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Coronavirus and Learning: What's Happening in Each State

School closures, reopening dates, remote learning, and more

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Education Week is keeping track of the coronavirus pandemic's impact on the nation's schools, including whether the buildings and facilities educating more than 55 million students are open or closed and for how long, as well as the directives, recommendations, and guidelines states have issued to maintain student learning, as confirmed by state authorities, official statements, and original reporting.

The unprecedented activity around remote learning has revealed a wide range of state policy approaches. Several states have strongly worded directives ordering school districts to put in place distance learning programs by specific dates; many are providing recommendations and resources, but not direct orders; and others are offering districts options for different levels of remote learning they might use. States are also very concerned about tech equity issues, as many make it clear that remote learning can be done either online or through print materials sent home to families.

This page provides a status report on each state, links to relevant state documents, and summaries from Education Week reporters with additional information and context. For more information, see this interactive feature, "Map: Coronavirus and School Closures."

Currently, we are updating this page at least once a day on weekdays, as needed.


Alabama 

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 statusOrdered closed for the academic year 

2020-2021 opening: Decisions about school calendars and reopening are made by local districts; the state has suggested that they reopen around Aug. 20. 

Remote learning:  The state sent out general parameters for "academic continuity plans." Each district must identify whether it will use a distance or e-learning approach; packets of assignments; or a blend of the two. They must also indicate assessments they will use to measure mastery of state standards and how final course grades will be calculated.

On March 26, Gov. Kay Ivey signed an executive order requiring all districts, beginning April 6, to complete a plan on how they will finish out the 2019-20 school year using alternative methods of instruction. On April 28, she declined to renew a stay-at-home order in the state; beginning April 30, some businesses, retail shops, and beaches can re-open with social distancing in place. Schools are not permitted to reopen. State Superintendent Eric Mackey has interpreted the state's "Safer at Home" guidelines to permit graduation ceremonies provided attendees observe social-distancing rules.

Updated 5/19/20 


Alaska

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 status: Ordered closed for the academic year 

2020-2021 opening: Each school district will decide when to reopen its buildings, and whether to modify its previously set 2020-21 calendar. Using a framework developed by the state departments of education and health, districts will decide how to provide instruction, focusing on three areas: the conditions for learning (such as health and safety protocols), the continuity of learning (such as learning gaps and interventions), and the capacity for learning (such as connectivity).

Remote learning:  The department of education launched a site that offers ideas, tools and resources for remote learning. The state also has a statewide virtual school that offers complete courses that cover all content for the fourth quarter of the 2019-20 school year.

On April 9, the governor ordered that public and private schools stay shut down for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year, overriding a March 20 order that public and private schools to close through May 1.  In the new mandate, officials acknowledge "that this difficult decision ends the school year with students physically separated from their teachers." 

Updated 5/21/20


American Samoa

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 status: Ordered closed until further notice

Remote learning: A distance-learning framework created by the department of education required teachers to send home work packets covering the most important standards and benchmarks left in the school year, monitor completion and grade student work weekly. 

On March 26, the governor ordered schools closed until further notice and directed the department of education to develop plans for students to study at home.

Updated 4/9/20


Arizona

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 status: Ordered closed for the academic year

2020-21 reopening: Currently, schools are scheduled to open on time for the upcoming academic year. The exact start dates will be determined by individual school districts.

Remote learning: Schools must provide remote learning opportunities to students either online or through materials sent home to families.

Gov. Doug Ducey ordered the state's traditional public schools and charter schools to stay closed through the rest of the school year. The state's superintendent of public instruction has convened a task force of educators to develop a plan for reopening schools for the 2020-21 school year.

Updated 5/21/20


Arkansas

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 status: Ordered closed for the academic year.  

2020-2021 opening: A task force, made up of district administrators and teachers plans to release on May 18 a document detailing how schools will be able to open this fall. The governor said he fully expects schools to open in the fall. The first start date is determined by districts, not the state.

Remote learning: The state's department of education has posted a guide for districts laying out the choices they have when it comes to teaching students remotely and grading students.  The state is working with its PBS affiliate to provide children with additional distance learning.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson ordered April 6 that schools be closed for the rest of the academic year, saying, "The continued spread of COVID-19 throughout the nation does not give me confidence that our educators, parents, and, most importantly, our students would be safe if schools were to resume on-site instruction in April." 

Updated 5/15/20


Bureau of Indian Education

State status: Closures determined at school/district levels

2019-2020 statusVaries by school/district

2020-2021 opening: The Bureau of Indian Education has released guidelines advising school leaders to make reopening plans in consultation with the agency and with state and local leaders depending on conditions in their areas. 

Remote learning: Provided a link to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saying that administrators should "consider implementing e-learning plans, including digital and distance learning options as feasible and appropriate," touching on issues such as teaching training, adult supervision of distance learning, and access to technology for students at home.

The Bureau of Indian Education advised its schools in a March 14 memo to "consider if school closure is warranted and the length of time based on the risk level within the specific community" in coordination with local public health officials.

Updated 5/18/20


California

State status: State-recommended closure

2019-2020 status: Recommended closed for the academic year

2020-2021 opening: Each local district will decide when to reopen after coronavirus, how to mix in-person and online instruction, and whether to keep its previously set 2020-21 calendar. Superintendent Tony Thurmond has convened a working group that will issue guidance on what factors districts should consider before reopening. Thurmond said on May 20 that most districts plan to reopen on their normal dates, in August and early September, and some will provide a mix of in-person and remote instruction.

