Data and Data Collection Methods
The CSDH consists of three primary datasets: Learning Model Data, COVID-19 Case Data, and Masking Data. Summary information is provided below, with further details provided in COVID-19 School Data Hub: Introduction and Initial Insights.
In addition, each state has an accompanying Data Details document, where we have provided detailed information about data sources, state learning model definitions, how the learning model information were coded by state and the corresponding CSDH labels, enrollment information, and general descriptive data such as the data level included in the file (i.e., school or district) and information on the staff counts included in the file. The Data Details document also includes any information about missing data and decision rules followed by CSDH when organizing the data, when applicable.
Learning Model Data
The COVID-19 School Data Hub (CSDH) team submitted data requests to state education agencies (SEAs) for their record of learning models used by schools and districts during the 2020-21 school year. We requested the data at either the school or district level, as available by the state, and at the most frequent reporting intervals available. In addition to learning model data, some states were also able to provide student enrollment by learning model. Ultimately, the available data vary considerably across states (a detailed explanation of this variation is presented in our white paper, COVID-19 School Data Hub: Introduction and Initial Insights, which you can access from our Preliminary Research page).
Data files have a consistent structure across states, including learning model information by time period and NCES identifiers. Where questions arose regarding data inconsistencies, missing information, time period intervals, learning model definitions or other components, we communicated with the state for clarification. Data files are structured to include all schools or districts per state, across all time periods throughout the school year, even if we did not have learning model information for those cases.
COVID-19 Case Data
CSDH includes data on school and district COVID-19 cases, as collected throughout the 2020-21 school year via each state’s public COVID-19 dashboards, reports from each state’s Department of Health, or data requests. States tracked COVID-19 cases in a variety of ways (e.g., new cases per week, active cases within the past two weeks or one month, and cumulative cases) and used different approaches in presenting staff, student, or cumulative counts. We created a consistent data structure across states, including time intervals at which the state reported the data, NCES identifiers such as IDs and school/district type, and all available COVID-19 case data.
The CSDH Masking Data include masking policy data by school districts across the U.S. throughout the 2020-21 school year. These data document whether and when school districts had masking policies in place for staff and students (separately). For school districts in states without mask mandates, CSDH administered a brief survey to district leaders. The Masking Data files include a single row of data for all school districts within the state, even if there are no available masking data. All files reflect a consistent data structure, with NCES district IDs, state IDs, and additional district-level information.