94% of Schools Nationwide Not Sure When They Will Reopen

AASA Survey: No Timetable Yet Regarding When Schools Will Reopen: More Than Half of Districts Lack Adequate Internet Access

June 16, 2020 – An overwhelming majority (94%) of superintendents nationwide indicate they are not ready to announce when their schools will reopen or resume in-person instruction, according to a survey released today by AASA, The School Superintendents Association.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, AASA issued a nationwide coronavirus school response survey to provide federal, state and local policy makers with data about how districts are adapting and responding to the virus, about prolonged closings, and about the resources and information superintendents are relying on. The results being released today are from the second iteration of this survey, which collected more than 500 responses from 48 states. 

“AASA is committed to supporting superintendents and other school district leaders throughout the country during this challenging and unprecedented time,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “We hope school systems will find our survey results helpful as they carefully strive for a safe and healthy reopening process that is consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.”

Additional key findings include:

  • More than nine out of 10 respondents (92%) replied “district-owned laptop, tablets and hotspots” when asked how their districts are providing distance learning while schools are closed due to COVID-19.
  • Nearly all respondents (96%) replied “pickup/delivery of free and reduced-price meals” when asked what, if anything, their districts are doing to address equity during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than nine out of 10 respondents replied, “devices are provided for students who need them.”
  • More than half of the respondents (60%) answered “we lack adequate internet access at home (student homework gap)” when asked to identify barriers that would prohibit their districts from transitioning to a fully online-learning model.
  • Nearly half (47%) of the respondents reported “transportation/bus service” and one third (33%) reported “student support services” when asked what, if any, contracts their districts have that are not being fully realized because of the pandemic.

This report represents the second iteration of a series that AASA will release about the impact of COVID-19 on school districts and only speaks to the preliminary effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on district operations. Click here to access the COVID-19 and Schools: Detailing the Continued Impact. Click here to view results of the first survey, released in April.

For additional information, contact Noelle Ellerson Ng, AASA associate executive director, policy and governance, at nellerson@aasa.org or Chris Rogers, AASA policy analyst, at crogers@aasa.org.

Today’s announcement comes a week after the release of What Will It Cost To Reopen Schools?, a report issued by AASA and the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO). According to the report, the U.S. may need to incur additional expenses, totaling nearly $1.8 million, to reopen their school buildings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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