Remote learning: The state created a website that provides guidance and resources for remote learning and instructed districts to develop a plan, from fully online to distribution of paper packets, and train teachers to implement it. Gov. Gavin Newsom gave districts five additional months to submit their required annual local control and accountability plans so they can include information for the public about the steps they took to ensure quality programming to all students during distance learning.

The governor and state superintendent have urged schools to close campuses and teach via distance learning, but it is still up to each school district to decide whether to keep schools open. It's also up to districts to decide on grading policies and graduation flexibility.  Newsom has said that to minimize coronavirus risk, the state is considering major changes to schools' organization once they reopen, such as staggering school start times and cutting class sizes in half. Some K-12 schools could physically reopen as soon as late July, but that depends on factors such as the availability of coronavirus testing, and hospitals' capacity to manage surges. 

Updated 5/21/20


Colorado

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 status: Ordered closed for the academic year

2020-2021 opening: The state plans for schools to reopen this fall, and the Colorado Department of Education is in the process of creating guidance and requirements for schools. At this time, school districts are expected to determine when and how they reopen, and the state is encouraging them to create plans for scenarios that include additional health protocols, remote instruction, or a blended approach.

Remote learning: Schools are encouraged to provide distance learning for students and the state's department of education has issued guidance for districts on how to do so.

Gov. Jared Polis has suspended "normal in-person instruction" in all K-12 schools, including private and charter schools, through the end of the 2019-20 school year. The Colorado Department of Education has issued guidance to school systems as they create and implement their own individual "alternative" learning plans. These plans can include online learning. School buildings can open in coordination with local public health agencies to provide limited services such as staff professional development, special education services, and small group instruction. The state's two largest school districts, Denver Public Schools and Jeffco Public Schools have decided to hold summer school online as well.

Updated 5/13/20

Connecticut

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 status: Ordered closed for the academic year

2020-2021 opening: The state's Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group met May 11 to gather input from education stakeholders on how to safely reopen schools. 

Remote learning: The state education department has provided grade- and subject-specific online resources for families and educators "to support learning" during the coronavirus closure. The resources ranged from links to lesson plans, webcasts, and how to use various online platforms such as Google Classrooms and Flipgrid.  

Gov. Ned Lamont said on May 5 that the state's schools will be closed to in-person instruction for the remainder of the school year. The initial in-person school cancellation order was extended twice, the most recent of which would have expired on May 20. Under the new extension, schools will continue with distance learning and provide lunch and breakfast to students in the school meals programs. Lamont will make a decision on summer schools by the end of the month.

Education services provided by the state's Department of Correction and at in-patient facilities run by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services were exempted from the state's initial school-cancellation order.

Updated 5/12/20


Delaware

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 status: Ordered closed for the academic year

2020-2021 reopening: The state has set a plan for reopening, with its first phase scheduled to start June 1 if there has been 14 days of declining positive cases, extensive testing capacity and the ability to treat COVID-19 patients in hospitals without needing crisis care. Schools and youth activities will not reopen until phase two, and details for how schools will reopen have not yet been released.

Remote learning: Districts submitted remote learning plans to continue instruction during the current closure.

Gov. John Carney announced April 24 that schools would remain closed for the rest of the academic year

 Updated 5/12/20


Department of Defense Education Activity

State status: State-recommended closure

2019-2020 status: Recommended closed for the academic year

2020-2021 opening: A working group with members from the department's headquarters and three regional offices is meeting twice weekly to develop reopening guidelines that superintendents can use in coordination with local military commands. The department's director, Tom Brady, has the final say on when schools reopen, and he'll consult with military health officials and local commands before changing next school year's calendar.

Remote learning: No centralized guidance; all schools transitioned to remote learning within four days of building closure.

Graduation requirements have not changed, and all students are expected to be engaged in remote learning. The agency is hoping to reopen schools in some regions where the outbreak is further along, but no decisions have been made at this point. Department of Defense schools in the U.S., Europe, Japan, and Guam will remain closed and continue to conduct digital learning for the rest of the school year. The agency's eight schools in Korea are also closed and conducting digital learning, but could reopen this school year if they meet conditions currently being developed by the department and the U.S. military. 

Updated 5/12/20


District of Columbia

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 statusOrdered closed for the academic year

2020-2021 opening: Schools are targeting an Aug. 31 start date for the new academic year. Whether that includes in-person instruction, online learning or a combination of the two remains undetermined. Mayor Muriel Bowser's ReOpen DC Committee on Education and Childcare is exploring strategies to improve distance learning strategies and reimagine physical learning environments, an education department spokesman said.

Remote learning: The district has printed learn-at-home packets for pre-K through 12th grade and plans to len up to 16,000 technology devices to students to support learning at home. Students began distance learning on March 24 using a combination of online lessons, printed materials, and virtual check-ins with teachers. 

Distance learning will continue with plans to end the school year three weeks early on May 29. Charter schools also plan to wrap up distance learning around that date, Mayor Muriel Bowser said.

 Updated 5/13/20


Florida

State status: State-recommended closure

2019-2020 status: Recommended closed for the academic year

Remote learning: Every district was expected to create and implement a distance-learning plan by March 30. The state maintains several pages of resources, including one on best practices for distance learning. 

On April 18, Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran and Gov. Ron DeSantis recommended the extension of distance-learning only at all public and private schools for the rest of the school year; technically, only local school districts can close schools. The state has permitted beaches to re-open and is developing a plan for businesses, but schools will remain closed.  On May 13, Corcoran signed an emergency order suspending dozens of other state regulations and timelines, including those for to teacher-preparation program approval, IEP meetings, teacher certification, and voluntary prekindergarten.

