes most of the large school districts that CRPE has tracked on a weekly basis throughout the pandemic, but also includes 399 additional districts. We apply statistical weights to provide a nationally representative sample.

Key findings include:

  • Almost half of the nation’s school districts will be returning to full in-person instruction.
  • Students in rural communities are far more likely to have access to fully in-person instruction than suburban and city students.
  • Students in the highest-poverty districts are the most likely to start the year in remote learning.
  • Most districts have outlined plans for how remote learning and in-person learning might look this year.
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