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June 11 --  The School Pulse Panel is a new study conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), part of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), within the United States Department of Education, to collect extensive data on issues concerning the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students and staff in U.S. public primary, middle, high, and combined-grade schools. OMB approved the NCES proposal for the School Pulse Panel today. NCES invites public comments on the new data collection by July 12, 2021.
 
The School Pulse Panel will be one of the nation's few sources of reliable data on a wealth of information focused on school reopening efforts, virus spread mitigation strategies, services offered for students and staff, and technology use, as reported by school district staff and principals in U.S. public schools. About 1,200 public elementary, middle, high, and combined-grade schools will be selected to participate in a panel where school and district staff will be asked to provide requested data monthly during the 2021-22 school years. This approach provides the ability to collect detailed information on various topics while also assessing changes in reopening efforts over time. Given the high demand for data collection during this time, the content of the survey may change on a quarterly basis.

The School Pulse Panel is essentially a continuation of the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) 2021 School Survey that was fielded in the spring of 2021. That NAEP 2021 School Survey met the need of Executive Order 14000 by using an existing sample and survey instrument to quickly collect information on instructional mode offerings and enrollment counts of various subgroups of students using the various instructional modes. The School Pulse Panel intends to continue to collect this critical information, along with other priority items for the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Department of Education program offices throughout the 2021-22 school year.  
 
The survey will ask school district staff and sampled school principals about topics such as instructional mode offered; enrollment counts of subgroups of students using various instructional modes; learning loss mitigation strategies; safe and healthy school mitigation strategies; special education services; use of technology; use of federal relief funds; and information on staffing. Because this data collection is extremely high priority and time sensitive, it will undergo Emergency Clearance. It will not go through a 60-day public comment period and will only undergo a 30-day public comment period after clearance has been granted.  
 
Data gathered in the survey will include:
•    Instruction modes offered in 2021-22;
•    Enrollment counts and attendance rates by instructional mode by race/ethnicity, socio-economic status, English learner status, and disability status;
•    Use of technology, computer devices, and internet access;
•    Federal relief fund use;
•    Special education and mental health services provided; and
•    Staffing
 
School Pulse Panel technical documentation: https://www.regulations.gov/search?filter=ED-2021-SCC-0087
OMB approval of School Pulse Panel: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202106-1850-002
FR notice inviting public comment: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/06/11/2021-12298/agency-information-collection-activities-comment-request-school-pulse-panel-preliminary-activities
 
Point of contact: Rachel Hansen, School Pulse Panel project director, NCES Rachel.Hansen@ed.gov

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