The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has brought about drastic changes to the economic, education and health structures across all the countries. It has engulfed into 209 countries and territories globally with the total number of affectees increasing exponentially round the clock. Under these circumstances, the US has been among the hardest-hit countries by this pandemic. The normalcy of the American routine has been disrupted at large. Schools and colleges have shut down and people are instructed to stay at home until further notice by the government.
As learning is a continuous process, the US Department of Education has been working round the clock to facilitate virtual learning for students as the country is going through this pandemic at a swift rate. The pandemic has resulted in forced widespread school closure with an unprecedented disruption of K-12 schooling.
In the USA, each state enjoys an autonomy of its own to decide about legislation. In this regard, the decision to close education centers, schools, colleges and universities happened periodically across the US. Among the first was Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam ordering the state's K-12 schools closure.
‘School closures are necessary to minimize the speed at which COVID-19 spreads and protect the capacity of our health care system, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam.
Other states also announced school closure notifications momentarily to curb the spread of coronavirus.
‘Very troubling moment, a moment when I’m just distraught at having to take this action, but I became convinced over the course of today that there is no other choice’, NY Mayor Bill de Blasio.
New York City closed the largest US public school system to curb the spread of coronavirus. A state-by-state map showing school closure notification is available on Education Week Blog. There are few US states and territories going as far as ordering or recommending school building closures for the rest of the academic year.
The US Education Department has been making an all-out effort to continue learning and education amid these tough times as Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Authorizes New Funding Flexibilities to Support Continued Learning During COVID-19 National Emergency.
‘Across the country, students, teachers and families are proving that learning can and does happen anywhere. By extending additional funding flexibility to schools, we are helping to ensure student learning continues and supporting teachers as they transition to virtual classrooms. Local leaders have asked for the ability to steer more resources to local needs, and these new tools will help them do just that’, said Secretary DeVos.
Many institutions are making arrangements (such as take-home assignments or online classes) so students can complete the term. Some of the prominent e-learning portals In USA include: