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A Look at School Reopening Plans Across the Nation



Local school systems across the nation are in the midst of finalizing school reopening plans for the upcoming school year. School leaders face a daunting task that involves rapidly changing health and safety data from both federal, state and local entities, sometimes conflicting plans of action for addressing student learning and practical applications, and a cloud of uncertainty about what lies ahead.

The U.S. Department of Education is strongly urging that schools fully reopen under the threat of loss of federal funding for those that remain closed, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued safety and health considerations that many believe are largely impractical when translated to the reality of classrooms. A lack of funding and resources only complicates school systems' ability to implement potential solutions.

The Alabama Department of Education recently issued its Roadmap to Reopening, which provides suggested guidance but leaves decisions to each local school system (view's list of reopening plans for Alabama's local school systems). Already, revisions to Alabama's state-level plan are underway, at the request of Gov. Kay Ivey. 

One common thread among all plans is that they are only as good as the information available at that time. Building in contingencies for changes and a clear plan to handle future outbreaks among students, staff and the community will be vital for all school systems. Local school officials are tasked with setting the stage and tone as schools reopen amid enormous challenges. Clearly communicating reopening plans to continue student learning and provide essential services while keeping school communities safe is paramount.

State Reopening Plans

As a resource for local school leaders, AASB has compiled a list of plans for all 50 states and the District of Columbia (see chart below). The plans offer various approaches to reopening. For example: 

Mississippi: Considerations for Reopening Mississippi Schools 

South Carolina: Dedication to Education: Reopening Schools

Georgia’s Path to Recovery for K-12 Schools

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California
Colorado Connecticut             Delaware Florida   Georgia
Hawaii Idaho Illinois                                Indiana Iowa
Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland
Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri
Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire             New Jersey
New Mexico New York North Carolina      North Dakota Ohio
Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina     
South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont
Virginia Washington                  West Virginia                 Wisconsin                   Wyoming
District of Columbia