Updated 5/14/20


Georgia

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 status: Ordered closed for the academic year

Remote learning: In its guidance on waived state requirements, the state suggests three distance or remote learning options--limited, supplemental, or wholesale instruction--but will not mandate specific approaches or strategies. The state is maintaining a page with digital learning resources for districts. It is also partnering with GPB, the public broadcasting network, to provide broadcast educational programming aligned with state standards. It has also approved a package of waivers to rules governing course completion, graduation, and promotion/retention.

On April 1, Gov. Brian Kemp ordered the closure of the state's public schools for the duration of academic year. The state lifted restrictions on houses of worship, public spaces, and businesses on April 20 but schools will remain closed.

Updated 5/14/20


Guam

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 status: Ordered closed for the academic year

Remote learning: The department of education created a website with lessons and learning activities designed by teachers and instructional coaches, noting that they are "enrichment activities" that review skills already introduced. The department also prints learning packets distributed by schools, inserts lessons in the local newspaper, and uses a local TV station to broadcast lessons. The board of education waived policies to allow districts to use third-quarter grades as students' final semester grades, promote students to the next grade, and graduate seniors without the normal number of required instructional hours.

On April 6, Superintendent Jon Fernandez ordered all schools closed for the rest of the 2019-20 school year, which had been scheduled to run through May 28. Meal service will continue, and schools are encouraged to use distance learning.

Updated 5/12/20


Hawaii

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 status: Ordered closed for the academic year

2020-2021 opening: As a statewide district, Hawaii sets the academic calendar for all schools, but it has not yet determined a reopening date for 2020-21. A plan released by Gov. David Ige on May 18 envisions a possible reopening of schools in June, with social-distancing practices, if virus indicators allow.

Remote learning: The department of education created a website with resources for online learning, including enrichment activities and printable instruction packets, including "at home learning choice boards" with activities parents can do with their students.

Distance learning continues through May 28, the last day of the school year, the department said. In mid-April, the department began planning the rollout of summer school, which will happen by distance-learning. The state advises districts to award course credit, and base grade-promotion decisions, on students' grades through the third quarter of the 2019-2020 school year.

Updated 5/21/20


Idaho

State status: State-recommended closure

2019-2020 status: Recommended closed for the academic year

2020-2021 opening: Gov. Brad Little has convened a "K-12 Emergency Council" that includes a subgroup discussing plans for the fall semester. Until that group releases a plan, schools are scheduled to open on their previously scheduled, locally determined start dates, mostly in late August and early September.

Remote learning: The Idaho Digital Learning Alliance, a state office, is providing course curricula, webinars, a support desk, and other resources.

The State Board of Education has implemented a "soft closure": All buildings are closed, but "essential services and student learning" including food service, remote learning, and special education services are expected to continue. The state's stay at home order expired on April 30, which means individual school districts can choose to reopen if they secure approval from the local health department and create plans for protecting vulnerable staff members, communicating with parents, and allowing flexibility for families concerned about the risks of sending students back to school.

The Idaho state board on May 4 updated the reopening criteria to allow schools to seek state approval for opening for small groups of students to proctor exams or offer special education assistance, without reopening for all students. The updated criteria also require that schools develop an immediate closure plan in case a student or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19. On May 6, the state department of education released a video laying out the revisions to requirements for dual-credit courses, Advanced Placement courses, and graduation.

 Nampa Christian School, a private school with two campuses and 730 total students, reopened May 4 with a shortened school day, required social distancing in hallways and classrooms, and no bus or cafeteria service. The Treasure Valley Classical Academy public charter school had planned to reopen school on May 11, but decided to stay closed for the school year after the governor discouraged public gatherings of more than 10 people, the Idaho Statesman reported.

Updated 5/20/20


Illinois

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 status: Ordered closed for the academic year

2020-2021 opening: An education department spokesperson said school districts control their school calendars and may start the 2020-21 school year remotely. However, school buildings will not be allowed to reopen until the region they are in reaches the fourth phase of the state's five-part reopening plan. 

Remote learning: The state board of education has issued guidance urging districts to make sure all students have access to quality material and offer support for learning goals, rather than assigning grades. Schools can take up to five remote learning planning days, which will not have to be made up. 

Now that all public and private schools in the state are ordered closed through the end of the year, the state board has announced it will release guidance to help schools address learning loss and students' social-emotional needs whenever schools can safely reopen. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed an executive order waiving several state-level requirements for schools, including some graduation requirements for high school seniors. Meanwhile, the state board of education and the department of public health issued guidance on graduation ceremonies, suggesting alternatives like drive-in ceremonies or having school leaders come to each graduate's home.  

Updated 5/18/20


Indiana

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 statusOrdered closed for the academic year

Remote learning:  Districts are required to provide remote instruction through distance learning. Plans are due to the state for review by April 17. The state department of education has also released guidance for continuous learning.

Gov. Eric Holcomb ordered school buildings closed through the end of the academic year. Districts are required to provide remote learning until they reach 160 total instructional days for the school year, or complete at least 20 additional days of remote learning between April 2 and June 30, 2020. State Superintendent Jennifer McCormick has said that school leaders are exploring the possibility of staggered classes in the fall, with students entering the school building at different times of the day. She has advised schools to plan to conduct summer school classes online. 

Updated 4/22/20


Iowa

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 status Ordered closed for the academic year

2020-2021 opening: Gov. Kim Reynolds and the education department waived an order for schools to start no later than Aug. 23 this summer, allowing them to make their own decisions about how long their 2020-21 school year lasts. The state published a guide to reopening schools this fall and is asking each district to submit tits own plan for reopening, detailing how they will support students' health, academic and emotional needs.

