State-by-State Map of COVID School Buildings Closures

  1. No order (Yellow) - In-person instruction decisions are currently being made on a local level, with states only providing guidelines or recommendations.
  2. Full closure (Dark Red) - In-person instruction is not allowed.
  3. Ordered open (Blue) - In-person instruction must be available to all students, either full- or part-time.
  4. Partial closure (Light Red) – Full-time in-person instruction is either not allowed in certain regions of the state or is only available for certain age groups. Hybrid instruction may be allowed.

State Public School Enrollment Information on state orders or recommendations

Alabama 739,716 Districts will make the decision on whether to open school buildings. The state board of education encourages that all schools provide, at a minimum, access to both traditional and remote learning throughout the 2020-21 school year.

Alaska 130,963 Each school district will decide when and if to reopen buildings. The state departments of education and health created a framework and guidance to help districts as they decide how to provide instruction.

Arizona 1,141,511 School districts, in conjunction with their local health departments, must consider benchmarks on new cases, diagnostic test percent positivity, and COVID-19 related hospitalizations to determine when in-person classes can begin again. Starting Aug. 17, districts are required to provide “free on-site learning opportunities” and support services for students who need access to a computer or a supervised place to be during the day, even if the school system has opted for full-time distance learning.

Arkansas 495,291 Education Secretary Johnny Key issued guidance Aug. 5 that requires districts to offer in-person instruction five days a week when classes resume. Districts were required to open their schools as soon as Aug. 24 and as late as Aug. 26. Decisions on whether to close a school is being made in collaboration with the Arkansas departments of health and education.

California 6,272,734 Each local district will decide when to reopen, but in order to offer any face-to-face instruction, they must abide by metrics that Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled on Aug. 28. According to the state’s new four-tiered framework, districts may allow students into school buildings only if their counties meet key local metrics on coronavirus spread for two weeks.

Colorado 911,536 Reopening plans are made locally. The reopening guidance for schools put out by the state recommends that districts have a variety of plans in place in addition to in-person classes, including teaching students in small groups and through distance learning.

Connecticut 526,634 Districts were asked to plan for all students to return to school for full-time, in-person instruction this fall as long as public health conditions support face-to-face teaching.

Delaware 138,405 On Sept. 3, Gov. John Carney formally extended Delaware’s state of emergency for another 30 days, restricting in-person gatherings. Schools have started to reopen with a mix of in-person and remote instruction, based on “minimal to moderate” viral spread among communities. The state provides free COVID-19 testing for school staff and students, but health officials said the state could not require staff to be tested before returning to school. The state also released guidance for low-, medium-, and high-risk youth sports programs, requiring both facial masks and physical distancing.

District of Columbia 93,741 The District of Columbia Public Schools will continue with distance learning for at least the first term of the 2020-21 school year, from Aug. 31 through Nov. 6, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced.

Florida 2,846,444 A state court judge on Aug. 24 issued a temporary injunction blocking a state emergency order requiring all brick-and-mortar schools to open at least five days a week by Aug. 31. However, a Florida state appeals court on Aug. 28 issued a stay of the trial court judge’s injunction, putting the state’s emergency order back in place. The appellate court is considering an expedited appeal on the merits of the dispute.

Georgia 1,767,202 Districts will decide whether to open school buildings, open them on a limited basis as part of a staggered schedule, or use an all-remote schedule. Those decisions should be informed by whether students and/or staff have been directly exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19.

Hawaii 181,278 As a statewide district, Hawaii schools reopened on Aug. 17. In some areas, schools may offer a blend of in-person and remote learning, but in others, due to rising coronavirus rates, they are allowed to teach only remotely.

Idaho 310,522 Schools were expected to welcome students for in-person instruction this fall while adhering to public health guidelines and maintaining options for blended learning for students who don't return and in case of a return to full-time remote learning. On Oct. 4, a White House Coronavirus Task Force report said that school openings may be the cause of rising coronavirus cases in a number of Idaho counties and recommended that schools in these counties move to a remote-only learning model. The Center for Public Integrity reported that this "appears to be the first time the task force has explicitly recommended closing schools".

Illinois 1,982,327 Districts can decide whether to open school buildings, following health and safety guidance from the state. However, the Illinois State Board of Education has "strongly encouraged" a return to full, in-person instruction in the fall, as long as the regions are in Phase 4 of reopening.

