Forty-Six States Have Closed Physical Schools Until August or September

When will in-person school resume? In most places, not for about four months, at the earliest.

Since we most recently updated this graphic, even more states—including New Jersey and New York—have formally announced decisions to close school buildings for the remainder of the academic year. Washington, D.C., will also keep school buildings physically closed to students through the end of this school year. Three states maintain plans, at least for now, to reopen at least some schools in May.

U.S. school closures because of the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19 began in New York private schools March 3, expanded to some Seattle-area public schools on March 6, and have rapidly swept the country. Education Next published its first article on the issue, “Closing Schools To Slow a Pandemic,” March 9. A March 25 article, “Covid-19 Closed Schools. When Should They Reopen?” included then-current information on the duration of announced school closures, along with a discussion of the factors to consider in deciding whether to resume. The current timetable for schools to reopen is updated in the infographic below. If the pattern holds, some of the reopening dates may get pushed back even later. While schools are closed physically, many, though not all, are providing some kind of distance learning or online programming.


Statewide School Closures

Bar graph depicting the earliest possible return date for schools shut by Covid-19, by state

Source: Council of Chief State School Officers; Education Next research
Note: * Recommendation only.
**Recommendation only, districts are allowed to reopen if local social distancing requirements are lifted.
All data as of May 6, 2020.


Read more from Education Next on coronavirus and Covid-19.

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