Nearly all 50 states have canceled school for the year, turning instead to remote learning

By Rachel DeSantis
Updated April 27, 2020 03:58 PM
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When the coronavirus began to spread throughout the United States in mid-March, many states took care to temporarily halt in-person lessons for students, turning instead to remote learning.

The goal was to abide by social-distancing guidelines, and prevent large gatherings in confined spaces like classrooms and buses.

However, as the weeks went on, return schedules repeatedly became extended until nearly all 50 states decided to cancel classes in person for the remainder of the academic school year.

As of Thursday afternoon, there have been at least 834,340 cases and 42,501 deaths attributed to coronavirus in the U.S., according to The New York Times.

Here are the states that have made the decision to cancel school for the rest of year.

Alabama

Gov. Kay Ivey said on March 26 that while the decision “has not been made lightly,” all K-12 public schools would finish off the year at home through “alternative methods of instruction,” AL.com reported.

Alaska

Gov. Mike Dunleavy on April 9 extended the state’s public and private school closure until the end of the school year.

Arizona

Gov. Doug Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman announced on March 30 that schools in the state would be closed for the remainder of the school year, as per guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Arkansas

Public schools in Arkansas were closed for the rest of the school year on April 6 by Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who said in a release it was “critical that our students continue to learn at home.”

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California

All public K-12 school campuses were closed for the remainder of the academic year on April 1, Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a news conference, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Colorado

Gov. Jared Polis said in an executive order on April 22 that all K-12 schools and postsecondary institutions would continue to suspend in-person instruction for the rest of the school year.

Connecticut

Schools in Connecticut have not been officially canceled for the year, though Gov. Ned Lamont has extended closures until at least May 20.

Delaware

Delaware schools were closed for the rest of the year on April 24 by Gov. John Carney.

District of Columbia

Schools in Washington, D.C. will participate in at-home learning through the end of the academic school year, according to District of Columbia Public Schools.

Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered schools in Florida to stay closed and remain online during a press conference on April 18, according to the Miami Herald.

Georgia

All school districts in Georgia were closed on April 1 by Gov. Brian Kemp, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Hawaii

Schools in Hawaii have not been officially closed for the year, though the Department of Education said they will not reopen until four weeks have gone by with no new cases in the state, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Idaho

The Idaho State Board of Education announced a “soft closure” of public and charter schools for the rest of the school year on April 6.

However, the State Board also said that local boards could possibly reopen based on various criteria, including no statewide or local social-distancing restrictions, and confirmation that the peak of the state infection curve has passed.

Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that in-person learning in schools would be canceled for the rest of the year on April 17.

“Our decisions must follow the science and the science says our students can’t go back to their normal routine this school year,” he said.

Indiana

Schools in Indiana are teaching remotely for the rest of the school year, per an executive order from Gov. Eric Holcomb signed on April 2.

Kansas

Kansas was the first state to cancel in-person lessons for the rest of the year, with Gov. Laura Kelly announcing the decision on March 17.

Kentucky

Gov. Andy Beshear said on April 20 that K-12 schools would not be reopening for the rest of the school year, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Louisiana

K-12 public schools in Louisiana were officially closed for the rest of the year on April 15, with Gov. John Bel Edwards signing an order that mandated students continue to learn remotely.

Maine

Schools in Maine are currently slated to reopen on May 1, though many school districts have individually announced that they will stay closed and continue teaching remotely, according to Central Maine News.

Maine Education Commissioner Pender Makin has reportedly recommended that schools remain closed for the rest of the year.

Maryland

Public schools in Maryland are not officially canceled through the remainder of the year, but are staying closed until at least May 15, Superintendent Karen Salmon announced on April 17.

Massachusetts

Gov. Charlie Baker canceled public and private schools for the rest of year, and ordered the closure of all non-emergency childcare programs until June 29 on April 21.

Michigan

In-person learning in Michigan was canceled for the rest of the year on April 2 by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Minnesota

Gov. Tim Walz closed Minnesota’s public K-12 schools for the rest of the academic year during a press briefing on Thursday, April 23, according to NBC/CW affiliate KTTC.

Mississippi

Schools in the state were ordered to remain closed for the year on April 14, according to the Mississippi Department of Education.

Missouri

Schools in the state were closed for the rest of the year on April 9 by Gov. Mike Parson.

Montana

Montana schools will have the option to return to in-classroom teaching at the discretion of local school boards starting May 7, Gov. Steve Bullock announced on April 21.

“The Directive does not preclude school boards from declaring local emergencies to continue to receive all appropriate state funding to continue to provide remote learning,” Bullock’s statement said.

Nevada

Gov. Steve Sisolak said on April 21 that schools in the state would stay closed for the rest of the academic year as per federal recommendations, according to Fox affiliate KVVU.

New Hampshire

Gov. Chris Sununu announced that in-person learning was canceled for the rest of the year at a press conference on April 16, Foster’s Daily Democrat reported.

New Jersey

Schools in New Jersey will stay closed through at least May 15, Gov. Phil Murphy announced on April 16.

Murphy said that extending the date through mid-May would give New Jersey “one more shot to reassess” whether schools could open once again this school year, according to NJ.com.

New Mexico

Public schools in New Mexico were closed on March 27 for the rest of the year by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

New York

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on April 11 that the city’s schools would stay closed for the rest of the year, though Gov. Andrew Cuomo later said that choice was de Blasio’s “opinion,” and that Cuomo had yet to make a decision, according to The New York Times.

Cuomo said a week later that students would continue to learn remotely until at least May 15, the Democrat & Chronicle reported.

North Carolina

Schools in North Carolina were closed for the rest of the year by Gov. Roy Cooper on April 24.

“Already we know that even the next school year will not be ‘business as usual,'” he wrote on Twitter. “There will be new measures in place to protect health when school buildings open again next year.”

Ohio

Gov. Mike DeWine said on on April 20 that schools would remain closed for the rest of the academic year, saying he believed it was best to “protect the health of our children, our teachers, and our administrators.”

Oregon

K-12 schools and post-secondary education systems were canceled through the end of the academic year on April 8 by Gov. Kate Brown, who directed schools to continue teaching via distance learning.

Pennsylvania

Gov. Tom Wolf ordered all schools in the state closed for the rest of the academic year on April 9.

Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Department of Education announced on April 23 that all lessons for the rest of the year would take place via distance learning.

South Carolina

K-12 schools in South Carolina closed for the rest of the year on April 22, per an executive order from Gov. Henry McMaster, according to The State.

Tennessee

Gov. Bill Lee previously ordered all schools closed through April 24, but recommended last week that they shutter for the rest of the academic year, according to Fox affiliate WZTV.

Texas

Gov. Greg Abbott closed public, private and higher education institutions for the rest of the school year on April 17.

Vermont

Schools in Vermont were ordered to stick to remote learning for the rest of the school year on March 26 by Gov. Phil Scott.

Virginia

Gov. Ralph Northam closed all K-12 schools for the remainder of the year on March 23, calling the pandemic an “unprecedented situation” requiring “unprecedented actions.”

Washington

Gov. Jay Inslee closed schools for the rest of the school year on April 6, noting exceptions for students with disabilities and English language learners for whom distance learning would present challenges.

West Virginia

All pre-K-12 schools in the state were closed for the rest of the year on April 21 by Gov. Jim Justice.

Wisconsin

Public and private K-12 schools were closed for the rest of the year in an executive order issued by Gov. Tony Evers on April 16.

Wyoming

Schools are currently closed through at least April 30, according to a statewide health order from Gov. Mark Gordon.

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