Hybrid Instructional Approaches and COVID-19 Infection Trends in a Sample of Pennsylvania School Districts, Fall 2020
- For the examined districts implementing hybrid instruction with precautions, increases in infections among students and staff were no greater than increases experienced by others in their communities outside of school, suggesting that the districts successfully mitigated in-school transmission risks.
To educate students while mitigating the spread of COVID-19 during the fall of 2020, schools across the country used different operational approaches, ranging from fully remote instruction to fully in-person instruction with various “hybrid” approaches in between. This report was prepared for the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to determine whether there is evidence that districts using hybrid approaches (alongside precautions such as mask-wearing and physical distancing) can successfully mitigate in-school virus transmission. Mathematica identified seven school districts across the state to examine whether COVID-19 incidence trends for students and staff in Pennsylvania school districts using hybrid instruction paralleled or exceeded trends in the local community during the fall of 2020.