Remote learning: The state department has posted on its website a resource guide for administrators and teachers to provide distance learning. The department also has worked with the local PBS station to provide other materials to families. 

The governor on April 17 extended the closure of all public and nonpublic schools for the rest of the school year and said the state "will continue to offer continuous learning to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. This also includes the cancellation of spring sports activities." 

Updated 5/15/20


Kansas

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 statusOrdered closed for the academic year

Remote learning:A 25-member state task force made recommendations for "continuous learning" that encouraged school leaders to "focus on essential learning for students "through remote online instruction, paper assignments, and other methods. The task force warned that internet access will be an issue for many students. "School buildings may be closed across the state, but learning can happen anytime and anywhere," the Kansas Department of Education said when it released the recommendations.

In a March 17 order, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly became the first state leader to close schools for the remainder of the school year.  "As Kansans, we have always done what is necessary to protect our families," Kelly said. "This moment is no different."

Updated 4/16/20


Kentucky

State status: State-recommended closure

2019-2020 statusRecommended closed for the academic year

2020-21 opening: The state education department has released reopening guidance that instructs districts to prepare for one of three possibilities: an early opening, likely in July, to offset instructional time lost in the event of another midyear closure; a traditional opening; or a late opening, if the department of health determines that risk is still high over the summer months. The department has also asked districts to  plan for alternative schedules that allow for social distancing in school buildings.

Remote learning: All districts have transitioned to the state's nontraditional instruction program, which is an existing distance learning option.

Gov. Andy Beshear requested that superintendents stop in-person instruction through the end of the school year. All districts have been granted emergency approval to use Kentucky's nontraditional instruction program, an existing distance learning option, through the end of the academic year. The state has given districts the option to relax graduation requirements if they choose.

Updated 5/15/20


Louisiana

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 statusOrdered closed for the academic year

2020-2021 opening: The state has published a guide for school districts to determine how to open back up this fall.  Specific back-to-school dates are determined locally.

Remote learning: The department posted on its website a toolkit that helps districts set up distance learning staffing and standards.

Gov. John Bel Edwards on April 15 said at a press conference that schools will be closed for the rest of the year.  (On April 2, the governor had extended the school closures to April 30.) A state survey has shown that more than half of the state's districts are offering distance learning.  

Updated 5/15/20


Maine

State status: State-recommended closure

2019-2020 status: Recommended closed for the academic year

2020-2021 opening: State leaders are in the beginning stages developing plans for the start of next school year. Districts traditionally set their own start dates with some starting in mid-August and others after Labor Day. "Our plans will need to address both," an education department spokeswoman said.

Remote learning: Districts will decide whether to develop remote learning plans and how and when to implement them.

With the support of Gov. Janet Mills, Education Commissioner Pender Makin has recommended that schools plan to finish the academic year remotely, but a state department of education spokeswoman said it is ultimately a decision for local districts to make. For districts that offer remote learning, the state recommends taking time to "thoughtfully design grading policies and practices that do no harm" to students who may be dealing with homelessness, food instability, poverty, substance use disorders, domestic violence or other stressful and traumatic life situations.

Updated 5/11/20


Maryland

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 statusOrdered closed for the academic year

2020-21 opening: Maryland has released a 54-page school reopening plan, laying out options for physical safety and educational recovery for schools reopening. It includes evidence available to support options such as students switching between live and distance learning on different days or in different subjects; focusing live small-group instruction on students with special education, English-language learning, or other specific learning needs; and "looping," or keeping teachers with their classes for more than one grade to improve instruction continuity. State Superintendent Karen Salmon noted that schools may need to return to full distance learning next fall in the even of another surge in the virus.

Remote learning: State officials say they are developing a "hub" for academic resources, including a statewide remote learning plan that will be available in the "next few weeks." In the meantime, the agency has published some guidance and resources for schools and the public. State Superintendent Karen Salmon has warned that schools may have do online learning in the fall if the virus resurges.

Salmon announced May 6 that schools would remain closed for the remainder of the academic year., at the same press conference in which Gov. Larry Hogan announced that the state would begin to lift some social distancing restrictions and discuss opening some businesses. Salmon said full reopening of schools would not happen until stage three, when the state again allows large gatherings and reopens large bars and restaurants.

"Meal and transportation may all require modification," Salmon said. "Any return of students and staff to the classroom depends on the circumstances and each school system and local school systems will have the flexibility to adapt the model to best serve their needs." The education department will be releasing a detailed plan for schools outlining steps needed for reopening.

Updated 5/14/20


Massachusetts

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 statusOrdered closed for the academic year

2020-2021 opening: State education department leaders and the Office of Gov. Charlie Baker are weighing options on when schools will start next school year and whether students will return to campuses then. As of now, "it is too soon for us to say exactly what it will look like and whether it will be entirely in-person, online or a mix," an education department spokeswoman says.

Remote learning: Per state recommendations, districts should adopt remote learning models that engage students for approximately half the length of a regular school day.

The state expects to issue new guidance soon on what precautions will have to be taken to reopen schools in the fall, what remote learning will look like for the rest of the year, and whether schools will issue grades or resort pass/fail grading.

Updated 5/11/20


Michigan

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 statusOrdered closed for the academic year

2020-2021 opening: On May 15, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer formed a "Return to Learning Advisory Council" that will make recommendations on reopening schools. The 20-member council will consist of students, parents, teachers, administrators, and public health officials. Michigan is also partnering with the national nonprofit Opportunity Labs to develop reopening plans.

