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Reopening in the Shadow of COVID19

American Enterprise Institute |

This is the seventh report in the “School District Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic” series, covering how schools reopened for the 2020–21 school year.

The report discusses two main sets of findings. The first focuses on how school districts across the nation reopened in fall 2020. The second section looks at each model of instruction in detail by examining their operations and instructional approaches.

Key Points:

  • About two in five schools began the year offering an option for full-time in-person instruction, about a third were fully remote, and the remaining 25 percent offered a hybrid model or in person for select grades. 
  • Overall, COVID-19 case rates were weakly related to reopening models, and higher percentages of schools returned in person in small, low-minority, low-poverty, and high-achieving districts. 
  • Eleven percent of all schools shifted from remote-only instruction to more in-person instruction by October 1, and most of these schools were in red states.
  • Districts’ remote instruction offerings were, indeed, a large improvement from the “emergency learning” remote instruction in the spring, as measured by multiple indicators.

Read the full report.