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Andrew Burstein logs onto his eighth-grade class in Delray Beach, Fla. Photo: Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP

An estimated 62% of American schoolkids are starting the year virtually, with many of the rest facing the same fate should caseloads rise in their areas. Only 19% have in-person school every day, with another 18% in hybrid formats, according to a Burbio tracker.

The state of play, via the AP: Three of Texas’ largest school districts were hit with technical problems on the first day of classes, as were school systems in places such as Idaho and Kansas. North Carolina’s platform crashed on the first day of classes last month, and Seattle’s system crashed last week.

The big picture: These problems are particularly acute for parents of young kids.

  • Alessandra Martinez's 7-year-old has struggled with logins, passwords and connection problems, she told AP.
  • He had a meltdown when he was moved to a smaller breakout group but didn’t see the teacher and didn’t know what he was supposed to be doing.
  • “At their age, everything is amplified, and it feels like a big deal,” Martinez said.

The bottom line: Educators and parents alike are doing their best, and hopefully some of these issues can be fixed or minimized.

  • But as with just about every aspect of the coronavirus pandemic, its pain will be felt most by those with the fewest resources.

Go deeper: The COVID-19 learning cliff

Go deeper

Nov 29, 2020 - Sports

Broncos and 49ers the latest NFL teams impacted by coronavirus crisis

From left, Denver Broncos quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Jeff Driskel during an August training session at UCHealth Training Center in Englewood, Colorado. Photo: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the NFL season into chaos, with all Denver Broncos quarterbacks sidelined, the San Francisco 49ers left without a home or practice ground, and much of the Baltimore Ravens team unavailable, per AP.

Driving the news: The Broncos confirmed in a statement Saturday night that quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles were identified as "high-risk COVID-19 close contacts" and will follow the NFL's mandatory five-day quarantine, making them ineligible for Sunday's game against New Orleans.

Nov 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Colorado governor and partner test positive for coronavirus

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis. Photo: Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) tweeted Saturday night that he and his partner, Marlon Reis, tested positive for COVID-19.

The big picture: He said they're both "asymptomatic, feeling well, and will continue to isolate at home." On Nov. 9, Polis extended a 30-day mask mandate to combat a rise in cases. The state has confirmed 225,283 coronavirus infections since the pandemic began. Since September, the governors of Wyoming, Nevada, Virginia and Missouri have also tested positive for the virus.

Nov 29, 2020 - Health

Fauci warns Thanksgiving travel will likely make COVID-19 surge worse

NIAID director Anthony Fauci warned on Sunday that the U.S. could see in the coming weeks "a surge superimposed upon that surge that we're already in," as COVID-19 cases are expected to rise after many Americans traveled for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Why it matters: Cases and hospitalizations are already skyrocketing nationwide. Governors and health departments in some states have warned that the increase in cases could overwhelm hospital systems.