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March 3 -- The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), U.S. Department of Education, invites comments to OMB by April 4, 2022 on its proposal for the School Pulse Panel.
The School Pulse Panel is conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), part of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), within the United States Department of Education. The purpose of the study is 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. The survey asks school staff about a wide range of topics, including but not limited to instructional mode offered; enrollment counts of subgroups of students using various instructional modes; strategies to address pandemic-related learning needs; safe and healthy school mitigation strategies; mental health services; use of technology; information on staffing, nutrition services, principal/parental/student/staff concerns, absenteeism, and overall principal experiences. It is planned that some new content will be rotated in (and some rotated out) monthly.
This package includes items that were fielded as part of the January, February, and March collections, as well as proposed new content to be collected in April, May, and June. Subsequent new content area additions (estimated to take place on a quarterly basis) will take place as revisions with 30-day public comment periods for each subsequent quarterly collection and may be followed by change requests to further refine items for each month.

The administration of the School Pulse Panel study is in direct response to President Biden's Executive Order 14000: Supporting the Reopening and Continuing Operation of Schools and Early Childhood Education Providers. It is 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 principals and other staff in U.S. public schools. About 2,400 (1,200 in an initial sample and 1,200 in a reserve sample) public elementary, middle, high, and combined-grade schools have been initially selected to participate in a panel where school 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 will likely change monthly.
The School Pulse Panel will provide aggregate estimates for public schools across the nation. A stratified sample design was used to select approximately 1,200 U.S. public schools. In addition, a reserve sample of an additional 1,200 replacement schools was selected to boost the number of responses if any schools from the initial sample do not respond. The sample is designed to provide national estimates of primary, middle, and high schools taking into account the type of locale (urbanicity) and racial/ethnic student enrollment.

The sampling frame for the School Pulse Panel is derived from the Common Core of Data (CCD), the universe of public schools supplied annually by state educational agencies to NCES. Only public schools in the 50 states and the District of Columbia will be included in the School Pulse Panel sampling frame. Certain types of schools are excluded, including newly closed schools, home schools, virtual schools, ungraded schools, private schools, and schools with high grades of kindergarten or lower. Regular public schools, charter schools, alternative schools, special education schools, vocational schools, correctional facilities/juvenile justice facilities, and schools that have partial or total magnet programs are included in the frame. For sample allocation purposes, strata are defined by instructional level, type of locale (urbanicity), region, and percent minority enrollment.  

The School Pulse Panel will be a dynamic monthly survey and content will change based on what we learn over time from schools and districts. Content will also be responsive to the needs of policy-makers.  The monthly survey will encompass broad content domains, each with a series of measurement items addressing a specific research question.

This data collection is scheduled to take place monthly from January 2022 through December 2022. The release of the first several collections may take longer than expected, therefore it is expected for initial releases to be up to 4-6 weeks after the end of the data collection. Because the School Pulse Panel data collections are considered experimental, reported data will go through minimal processing after collection, and will be released on the SPP dashboard 2-4 weeks after the end of data collection.

School Pulse Panel webpage: https://nces.ed.gov/surveys/spp/
School Pulse Panel Q2 2022 submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202112-1850-004 Click IC List for survey instrument, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this site.
FR notice inviting comment: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-04515
For AEA members wishing to submit comments to OMB, the AEA Committee on Economic Statistics offers "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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