School closings tracker: Where districts are shutting down again due to COVID-19 outbreaks

Administrators are seeing much more in-school transmission this year
By: | September 16, 2021

Just like during the initial COVID outbreak in March 2020, schools across the country are shutting down as infection rates surge in their classrooms and communities.

The perfect storm of the delta variant, low vaccination rates in parts of the country, and political resistance to universal masking have sent tens of thousands of students and staff members into isolation and quarantine just as the new school year has gotten underway.

One big difference administrators are seeing during the latest COVID surge is a significant increase of in-school transmission of COVID, particularly where districts have reopened without masking or social distancing. In-school transmission rates were low to non-existent during 2020-21 when most schools were taken aggressive safety precautions.

MAP: Districts’ operational status across the U.S.

In some places, schools are shifting back to online and remote learning. Elsewhere, such as in Texas, districts have shut down completely because schools are not required to make up days missed due to COVID.

ALABAMA: Montgomery Public Schools closed seven buildings, including a high school and several middles schools, until mid-September.

Five out of 29 schools in the Cullman County district have shifted to remote learning with more than one-third of students absent due to positive COVID tests or quarantines after having been a close contact. Students are expected to return on Sept. 10. Masks will be required in schools when absences reach 15%,

ALASKA: The Mat-Su Borough School District has close some of its schools, the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reported.

CONNECTICUT: Gilead Hill School in Hebron Public Schools has shifted to distance learning until Sept. 14 due to “the speed at which we are continuing to have reported cases and due to the high number of quarantined students,” administrators said on the school’s website.

GEORGIA: Fulton County Schools has closed a high school and two middle schools through Sept. 21.

ILLINOIS: Acero Schools, a large Chicago Public School charter operator, has closed a campus for two weeks due to COVID, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

KANSAS: St. John-Hudson USD 350 is closed until Sept. 20 due to rising COVID cases and staff shortages.

MICHIGAN: Lakeview High School in Battle Creek Public Schools has switched to virtual learning until Sept. 27, reported.

MONTANA: Noxon School District, a one-building district, is closed through Sept. 27 due to several students testing positive.

Plains High School, in Plains Public Schools, has moved to remote learning until Sept. 20.

Great Falls High School, in Great Falls Public Schools, has shifted to remote learning until Sept. 20.

Eureka Public Schools has closed its elementary school until at least Sept. 20.

NEW YORK: The Galway Central School District in upstate New York has shifted to remote learning until Sept. 20, reported.

Several charter schools classrooms in New York City—but no entire buildings—have closed due to COVID infections, Chalkbeat reported.

NORTH CAROLINA: The Randolph County School System has moved a middle school and a high school to remote learning until Sept. 24, reported.

Nantahala School, in Macon County Schools, is moving to virtual learning through Sept. 24, reported.

OHIO: Waverly City Schools will shift to 100% remote learning through Sept. 17. On Sept. 9, nearly 40% of staff and students were absent.

OREGON: Reynolds High School, in the Reynolds School District, has shifted to distance learning until Sept. 27.

PENNSYLVANIA: Northern York County School District has closed its high school through Sept. 21.

North Clarion County School District is closed through Monday, according to

Emlen Elementary School in the School District of Philadelphia has shifted to virtual learning until Sept. 24 due to multiple positive COVID cases.

Another Philadelphia school, Richmond Elementary School is closed until Sept. 25, according to 3 CBS Local.

Miller Heights Middle School in the Bethlehem Area School District is closed through Sept. 17.

SOUTH CAROLINA: Whale Branch Middle School, in the Beaufort County School District, has shifted to remote learning until Sept. 2o because 50% of its students are in quarantine.

TEXAS: Throckmorton Collegiate ISD has closed until Sept. 20 a rise in Covid cases at an elementary school, staffing situations and sub shortages.

VIRGINIA: Bath County Public Schools is closed through Sept. 17 due to a shortage of bus drivers.

WEST VIRGINIA: Preston County Schools has closed all its buildings and shifted to remote learning until Sept. 27.

WISCONSIN: The Chequamegon School District has shifted its middle and high schools to virtual learning until Sept. 24.

Milwaukee Public Schools announced its first closure of the school year on Sept. 9. Morse Middle School is closed for 10 days due to high COVID numbers, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.