Remote learning: All schools had to begin providing distance learning opportunities for students by April 28. The state education department asked districts to draft a plan for continuity of learning, noting that there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution. Individual districts had to have their plans approved by their regional intermediate districts.

When Whitmer signed an executive order closing public and private schools for the rest of the school year, she also said districts will be able to adopt a year-round calendar or start the 2020-21 school year earlier than Labor Day. On April 9, Michigan became the first state to provide food assistance benefits to families whose children typically receive free or reduced-price lunch. 

Updated 5/18/20


Minnesota

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 statusOrdered closed for the academic year

2020-2021 status: The state education department is working with the health department to develop plans for reopening, which will be released closer to the start of the school year.

Remote learning: The state education department has released guidance on distance learning, noting that schools must provide for all students, including those without access to technology.

Minnesota schools were expected to implement distance learning plans on the first regularly scheduled school day on or after March 30. On April 23, Gov. Tim Walz said distance learning would continue through the rest of the school year. On May 14, the governor signed an executive order on summer learning, saying that public schools and charter schools would have the option to continue distance learning or offer a hybrid model of distance learning and in-school learning. If schools offer in-person learning, they must be in compliance with health department guidelines on masking, social distancing, screening, and cleaning.

Updated 5/15/20


Mississippi

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 statusOrdered closed for the academic year

2020-2021 opening: Districts will set their own calendars and start dates; the state does not collect this information.

Remote learning: The state education department is not directing districts to transition to delivery of all content online, "as we recognize that online access and remote support for rural students and students with disabilities will certainly pose equity issues across the state." However, by April 10, each district was expected to complete a "Learning-at-Home Plan."  

On April 14, Gov. Tate Reeves Reeves announced schools would remain closed for the rest of the semester. On March 19, Reeves had signed an executive order closing schools through April 17. State Superintendent Carey Wright said in a USA Today interview that she hoped the state would reopen schools in late July, after the summer break but before schools typically start in mid-August. The governor permitted some stores to re-open at reduced capacity beginning April 27, but schools will remain closed.

Updated 5/19/20


Missouri

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 statusOrdered closed for the academic year.

2020-2021 opening: Most districts are scheduled to open on Aug. 24. The state board of education is accepting applications for waivers from that required start date. The Missouri School Boards Association published a guide to help districts reopen schools this fall.

Remote learning: The department released a memo including information for administrators what quality distance learning looks like and issues to consider when deciding what to provide families.

Gov. Mike Parson first ordered schools closed on March 21 and extended that to the end of the academic year on April 9. His order didn't prohibit schools from providing child care or food service. The state's department of education has asked districts to update it with their technology needs and waived some spending requirements so that districts can use available money on software and computers.

Updated 5/15/2020


Montana

State status: Closure expired

2019-2020 status: Varies by school/district

Remote learning:  The state's Office of Public Instruction provides online learning resources and guidance. 

On April 22, Gov. Steve Bullock announced that while the state's order to close schools would run through May 6, starting on May 7, local districts would get to decide whether to resume traditional, in-person instruction. The May 7 optional reopen date is part of a larger plan for a phased reopening of the state's economy.  Local school boards will make the final call about whether to open starting on May 7, according to Bullock's directive. Schools should also make every effort to stick to their established academic calendar," the state office of public instruction says. However, on April 30, the state Office of Public Instruction reported that they were unaware of any schools that had decided to "fully reopen" this academic year. Click here to see "School Opening Considerations" released by the state ahead of the May 7 optional date for in-person classes to restart. Additional guidance from the state OPI for schools is here.

Updated 5/6/20


Nebraska

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 status: Ordered closed for the academic year

2020-2021 opening: The state has a collection of resources to help schools plan for reopening. Commissioner Matt Blomstedt has said reopening would depend on local conditions, but he expected many parts of the state would be able "to keep pretty much their regular calendar intact."

Remote learning: The state has also directed each district to submit a "continuity of learning plan" and provided resources on e-learning. State education officials recommended that all schools "remain in alternate learning environments, with no students reporting to schools" for the remainder of the school year.

Gov. Pete Ricketts issued the school closure order among a number of other emergency measures on April 3. 

Updated 5/18/20


Nevada

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 statusOrdered closed for the academic year

2020-2021 opening: The state education department is overseeing a "Re-Opening of Schools Committee" that will create guidance for schools as they look to reopen and help strengthen responses to future crises, according to state Superintendent Jhone Ebert. She encouraged local school districts to form their own reopening committees that include parents, teachers, union representatives, district personnel, support staff, and others. 

Remote learning:  Gov. Steve Sisolak asked all 17 districts in the state to submit plans for distance learning, to begin no later than March 23.

On April 21, Gov. Steve Sisolak announced on Twitter that he had come to the "difficult decision" to end in-person classes for the rest of the academic year. "We will continue our efforts to support teachers, staff, students and families throughout this academic year," Sisolak said. Schools in Nevada were originally closed due to the coronavirus on March 16, but Sisolak later extended that through April 30.

Updated 5/13/20


New Hampshire

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 statusOrdered closed through the rest of the academic year

2020-2021 opening: The state created a School Transition Reopening and Redesign Taskforce of parents, teachers, superintendents, students, representatives from charter schools and religious schools, and other stakeholders to work on recommendations for school reopening this fall. Preliminary recommendations are expected by June 30. The task force will look at issues including instruction, student wellness, operations, and technology.

Remote learning directive: The state order directs schools to move to remote instruction and charges the education department with helping school systems develop and implement those plans. The education department has a portal for remote learning including tips on managing students' screen time. 

