Eighty-Two Percent of Public Schools Indicated Having a Written Plan to Handle a Pandemic Disease in the 2022-23 School Year
January 12, 2022
Most public schools indicated feeling “somewhat” or “very prepared” to handle this event
WASHINGTON (January 12, 2023)—Eighty-two percent of public schools indicated they had a written plan in place to handle a pandemic disease scenario, according to data released today by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the statistical center within the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences (IES), which is a higher percentage than the 46 percent of public schools that indicated they had such plans during the 2017-18 school year on the School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS), another NCES sample survey. Additionally, public schools commonly reported having a written plan in place for active shooter situations (96 percent), natural disasters (94 percent), and suicide threats or incidents (92 percent).
“Planning for possible future national health crises has never been more important, as schools across the country have returned for in-person learning following the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said NCES Commissioner Peggy G. Carr. “During the 2017-18 school year, 46 percent of public schools had written plans for handling pandemics, so the increase to 82 percent as of November is notable. Also notable was that 93 percent of schools reported feeling ‘somewhat’ or ‘very prepared’ to handle pandemic disease situations.”
Public schools were also surveyed about the use of disciplinary actions at their school. As public schools continue to work through the impact of COVID-19 on student behavior during the 2022- 23 school year, student disciplinary actions that they commonly reported in November as being allowed include: referrals to a school counselor (95 percent), loss of student privileges (94 percent), loss of school bus privileges due to misbehavior (82 percent), out-of-school suspension during which curriculum or services were provided (69 percent), and detention and/or Saturday school (61 percent).
Seventy-two percent of public schools reported the lack of or inadequate alternative placements or programs for disruptive students limited their efforts to reduce or prevent disruptive behavioral issues. Approximately 60 percent of schools reported challenges with reducing or preventing disruptive student behavior on school grounds due to inadequate funding, due to a lack of or inadequate teacher training in classroom management, or due to a lack of parental support for school policies.
The findings released today are from the School Pulse Panel, which is part of NCES’s innovative approach to delivering timely information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on public K-12 schools in the U.S. on topics such as teacher trainings, student discipline, school safety, security personnel, pandemic preparedness, learning mode offerings, and quarantine prevalence, as reported by school staff in U.S. public schools. This is the latest experimental data product from the School Pulse Panel. Data from this round were collected from 1,017 participating public schools between November 8 and November 22, 2022.
Experimental data products are innovative statistical products created using new data sources or methodologies. Experimental data may not meet all NCES quality standards but are of sufficient benefit to data users in the absence of other relevant products to justify release. NCES clearly identifies experimental data products upon their release.
The data released today can be found on the School Pulse Panel dashboard at https://ies.ed.gov/schoolsurvey/.
Pandemic Disease Preparation
School Safety: Policies, Practices, and Procedures
Safety in the Classroom: Teacher Trainings and Student Discipline
Learning Modes and Quarantine Prevalence
The National Center for Education Statistics, a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, is the statistical center of the U.S. Department of Education and the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations. NCES fulfills a congressional mandate to collect, collate, analyze, and report complete statistics on the condition and progress of American education; conduct and publish reports; and review and report on education activities internationally. Follow NCES on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube and subscribe to the NCES News Flash to receive email notifications when new data is released.
The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) is the independent and nonpartisan statistics, research, and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Education. Its mission is to provide scientific evidence on which to ground education practice and policy and to share this information in formats that are useful and accessible to educators, parents, policymakers, researchers, and the public.
Josh Delarosa, National Center for Education Statistics, Aris.firstname.lastname@example.org
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