*** 1.  A recent Barr Foundation survey found that 50% of kids prefer full-time, in-person learning vs. 34% preferring a hybrid model, and just 16% going with remote instruction.

*** 2.  About 20% of National Education Association teachers have now been vaccinated, with another 18% scheduled for their first shots.

*** 3.  A first-ever federal data collection survey of 7,000 schools that enroll either 4th or 8th grades will be shared monthly. Covered: the number of students receiving in-person, hybrid, or remote instruction; enrollment by race/ethnicity, socio-economic-, ELL-, and disability-status, along with attendance, etc. The results will be analyzed alongside the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), aka the nation’s report card.

*** 4. The number of students enrolled in our public schools has declined during the pandemic; that will affect school funding and political support for public education. Meanwhile, about 50% of students remain out of school.

*** 5.  President Biden is walking back his election promise to reopen most K-12 schools within his first 100 days. He first revised that pledge to just K-8 schools. Now, he’s narrowed it to reopening more than 50% of K-8 school for at least one day a week–less than the hybrid model now in place in numerous districts.

*** 6.  Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, now wants kids back in school, saying, “We have to get this done.” She adds, however, that she need time to convince her rank and file, and that “it’s not going to happen in two-and-a-half nanoseconds.”

*** 7.  One of Biden’s 53 executive orders to date is a pledge to ensure that transgender students have such protections as access to the restrooms, locker rooms, and school sports that reflect their gender identity. (For the full list, click here.)

*** 8.  Typically, the $15-billion federal National School Lunch Program (NSLP) covers the cost for 100,000 public and private schools serving meals to some 30 million students—a bit more than 50% of all of our children, with 22 million eating for free or 40 cents per meal if their household income is less than 185% of the poverty line. Thanks to the pandemic, however, comes news that school food is now cheaper, packaged, and more processed.

And so it goes this Valentine’s Day, 2021. With happy hearts wishes, Carol