This Saturday, we take a look at the education news and trends throughout the week. Many schools are facing yet more difficult decisions as flu season approaches and COVID-19 rates surge again in states across the country. Communities are trying to assess health safety. School districts are struggling due to staff shortages. Teachers are navigating remote education to continue to best serve students. These news stories are compiled from Newseum:
Beatrice Daily Sun, Published in Beatrice, Nebraska
Starting next Tuesday, Beatrice middle school and high school students in Nebraska will return to online learning. The superintendent cites several reasons for the closure, including a shortage of teachers and substitute teachers, a majority of students (63%) already quarantining and remote learning, and an increase of COVID cases in the county. “We know these decisions impact the entire community,” says Superintendent Jason Alexander. “Our teachers will be working hard to ensure as much normalcy as possible during these unusual times.”
Fulton Sun, Published in Fulton, Missouri
In Fulton, Missouri, families are evaluating how in-person and virtual learning fared this past fall semester. This coming week, in-person students will have to decide whether or not they would like to switch to remote learning next semester. In the fall, hundreds of families in the area opted for virtual education in a program called Launch, initiated by Springfield Public Schools. In addition to virtual programs offered by school districts, there have been a plethora of paid online learning options. However, the article critically assesses the effectiveness of online learning by some of these programs.
Duluth News Tribune, Published in Duluth, Minnesota
Two schools in Northland, Minnesota were placed on the Minnesota Department of Health’s outbreak list. Schools are placed on the list if five or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 among students or staff have been reported within a two-week period. The schools are moving from hybrid to fully distanced learning. People 19 and under make up 15.73% of all COVID-19 cases in Minnesota since March, the article reports.
Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Published in Moscow, Idaho
With such an unusual campus experience this academic year, Washington State University has decided to reduce some of the mandatory fees for students at the Pullman campus this fall and spring semesters. They’ve decided not to collect a portion of student and activities fees and lowered student center fees. The fee reductions may not be as large as students were hoping for, as the decision has come after students voiced concerns that they were overpaying since the school switched to remote learning in March.
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Published in Little Rock, Arkansas
For five years, the Dollarway School District has been under state control. But now the Arkansas Board of Education is contemplating between four different options for future governance over the 921-student school district. The district had been under state control for academic and financial problems. One of the options is to annex or consolidate the district, which would also remove both Dollarway and Pine Bluff districts from state control.
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