Indiana 1,055,706 Districts set their own academic calendars and can make individual decisions about when or if students return to in-person classes. State health officials have created a color-coded map that indicates the level of community spread in each county, which Health Commissioner Kristina Box has said schools should use as guidance when making decisions about in-person instruction.

Iowa 514,833 On July 17, Gov. Reynolds, overriding local decisions, ordered every student to spend at least half of their schooling inside classrooms. Districts must also provide online classes for parents who demand it. Temporary/continuous remote learning for an entire school or district can only be requested if the COVID-19 positivity rate averages 15 percent to 20 percent countywide over the past 14 days, and 10 percent absenteeism is expected for in-person instruction.

Kansas 497,733 The Kansas Board of Education voted July 22 to reject an order by Gov. Laura Kelly that would have delayed the start of school until Sept. 8. The vote put the decision on when to reopen back in the hands of local school districts.

Kentucky 677,821 Gov. Andy Beshear has recommended that schools should not begin in-person classes before Sept. 28. State officials have created a color-coded framework that they recommend schools use to make decisions about in-person instruction based on community spread.

Louisiana 711,783 While school districts can choose when to reopen, the state's board of education has dictated a series of standards districts must meet before they reopen.

Maine 180,461 The state has approved all schools to offer in-person instruction this fall with required health and safety measures, but individual districts will make their own decisions.

Maryland 896,827 The state allows districts to make plans for in-person classes, as long as they follow state and federal health recommendations.

Massachusetts 962,297 Each school district and all but two charter schools have submitted their return-to-school plans to the state education department; approximately 70 percent of school systems are opting for either in-person or hybrid learning.

Michigan 1,504,194 Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in-person learning can only occur in a region that's in at least phase four of her reopening plan. The state legislature passed a measure that says districts must reconfirm their plans on how to deliver instruction every 30 days. Districts that reopen for in-person instruction must prioritize K-5 students.

Minnesota 889,304 Districts can determine whether to start the school year remotely, fully in-person, or in a hybrid model based on the number of new coronavirus cases in their county. The state developed suggested thresholds for when school buildings can reopen, and districts can adjust their learning models throughout the school year if needed.

Mississippi 471,298 Districts may choose to open school buildings, but they must modify schedules, restrict gatherings, and observe social distancing in accordance with state and federal recommendations.

Missouri 913,441 Districts were required to open by Aug. 24 but could receive a waiver from the state's department of education to open later.

Montana 148,844 The state department of education issued July guidance on four possible reopening scenarios, including for "near full capacity of attendance and operations in a traditional setting, with remote learning for students not onsite." Under this scenario, there is no limit on group sizes in schools, but social distancing should be observed, and monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19 should still take place, the guidance says.

Nebraska 326,392 Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has given districts discretion to set their own reopening plans using guidance from the state’s education department. That guidance advises remote or hybrid learning plans in communities with the significant or moderate spread.

Nevada 498,614 Guidance from the Nevada education department says school districts and charters must develop distance learning plans "even if a district/school has sufficient space to open for full-time in-person instruction" under the second phase of the state's reopening guidelines. However, schools must also develop plans that cover in-person learning, under a directive from Gov. Steve Sisolak.

New Hampshire 178,515 Local districts will decide whether they open for full-time, in-person teaching, continue with remote instruction, or employ a combination of the two as part of hybrid models.

New Jersey 1,400,069 Districts develop their own reopening plans that must meet core health and safety standards in the state’s school-reopening guidance. While state guidance released June 26 prioritized a return to in-person classes, on Aug. 12, Gov. Phil Murphy announced an executive order that schools could open as remote-only if they cannot meet health and safety standards for live instruction. However, districts must lay out how they intend to address the health and safety challenges to move to in-person instruction.

New Mexico 333,537 School buildings serving grades K-5 and K-6 can open under a hybrid schedule so long as they are in counties that have demonstrated low enough rates of COVID-19 spread and the New Mexico Public Education Department has approved the school's reopening plans.

New York 2,700,833 School districts across the state can reopen in-person in the fall, though that may be revised on a regional basis if COVID-19 infection rates increase. School systems will have to follow state guidelines, but the specifics of the plans--including whether teaching will be delivered in-person or via a hybrid model-- will be up to the districts.

