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COVID-19 & School Closures: The Latest

(Note: The following is not one of my normal blog entries. Unfortunately I worked for two hours on a lengthy, well-articulated piece but then managed to lose everything I had typed! Either way, I wanted to make share I shared this information as I find it to be rather interesting. My apologies for the underdeveloped ideas communicated in this post - my intent is not to shortchange the seriousness of this topic.)

As a school superintendent it has been fascinating to watch how schools across the United States have responded to the coronavirus outbreak. I have created a couple graphics to provide context on where things currently stand in terms of school closures:

1). In the map below, you can see which states have made the decision to close all school buildings for an extended period of time as of Friday, March 13th.

States colored in red have made the decision to close all school districts.

2.) In this second chart, you can see how the pattern of COVID-19 cases in the United States compares to the pattern of cases in Italy over the same time period. "Today" is Friday, March 13th.

The last 10 days of cases in the United States as compared to Italy's numbers over the same time period.

The topic of closing schools as a result of the coronavirus outbreak is incredibly complex. I want to be clear that I am not advocating for or against closing schools as I am not an expert on public health nor do I understand how students and families might be impacted by the decision. I am perfectly content deferring to state and health officials when it comes to determining school closures.

I am hopeful these two pieces of information prove to be insightful when it comes to understanding where things stand with school closures across the United States. Certainly, it will be interesting to watch what happens in the coming weeks. Regardless of what is decided, I am hopeful all school leaders continue to make student safety their number one priority.


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