What the top 15 school districts are doing to reopen


Hillsborough County, Florida, the eighth-biggest district in the country, will announce its decision August 3. Its school board previously rejected a plan for virtual learning for the first nine weeks of school.

Here’s how the other large school districts, as of Thursday, are planning to reopen while grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Orange County, Florida, the ninth-largest system, is offering a choice: in-person only or online only instruction. Parents or students must choose one.

Hybrid models

In New York City schools, those that are part of the hybrid model “will be taught on-site in school for part of the week, and will attend school remotely on the other days of the week,” according to the education department’s website.

Students will be required to practice social distancing and wear face coverings. There will be “increased access and regular opportunitises” for hand-washing and sanitizing.

Families may also choose all-online instruction.

At Chicago Public Schools, only half the usual student population will be at school at any given time. Students must wear masks, and their temperature will be taken before they enter their school.
The Hawaii Department of Education offered schools three different models each for elementary, middle and high schools, including full-time, in-school instruction for all students or blended rotation, where some students are in school while others learn remotely, and variations of that hybrid.

Online only

Some of the districts that have opted for fully digital instruction, including Clark County, Nevada, and Gwinnett County, Georgia, have said they will review their decision periodically while assessing virus spread in their communities.

At least three of these — Palm Beach County in Florida, Houston and Gwinnett County — pushed back the planned start date so that they could better prepare for digital-only instruction.

Here are the 10 districts offering online only:

Los Angeles Unified – The district reversed its initial decision to offer a hybrid model.


Clark County, Nevada

Broward County, Florida

Houston Independent School District – The district is online only until at least October 19.

Palm Beach County, Florida

Fairfax County, Virginia

Gwinnett County, Georgia — Gwinnett reversed its initial decision to offer either/or.

Wake County, North Carolina

Montgomery County, Maryland — Online only for the entire fall semester, until at least January 29, 2021.

This report will be updated as school districts’ plans change.

CNN’s Elizabeth Stuart contributed to this report.


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