Like schools worldwide, schooling in Florida has changed drastically this year because of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Almost all Florida school districts reopened this year with an in-person option guided by local reopening plans that aimed to create safe learning environments. UF’s Education Policy Research Center tracked the development of these reopening plans as part of the Florida School Reopening Plans Database. Now that schools have reopened, this policy brief examines how characteristics of reopening plans relate to reported cases of COVID in schools through October 24th. The results in this brief, while correlational, suggest that practices including beginning the year entirely remote and requiring masks are related to lower COVID rates in schools.
Video Policy Briefs
What are SROs and Why are They in Schools?
Center Co-Director and Associate Professor, F. Chris Curran, explains what school resource officers (SROs) are and why they are an increasingly common fixture in schools.
School Resource Officers and School Discipline
Center Co-Director and Associate Professor, F. Chris Curran, discusses the roles of school resource officers (SROs) in the school discipline system.
School Resource Officers and Student Interactions
Center Co-Director and Associate Professor, F. Chris Curran, discusses the ways that SROs engage with students and the potential implications.
The recent and ongoing COVID-19 global health pandemic has drastically altered the learning environment of K-12 students nationwide, resulting in disrupted education for students and rapidly evolving responses by the public education system. While difficult to prepare for a pandemic of this scale, this policy brief demonstrates that about a quarter of school districts and the majority of schools nationwide did not have response plans in place for an infectious disease pandemic prior to COVID-19. Furthermore, the prevalence of these plans had been on the decline for the past decade following a rapid increase between 2008 and 2010. This policy brief also demonstrates that, of potential crises examined in national surveys, response plans for pandemics or infectious diseases were among the least likely to exist compared to other disasters (i.e. natural disasters, school shootings, etc.). Finally, this brief highlights the fact that the majority of schools did not report having plans in place to ensure the continuity of education in the face of a disruption to in-person instruction.
Research Study: Supporting Early Career Alternatively Certified Teachers: Evidence from the Beginning Teacher Longitudinal Survey
Alternatively certified (AC) teachers have generally been found to turn over at higher rates than traditionally certified (TC) teachers. These higher turnover rates are generally attributed to lower levels of preparedness and less of a commitment to remain in teaching than TC teachers, both of which may be compounded by AC teachers’ increased likelihood of beginning their career in schools that enroll traditionally underserved students.
Research Study: Mass School Shootings and the Short-Run Impacts on Use of School Security Measures and Practices: National Evidence from the Columbine Tragedy
Following high-profile school shootings, policymakers and educators seek ways to prevent such shootings, but there has been little research on school-level responses in the immediate aftermath of such events. This study examines how school-level security measures and practices changed after the 1999 Columbine shooting using a nationally representative sample of elementary school principals from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (N = 810). Exploiting variation in the timing of survey completion relative to the Columbine shooting, we used regression analysis to examine the use of seven security measures and practices before and after Columbine. Elementary schools were 16 percentage points more likely to lock exits after Columbine and, over time, were more likely to use visitor sign in procedures. School racial/ethnic composition had a moderating effect in some models. Implications for policy and schools are discussed.