Gov. Chris Sununu extended the remote learning directive through the remainder of the academic year. The previous order was through May 4. In his letter to educators announcing the extension, Sununu asked district leaders to consider possibly foregoing formal grades and adopting pass/fail options for students during the remote learning period. The governor also signed a new executive order on April 28, allowing school boards to swear in new members electronically and waiving some budgetary requirements for school boards to cover expenditures that were incurred during the coronavirus pandemic.

Updated 5/15/20


New Jersey

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 statusOrdered closed for the academic year

2020-2021 status: The state education department has formed a steering committee to lay out when and how schools will reopen.

Remote learning directive: The state department of education has published guidance and resources for teachers on distance learning, including digital resources by content area and grade level. 

New Jersey's schools are following the state's strict stay-home and social distancing orders for the foreseeable future, and Gov. Phil Murphy announced May 4 that schools would remain closed through the academic year, with all spring sports cancelled and summer educational or other programs yet to be determined. Private schools with later calendars must remain closed until at least June 30. 

Updated 5/12/20


New Mexico

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 statusOrdered closed for the academic year

Remote learning: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham who issued the school shutdown order, also directed New Mexico's education secretary to provide students with alternative learning opportunities. The state's department of education also is offering school districts guidance on how to craft continuous learning plans. Public television stations in Albuquerque and the far east and south of the state are broadcasting class lessons daily for students in grades K-5.

Updated 4/9/20


New York

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 statusOrdered closed for the academic year

Remote learning: The state education agency put together a reference for educators with FAQs and resources on complying with student privacy laws, ensuring accessibility, sample schedules, and how to get an online school up and running. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a May 1 press conference that K-12 schools will be closed for the rest of the academic year, while remote learning continues. The state will hold summer school online via remote learning, Gov. Cuomo said May 21. He said it was too early to make a determination about school reopening in the fall, though the state is eyeing a September reopening. Cuomo said the state will issue guidelines on reopening to school districts in June. The districts will then have to submit reopening plans to the state for approval in July. 

In his May 5 press conference, Gov. Cuomo said the state will partner with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a blueprint on how to "re-imagine" education for this new era. The foundation will look at areas including how technology can be used to reduce educational inequality, meet the needs of students with disabilities, and expand learning opportunities through the use of things like virtual classrooms while social distancing rules are in place. The state's 20-member Reimagine Education Advisory Council includes several K-12 representatives, including two current district superintendents, two master teachers, AFT President Randi Weingarten, and former New York City Chancellor Dennis Walcott.

Updated 5/21/20


North Carolina

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 statusOrdered closed for the academic year

2020-2021 opening: Schools will start a week earlier than normal, Aug. 17, for the coming school year under a coronavirus relief bill signed May 4 by Gov. Roy Cooper. State Superintendent Mark Johnson has formed a schools reopening task force to focus on issues such as ways to improve remote learning, close achievement gaps that may have widened since in-person school shut down, and methods to maintain social distancing once school buildings reopen.

Remote learning: The state department of public instruction and local districts have created an online collection of resources that can be used to support best educational practices.

Under state order, schools must remain closed for the rest of the current academic year while distrits are expected to continue with remote learning. The coronavirus relief  bill also lengthened the school year from 185 to 190 days, and eliminated a requirement that 3rd-graders earn a grade-level reading score on year-end exams. Those tests have been waived this year.

Updated 5/11/20


North Dakota

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 statusOrdered closed for the academic year

Remote learning directive: Gov. Doug Burgum directed all schools to develop distance learning plans under guidance from the state department of education. "Local school leaders have decision-making authority regarding curriculum and instruction," guidance said. "A school must show that it can provide adequate infrastructure in three areas: technology, instruction, and student engagement."

North Dakota first ordered schools closed for a week March 13, later extending that order indefinitely. Burgum said schools can open buildings in May to offer child care to children of teachers, health and safety workers, and "lifeline workers" who work in agriculture, grocery stores, energy and utilities, banks, and in jobs that serve the "mentally ill and developmentally disabled." On May 1, Burgum announced that schools would remain closed for the rest of the academic year.

Updated 5/3/20


Northern Marianas

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 statusOrdered closed for the academic year

Remote learning: The department of education created "learning at home" packets as an optional way to keep students engaged while schools are closed and also provided online learning resources for schools and parents.

 On March 17, the school system of the Northern Marianas announced that all schools would be closed for the rest of the 2019-20 school year. The department of education said all student work after campus closures would be optional and not factored into students' final grades.

Updated 4/9/20


Ohio

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 statusOrdered closed for the academic year

2020-21 opening: The department is working on guidance for the 2020-21 school year, to be released in May, that covers health and safety in school buildings, teaching and learning, and social-emotional supports.

Remote learning: Gov. Mike DeWine has said that "schools should work to provide education through alternative means." The state education department has provided resources for creating remote learning plans.

The governor has ordered school buildings closed through the end of the academic year, saying that students will continue learning remotely. The state's department of health has ordered that all school facilities—including stadiums, fields, and tracks—stay closed to students through June 30. The state legislature has allowed remote instruction time to count toward minimum instructional hours requirements. All states have received a waiver for federally mandated testing. and the state legislature has removed all state testing requirements for Ohio students this spring.

Updated 5/21/20


Oklahoma

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 statusOrdered closed for the academic year

Remote learning: School districts had until early April to develop plans for distance learning.

The state board of education suspended all in-school activities for the rest of the academic year. Gov. Kevin Stitt also issued an executive order at the beginning of April directing public schools to continue paying their current support staff through the end of their contracts.

