Virtual School Meanderings

August 5, 2022

New Data from NCES: School Experiences with COVID-19: June 2022

There are likely some ramifications related to remote learning and online learning in this data.

 Institute of Education Sciences

New Data from NCES: School Experiences with COVID-19: June 2022

schoolsurveyThe National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) releases today the latest round of findings from the School Pulse Panel (SPP). These SPP data examine learning recovery, summer learning, staff vacancies, COVID-19 mitigation strategies, learning modes offered by schools, and student and staff quarantine prevalence, as reported by school leaders in U.S. public schools.

Key Findings

Learning Loss and Recovery Efforts

  • Public school leaders estimated that nearly half of their students (50 percent) began the 2021-22 school year behind grade level in at least one academic subject, which is 14 points higher than the percentage of students they estimated to be behind grade level in at least one academic subject at the beginning of a typical school year before the pandemic began (36 percent).
    • Of those schools that reported having students starting the 2021-22 school year behind grade level in at least one academic subject, 64 percent believed that the COVID-19 pandemic played a major role as to why students were behind grade level at the beginning of the 2021-22 school year.
  • Public school leaders estimated that just over one-third of their students (36 percent) ended the 2021-22 school year behind grade level in at least one academic subject.
  • Public schools enacted a variety of strategies to support pandemic-related learning recovery for their students this year, including additional instruction, assessments, and peripheral supports.
    • The most common types of additional instruction used by public schools were remedial instruction (72 percent) and high-dosage tutoring (56 percent).
    • More than three-quarters of public schools used diagnostic (79 percent) and formative (76 percent) assessments.
    • The most common types of peripheral supports addressed student mental health and trauma (72 percent) and provided teacher professional development specifically focused on learning recovery (51 percent).

Summer Programs

  • This summer, the most prevalent types of summer programming in public schools are learning and enrichment programs run by the school or district (75 percent) and summer school (70 percent). Additionally, public schools are offering learning and enrichment programs run by a partner organization (49 percent) and bridge programs (34 percent).
    • Of those schools offering these programs, 33 percent increased learning enrichment programs run by the school or district, 32 percent increased summer school, 28 percent increased learning and enrichment programs run by a partner organization, and 30 percent increased bridge programs they are offering this summer, compared to summers prior to the start of the pandemic primarily to support pandemic-related learning recovery.

Staffing

  • On average, public schools reported having three teacher vacancies for the upcoming 2022-23 school year.
    • In elementary schools, the most prevalent positions that need to be filled are general elementary (51 percent) and special education teachers (44 percent).
      • For elementary schools, school leaders anticipate that special education and ESL/bilingual education teachers will be the most difficult positions to fill, with 49 percent of schools and 42 percent of schools reporting it will be ‘very difficult’ to hire fully certified teachers in these areas, respectively.
    • In middle schools, the most prevalent positions that need to be filled are special education (54 percent), English/language arts (34 percent), and math teachers (30 percent).
      • For middle schools, school leaders also anticipate that biology or life sciences and special education teachers will be the most difficult positions to fill, with 57 percent reporting it will be ‘very difficult’ to hire fully certified teachers in both areas, respectively.
    • In high schools, the most prevalent positions that need to be filled are special education (51 percent), math (37 percent), and career/technical education teachers (32 percent).
      • For high schools, school leaders anticipate that physical sciences and math teachers will be the most difficult positions to fill, with 60 percent and 58 percent reporting it will be ‘very difficult’ to hire fully certified teachers in these areas, respectively.
  • Across all school levels, the most prevalent non-teaching staff positions that need to be filled are custodial staff (32 percent), transportation staff (29 percent) and mental health professionals (19 percent).
    • In line with the prevalence of these openings, public school leaders anticipate it will be the most difficult to hire transportation staff and custodial staff, with 61 percent and 46 percent reporting it will be very difficult to hire staff in these areas, respectively.

Learning Modes, Mitigation Strategies and Quarantine Prevalence

  • At the end of the 2021-22 school year, 15 percent of public schools required students and staff to wear masks while inside the school. This is down from March 2022, when 22 percent of public schools required students and 23 percent required staff to wear masks. This is also a large decline from January 2022, when 73 percent of public schools required students and 77 percent required staff to wear masks.
  • Schools continued to provide on-site COVID-19 testing for students (43 percent) and staff (51 percent) at the end of the 2021-22 school year. Sixteen percent of schools required daily symptom screening for students and 20 percent for staff at the end of the school year, compared to 22 percent of schools requiring daily symptom screening for students and 25 percent requiring daily symptom screening for staff in February 2022.
  • Thirty-four percent of public schools reported using Test to Stay (TTS) at the end of the 2021-22 school year, up from the 26 percent of public schools that reported using TTS in February 2022.
  • Comparing learning mode offerings at the end of the 2020-21 school year and the end of the 2021-22 school year:
    • In-person learning offerings were more prevalent (62 percent at the end of 2020-21 versus 98 percent at the end of 2021-22)
    • Remote learning offerings were less prevalent (40 percent at the end of 2020-21 versus 33 percent at the end of 2021-22)
    • Hybrid learning offerings were less prevalent (44 percent at the end of 2020-21 versus 10 percent at the end of 2021-22)
  • The percentage of public schools that reported having to quarantine students in June was 34 percent, a decline from the 47 percent that reporting having to quarantine students in May. Similarly, 24 percent of public schools required staff to quarantine in June, down from 35 percent in May.

The data released today can be found at the COVID-19 dashboard at https://ies.ed.gov/schoolsurvey/.

The Institute of Education Sciences, a part of the U.S. Department of Education, is the nation’s leading source for rigorous, independent education research, evaluation, statistics, and assessment.
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