New Online Tool Aims to Track Covid-19 Cases in Schools Across the United States

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A new effort will attempt to track coronavirus cases based on voluntary reporting from public, charter, and private schools in the United States.

The COVID-19 School Response Dashboard effort is being led by Emily Oster, an economist professor at Brown University, who noticed a gap inaccessible to data for the primary and secondary school levels. The development of the Covid-19 dashboard is being coordinated with researchers from MIT, Harvard, and Mass General along with participation by the School Superintendents Association, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

The effort behind the new response dashboard is COVID-Explained, a site dedicated to providing information about the pandemic. The goal of the COVID-19 School Response Dashboard to to collect anonymized data at the county level about coronavirus cases in schools in order to “provide educational leaders and policy-makers with information on how schools are reopening, and what factors contribute to safe reopening.”

So far, 563 schools in 47 states are participating with a goal to continue recruitment to increase the number of schools in the program.

Participating schools fill out an initial baseline survey and then submit responses to five questions bi-weekly. The bi-weekly questionnaire will be focused on enrollment, staffing and COVID-19 cases. The dashboard is updated within one week of new data submitted by schools.

The dashboard is split into two main sections: overview data and maps about the survey population and summary statistics about infection rates and learning models. The data can be filtered based on geography, school type, education level, and learning model.

Screenshot from the COVID-19 School Response Dashboard, captured September 23, 2020.
Screenshot from the COVID-19 School Response Dashboard, captured September 23, 2020.


COVID-19 School Response Dashboard

National COVID-19 school response dashboard. (2020, August 28). COVID Explained.