Updated 4/9/20


Oregon

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 statusOrdered closed for the academic year

2020-2021 opening: Officials from the Oregon Department of Education, the Oregon Health Authority, and the office of Gov. Kate Brown are developing an education plan that will include "models for in-person education and contingencies for online or mixed instruction," department spokesman Marc Siegel said. Start dates are now set by individual districts, though "the plan could alter start dates for districts," Siegel said.

Remote learning: Districts expected to have distance learning plans in place by April 13.Districts have been offering free, optional services for families. Schools are expected to reconnect with students, address their social-emotional needs, and resume instruction using online and distance tools.

Gov. Kate Brown on April 8 announced a second extension of state-ordered school closures, this time through the end of the school year. On May 6, the state's departments of education and human services announced that students eligible for free and reduced-price meals will receive credits worth one free lunch and one free breakfast for every normal school day that was scheduled in March, April, May, and June. Students will receive those benefits regardless of whether they've been getting meals from the school during the extended shutdown.

The state on May 15 issued guidance for summer school operations that includes requirements for schools to publish a written communicable disease plan; parents and drivers to remain outside buildings while picking up and dropping off students; and school bus passengers to maintain three feet of space from each other and six feet from drivers. 

Updated 5/12/20


Pennsylvania

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 status: Ordered closed for the academic year

2020-2021 status: Gov. Tom Wolf has laid out a three-phase plan to reopen the state which includes reopening child-care centers with work and safety orders during the second phase. In testimony to the state Senate on May 11, Education Secretary Pedro Rivera said he expected schools would be able to reopen in the fall and said the state education department would develop a reopening plan to remediate students' lost learning during the closures and to give districts options of how to reopen safely while maintaining safe social distancing.

Remote learning: The state has partnered with its local public broadcasting station and online learning platforms to create programs and online course offerings to help K-12 students access English/language arts, math, and other subjects. The state has also asked districts to develop remote learning plans and is offering "equity grants" to help districts purchase both digital supports such as laptops and internet hotspots and nondigital supports such as postage or materials delivery.

Pennsylvania schools are closed for the rest of the academic year as part of a statewide stay-home order and has an updated page of guidance covering a wide range of topics on the school closures. The governor has laid out a three-phase plan to reopen the state which includes reopening child-care centers with work and safety orders during the second phase, but schools must continue to use remote learning only for the rest of the academic year. Education Secretary Pedro Rivera has warned that when schools do reopen, instruction could include a mix of in-person and remote learning on different days or at different schools or grades within districts, as well as the use of masks and social distancing on campuses.

Updated 5/12/20


Puerto Rico

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 status Ordered closed for the academic year

Remote Learning: Secreary of Education Eligio Hernández Pérez announced April 24 that in-person classes will not resume for the rest of the school year. The Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Dia also reported that schools will reopen in August, and that students will be promoted to the next grade irrespective of their academic performance in the 2019-20 school year. The Puerto Rico Department of Education has an "Alternatives for Continuing Teaching" webpage that include remedial education modules, an activity bank, and videos for various courses such as geometry and algebra.

 Updated 4/24/20


Rhode Island

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 statusOrdered closed for the academic year

2020-2021 opening: The state Department of Education is working with the Gov. Gina Raimondo and the state Department of Health to develop plans for the fall. While districts traditionally set their own calendars, all schools are currently completing the school year on a statewide distance learning calendar--and the state hopes to continue with a statewide calendar for the 2020-21 academic year.

Remote Learning:  Education Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green has issued distance learning guidance for districts that includes recommendations for teaching English-language learners and students with disabilities.

Distance learning started March 23, one week after Gov. Gina Raimondo first closed public school. It will continue through the school year, while buildings remain closed. Infante-Green said the last day of school for students will be June 18, unless districts reach the state-mandated 180 days of instruction before that date.

Updated 5/11/20


South Carolina

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 statusOrdered closed for the academic year

2020-2021 opening: The state has not yet determined when schools will reopen for 2020-21, but a newly-formed task force, AccelerateED, will make recommendations to the governor. The task force is focusing on three areas: building and student services, instruction and operations. State law has barred districts from opening before the third Monday in August, but the General Assembly recently passed a resolution that lets the state superintendent waive laws and regulations in light of COVID-19. The state is considering adding six instructional days to the 2020-21 school year.

Remote learning: VirtualSC, the state's free, online program, is offering free educational resources to parents, students and teachers while school buildings are closed.

"The decision to close schools was difficult but it is in the best interests of the health and well-being of South Carolina students, educators, and their families," Molly Spearman, the state superintendent of education, said on Twitter. "While schools buildings will remain closed for the remainder of this school year, learning will continue."

Updated 5/15/20


South Dakota

State status: State-recommended closure

2019-2020 statusRecommended closed for the academic year.

Remote learning: The state's education department released voluntary "flex learning guidelines" on April 1 that encourages districts and school leaders to "make decisions that are appropriate for local student population, families, staff and available resources."

The state education department said on Twitter April 6 that Gov. Kristi Noem had "asked that South Dakota schools remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year."

Updated 4/9/20


Tennessee

State status: State-recommended closure

2019-2020 statusRecommended closed for the academic year

Remote learning: Distance learning opportunities will vary by district and be based on local decisions, according to the state department of education. The department has released a toolkit for developing instruction during the closure, and local PBS stations are broadcasting instructional content.

Gov. Bill Lee has recommended that schools stay closed through the end of the school year. In a press conference on April 15, the governor and education commissioner Penny Schwinn announced that the state would convene a Covid-19 Child Wellbeing Task Force, to support localities in caring for children during school closures, especially children who are at risk. The state has waived requirements for 180 days of instructional time for this school year.

