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New Dashboard Tracks Coronavirus Cases In Schools Across 47 States

A new national effort asks K-12 schools to voluntarily — and anonymously — report their confirmed and suspected coronavirus cases, along with the safety strategies they're using.

Opening schools safely in person is seen as key to restarting the economy and recovering the learning loss that has fallen most heavily on marginalized groups of students. There are also many fears associated with reopening — of severe illness among vulnerable staff and family members, and of stoking broader outbreaks, as seems to have happened where colleges have reopened in person.

The COVID-19 School Response Dashboard, which NPR is reporting on exclusively, was created with the help of several national education organizations. Right now it shows an average of 230 cases per 100,000 students, and 490 per 100,000 staff members, in the first two weeks of September. The responses come from public, private and charter schools in 47 states, serving roughly 200,000 students both in person and online, as of Tuesday, Sept. 22.

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