North Carolina 1,552,497 Starting Oct. 5, districts will be able to open their elementary schools to full-time instruction if they choose Gov. Roy Cooper announced Sept. 17. The districts that do so must still require mask-wearing, symptom screening, and social distancing, but elementary schools will not be required to reduce the number of children in classrooms. For now, middle and high schools must still operate on either a hybrid or fully-remote schedule, and districts must still offer a fully-remote option for elementary families who want it.

North Dakota 113,845 Gov. Doug Burgum said July 14 that school districts could reopen for in-person instruction in consultation with local health officials.

Ohio 1,695,762 Districts will decide whether to open school buildings, but the state department of education has said that they should only do so if they can follow the state's health and safety guidance. All students attending school in person will be required to wear masks, with some medical exemptions.

Oklahoma 698,891 The state has advised districts in its reopening guidance to prepare alternate school calendars for potential school closures. Individual school districts will determine when to start school this fall.

Oregon 609,507 The state department of education outlines state and county COVID-19 metrics that determine whether districts can open buildings part-time, full-time, or not at all. Schools in areas that have seen three weeks of positivity rates and COVID-19 caseloads below public health benchmarks can begin reopening for in-person instruction. Schools in areas that don't meet those benchmarks are barred from reopening buildings unless they receive allowances from the state. As of Sept. 10, 17 of the state's 36 districts are permitted to at least partially reopen school buildings.

Pennsylvania 1,730,757 State guidance allows school districts to decide whether they will use in-person or remote instruction or a mix of both.

Puerto Rico 307,282 On Sept. 14, a new executive order from Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced required public school educators to continue with distance learning until further notice, according to an advisory from Secretary of Education Eligio Hernández Pérez.

Rhode Island 143,436 Most schools have resumed classes. Districts that began the school year with hybrid or remote learning plans have until Oct. 13 to resume full in-person instruction.

South Carolina 780,882 State Superintendent Molly Spearman sent a letter to the district leaders Sept. 16 urging them to prioritize a return to traditional face-to-face education "for students who need it the most," including elementary students, students with disabilities, English-language learners, and children with poor Internet service. Reported high rates of COVID-19 spread in some counties should not be used to make all operational decisions, Spearman said. At the time of her letter, most school districts in the state were engaged in hybrid or fully-remote learning.

South Dakota 138,975 South Dakota's state education department issued guidance that gives discretion to local districts to set restart plans in consultation with local health officials. It recommends flexible plans that prioritize face-to-face instruction.

Tennessee 1,007,624 Districts will decide whether to open school buildings. The state department of education's guidance also provides a framework that districts can use to assess risk and decide when it would be safe to reopen.

Texas 5,433,471 Texas requires school districts to provide daily, on-campus learning for any family who wants it in order to not lose state funding due to declines in enrollment.

Utah 677,031 The Utah state board of education released a set of minimum requirements for local school districts to meet before reopening schools for in-person instruction. Districts created plans for resuming in-person learning that addresses schedules, hygiene, and safety, monitoring schools, "containing potential outbreaks" and (if necessary) temporarily closing schools again, among other areas.

Vermont 87,359 Schools reopened across the state on Sept. 8, with districts offering in-person, hybrid, and all-remote options for students. The state’s education agency and the health department had recommended full-time in-person learning “as soon as practical,” especially for students in Pre-K through Grade 5. However, local districts currently make the decision on how to reopen.

Virginia 1,289,367 Schools across the state are open in various forms, depending on public health conditions. As of Sept. 22, 68 of the state’s 132 school districts are operating in fully remote learning mode.

Washington 1,123,736 State officials announced Aug. 6 that they recommend schools in areas with high rates of new COVID-19 cases reopen with full-time distance learning for nearly all students. Schools in areas with moderate rates of virus transmission should consider opening buildings only for elementary students, officials said, and districts in areas with low transmission should begin hybrid instruction for middle and high school students. The state's education department earlier this summer urged all schools to reopen for some in-person learning, but the persistence of new COVID-19 cases forced a more cautious set of recommendations for local decisions, Gov. Jay Inslee said.

West Virginia 267,976 Each Saturday, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources evaluates COVID-19 transmission rates to determine the instructional options allowed in each county. Currently, some regions of the state are not allowed to open for in-person instruction.

Wisconsin 859,333 Districts decided whether to offer full in-person instruction, stick to remote learning, or go with a hybrid model. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has provided guidance as districts develop their plans based on infection rates in their area.

Wyoming 94,313 The state's department of education asked each district to send a detailed plan on how they will reopen their schools.

See data source

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