Updated 4/15/20


Texas

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 statusOrdered closed for the academic year

2020-2021 opening: Exact start dates will be determined by individual school districts. The Texas Education Agency will issue guidance to districts on how to formulate school calendars and approach instruction.

Remote learning: Districts must prove that they are providing remote instruction to students in some form to continue to receive funding.

Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered all the state's private and public schools to remain closed to in-person instruction through the end of the school year. The state also has provided learning-at-home resources for parents, teachers, and others. But schools providing remote instruction are not required to take student attendance. The Texas Education Agency has created guidance for schools for conducting graduation ceremonies. Districts can choose one of four options: completely virtual ceremonies; hybrid ceremonies that include videos and small groups; vehicle ceremonies; and outdoor in-person ceremonies. Schools are allowed to hold in-person summer classes starting June 1 as long as they follow social distancing protocols, according to a May 18 executive order.

Updated 5/21/20


U.S. Virgin Islands

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 status: Ordered closed for the academic year

2020-2021 opening: The government of the Virgin Islands announced a "Path to a New Normal" that involves five safety levels. Schools would remain closed during the first four phases of this plan, and only reopen in the "New Normal" (least restrictive) level.

Remote learning directive: In its April 8 closure announcement, the U.S. Virgin Island Department of Education said that school districts would receive laptops and Chromebooks to distribute to students, and that "teaching and learning will continue online." The department also announced that it had developed a proposal to spend $14.5 million on "permanent distance learning infrastructure."

Updated 5/14/20


Utah

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 statusOrdered closed for the academic year

Remote learning directive: In his earlier, March 24 announcement that school buildings would be closed until May 1, Gov. Gary Herbert said: "Distance learning will continue during the extended dismissal for all K-12 public schools, where feasible." In his April 14 announcement that school buildings would close for the rest of the academic year, Herbert said he made the decision after talking with the state board of education

Updated 4/14/20


Vermont

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 statusOrdered closed for the academic year

Remote learning: The state education agency put together a reference for educators with FAQs and resources on complying with student privacy laws, ensuring accessibility, sample schedules, and how to get an online school up and running.

In the state's continuity of learning order, Vermont's schools were required to develop "continuity of learning plans" for the rest of the school year and the state's education agency will issue guidance on how graduations and end-of-year celebrations will be handled on or before May 8. Gov. Phil Scott also announced an agreement with Vermont Public Broadcasting Station to feature educational programming and other resources appropriate for students from pre-K through 12th grade.

Updated 4/9/20


Virginia

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 statusOrdered closed for the academic year

2020-2021 opening: Gov. Ralph Northam has formed a task force comprised of public and private K-12 and higher education leaders including local superintendents who will offer recommendations to the governor in a few weeks on next steps for school reopening. The task force is led by Atif Qarni, the state's education secretary, and includes James Lane, the state's superintendent of public instruction. 

Remote learning: Virginia Learns Anywhere is a state resource that districts can use as they create and roll out remote learning plans.

Virginia was among the first states to close public and private schools for the entire academic year, and the state is waiving some academic requirements to allow seniors to graduate on time.

Updated 5/18/20


Washington

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 statusOrdered closed through the academic year

2020-2021 opening: A task force of educators, administrators, legislators, and representatives of community organizations will convene May 13, and in June will produce a report on plans for the fall. Until then, schools are scheduled to open this fall on their locally determined start dates, typically in late August and early September.

Remote learning: Schools and teachers are expected to continue instruction by setting learning goals, communicating course expectations, and reviewing student progress.

Gov. Jay Inslee has prohibited schools from delivering in-person instruction. Remote educational services for all schools were required to begin on March 30, via "printed learning materials, phone contact, email, technology-based virtual instruction, or a combination to meet student needs."  Districts have continued to serve meals and provide child care for essential workers, according to a state spokesperson. The state's grading guidance says schools may not assign "F" grades, and students who receive a grade of "incomplete" due to lack of access will have opportunities including summer school and courses next year to revise that grade.

Updated 5/11/20


West Virginia

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 statusOrdered closed for the academic year

2020-2021 opening: The state education department is convening an education re-entry task force to work on a multiphase approach to school opening. The department will report to the state board of education in May. 

Remote learning: West Virginia has created a remote learning framework for districts to follow that it says are "grounded in compassion, communication and common sense rather than traditional compliance measures."

In an April 21 briefing, Gov. Jim Justice announced that school buildings would be closed for the rest of the academic year. He said he wanted schools to continue with distance learning, and that all districts should think of a way to honor high school students over the summer, including, potentially, a diploma ceremony.

Updated 5/11/20


Wisconsin

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 statusOrdered closed through remainder of the school year

2020-2021 status: The Wisconsin education department will release guidance on reopening schools by June 30. Deputy State Superintendent Mike Thompson has said he believes there will be "varying types of learning models going into the fall."

Remote learning: The Wisconsin education department has issued considerations for teaching and learning during the coronavirus pandemic that include remote learning environments.

All public and private schools in the state will be closed through the end of the school year, and are "strongly encouraged to facilitate distance or virtual learning." During the shutdown, the education department has emphasized things such as emphasizing feedback over grades and prioritizing connections between teachers and students. On April 14, Gov. Tony Evers said it will be "up to individual school districts" if they want to have summer school, if it's safe to do so.

Updated 5/12/20


Wyoming

State status: State-ordered closure

2019-2020 statusOrdered closed through 5/15/20

Remote learning: The state has reviewed and approved every district's distance learning plan which were to include ways to communicate with students, new graduation plans, and how to measure attendance. 

On April 28, Gov. Mark Gordon extended the school's closing through May 15.  

Updated 4/28/20

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