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COVID Current Events as of July 13, 2020

Each week, we have been collecting news articles, publications and other items of interest related to COVID and schools to inform ERS' own work to support school districts to manage through the uncertainty. We wanted to make this collection available to district leaders, school leaders, state education leaders and other partners working towards reimagining what school could look like during and after COVID-19. These items are pulled from many sources, but we want to especially acknowledge EdWeek, ASBO's School Business Daily and Vestigo Partners, whose great COVID resources we highly recommend.

 Constraints from Social Distancing:

  • EdWeek summarized the guidance from the AAP and CDC; the CDC recommends 6 feet of distance between desks and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 3 feet
  • For reference: Preventepidemics.org put together a summary of public health guidelines

Implications for System (JHU state and national policy tracker):

Federal Government messaging

  • 7/6 - President Trump pushed for opening schools fully in-person next year without offering any additional guidance or funding on how to do that safely video
  • 7/8 – Trump tweeted that he will consider withholding federal funding from districts that do not open fully in-person
  • 7/8 – Trump tweeted that he disagreed with CDC guidelines on school reopening
  • 7/8Betsy DeVos said that federal dollars should be given to families, if schools do not reopen fully
    • A spokeswoman said,  “If schools fail to meet their obligations to students and families by not reopening in the fall, they should not receive their full federal funding. Instead, any family should be able to take the tax dollars for their students' education to a school of their choosing.” 
  • 7/9 – CDC director said that the guidance offered by the agency will not change despite Trump’s pressure
  • 7/12DeVos continues to push for in-person instruction, saying, “the CDC guidelines are just that, meant to flexible and meant to be applied as appropriate for the situation”

State-Specific Guidelines

  • Florida education commissioner issued an executive order requiring all schools to open in-person 5 days/week
  • Arizona will delay school opening to 8/17

Implications for Schools:

District Reopening Plans (CRPE District Response Tracker)

Fully Virtual

  • Los Angeles and San Diego unified school districts will start school fully online in the Fall
    • Together, the 2 districts represent more than 825,000 students


  • Mayor DeBlasio announced that NYC Public Schools would open with a hybrid model; students could expect to be in schools 1-3 days per week
  • Baltimore City Public Schools plans to open with a A/B hybrid model, transitioning to fully in-person, beginning with pre-K-6
    • To transition to fully in-person instruction, BCPS acknowledges they will likely have to reduce physical distancing requirements to 3 feet
  • Clark County plans to open with a hybrid model – students will be in-person 2 days per week, 3 days remote
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