As districts continue struggling to find the right balance between too much and not enough online learning, there seems to be little agreement at the state level. Illinois encourages schools to assign no more than 90 minutes of work a day for younger students, while high school students can be expected to complete 45 minutes a day per subject. Kansas, meanwhile, expects K-1 students to only spend about 45 minutes in front of the screen each day, while high school students should work for about three hours a day. Other states, such as Massachusetts, leave broad room for interpretation by calling for instruction that is productive and has meaning.
Meanwhile, some rural areas still struggle with lack of online connection. Students in districts like California’s Bonsall Unified School District, Vallecitos School District, and Borrego Springs Unified School District were still not connected to the internet in August, with the start of school just weeks away. And even in the San Diego area, local superintendents say slow response from the state and difficulty finding devices has hampered efforts to connect kids.