School Leaders Launch National COVID-19 School Response Dashboard
- By Dian Schaffhauser
group of national education organizations, researchers and technology
experts has launched the National
COVID-19 School Response Dashboard,
a database that maps schools' voluntary responses to the pandemic
across the United States. The data is intended to help school
administrators, state leaders, families and the general public review
the current conditions of the virus in their own communities, compare
that information to other places and make decisions for the school
year based on the data.
far, hundreds of schools have joined the effort. And organizers are
seeking additional ones. Superintendents can enroll their school
districts by completing a district
Principals can enroll their schools by completing a baseline school
dashboard currently provides the capability to filter on state,
school type and grade band, average student and staff infection rate
(based on reported two-week periods) and instructional approaches
(in-person, hybrid or fully virtual). The project organizers said the
dashboard would be continuously updated as districts joined the
effort and provided their case counts and information about their
project is being led by Brown
Professor of Economics Emily Oster. Oster co-led a team of
researchers and students at Brown, MIT, Harvard University,
Massachusetts General and elsewhere, to launch "COVID-Explained,"
a website that provides unbiased information about the virus. She
worked with Qualtrics,
a user experience management company, to create the dashboard.
the participants are the AASA,
The School Superintendents Association;
Association of Secondary School Principals;
and the National
Association of Elementary School Principals.
the middle of a pandemic, where our nation is left unable to answer
the most basic of questions, the idea of leaving our schools in a
position of starting a school year unable to reasonably anticipate
what COVID looks like in buildings and classrooms across the nation
was unfathomable to me," said Oster in a statement. "COVID
Explained was my first step into the work of bringing facts about the
virus--how it spreads, how it is treated and who it affects the
most--and making sure that information is accessible and actionable.
This dashboard is the school version of that work--an effort to
aggregate unbiased information to help school leaders and
policymakers alike make good, data-driven decisions. I am humbled by
the great work being done by school leaders across the nation in
getting schools open for the 2020-21 school year and through this
partnership and dashboard, we are able to support their continued
nation's public-school superintendents--and the schools and students
they serve--started the 2020-21 school year with inadequate access to
broad, nationwide data reporting the realities of COVID in schools.
[The] launch of the initial dashboard is just the first step in what
will be an enduring effort to make this data as robust and meaningful
as possible," added AASA Executive Director Daniel Domenech. "We
call on school superintendents across the nation to make sure their
districts are enrolled and participating, and we remain committed to
supporting and serving our nation's school leaders through this
dashboard is openly available on
a Qualtrics website.
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.