CDC Foundation Launches Project to Collect Near Real-Time Data on School Mitigation Strategies

Schooling and in-person learning are important for both education and children’s development, but concerns around COVID-19 have drastically changed the landscape of schooling in the past two academic years. Parents and schools across the country are weighing challenging decisions regarding the safety of learning in-school versus remote learning, largely with limited data.

Recognizing the importance of this topic and the fluidity of the situation in each state and school district, the CDC Foundation, with technical assistance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has engaged subcontractors to collect data through the following methods:

• Cross-sectional surveys of teachers, parents and students;

• Sector-based surveys and a moderated web-panel for school administrators and nurses;

• Online discussion boards;

• Social media monitoring; and

• Crowdsourced surveys targeting hot topics impacting schools.

The project is titled "Rapid Monitoring and Evaluation of School Mitigation Measures Implementation," and it launched within the past month. Ultimately plans are to display the data gathered as part of this project on a publicly viewable centralized dashboard.

“We appreciate this partnership with the CDC Foundation to use novel methods and technology to learn how schools are operating during COVID-19 and generate rapid insights to support CDC's COVID-19 response,” said Dr. Henry Walke, CDC COVID-19 response incident manager.

Through multiple data collection methods, the project aims to identify which COVID-19 mitigation measures are being used in schools across the country through near-real time data collection as well as unique efforts that may provide opportunities to inform guidance to schools and parents.

According to CDC Foundation President and CEO Judy Monroe, MD, “Schools continue to re-open across the country while COVID-19 remains an ongoing challenge. We hope the information gathered through this project will provide data to assist schools in keeping students, teachers and staff safe.”

This project utilizes support provided by donors to the CDC Foundation’s Emergency Response Fund, and our team greatly appreciates the generosity that has made this project a reality. More information will be provided by our team at the CDC Foundation as the project begins to share data.

Alaina Whitton
Alaina Whitton is a program officer for the CDC Foundation.