Strategies for Operating Schools Safely and with Minimal Disruptions During a Pandemic

Strategies for Operating Schools Safely and with Minimal Disruptions During a Pandemic

Oct 14, 2020
The Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Adam Schott and Mathematica’s Brian Gill discuss the results of 400,000 simulations intended to inform school operating and closure strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Adam Schott and Mathematica’s Brian Gill discuss the results of 400,000 simulations intended to inform school operating and closure strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In mid-September, researchers from Mathematica partnered with the Pennsylvania Department of Education to run 400,000 simulations intended to inform school operating and closure strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic. The simulations predict the level of spread of COVID-19 infection in schools, taking into account a range of factors. These factors include school type and size, the community infection rate, school mask policies and other precautions, in-person opening strategies, and potential school responses to detected infections.

For this episode of On the Evidence, guests Adam Schott and Brian Gill discuss the results and implications of these simulations. Schott is the special assistant to the secretary at the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Gill is a senior fellow at Mathematica and one of the researchers who coauthored the report about the simulations.

Listen to the full episode below.

A version of the conversation with closed captioning is available on Mathematica’s YouTube channel here.

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Show notes

Read a short summary of the top-line findings.

Watch a recorded webinar about the report with Brian Gill and Matthew Stem, the deputy secretary for the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education at the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Read the full report discussed in this episode.

Read a blog post explaining how school and community leaders could use the report to estimate the potential risks in their specific situation, based on the community infection rate; school type; school size; and the school’s operating, quarantining, and closure strategies.

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J.B. Wogan

J.B. Wogan

Senior Manager, Strategic Communications
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