By Katie Kindelanvia, GMA
(OLATHE, Kan.) — A high school teacher in Kansas started a spreadsheet of COVID-19 cases in schools as a way to ease her anxiety about the upcoming school year.
Less than two weeks later, the teacher, Alisha Morris, of Olathe, Kansas, has more than 700 entries and counting in her spreadsheet, which has now gone viral and become a go-to resource for other teachers.
“I started the spreadsheet purely out of curiosity,” Morris told “Good Morning America.” “Making the sheet allowed me to channel my anxiety about the impending school year into something more productive and useful.”
Speaking about her decision to make her spreadsheet open to the public, Morris added it was “based on the surprising information I was collecting.”
Morris uses publicly available information from news articles to compile the spreadsheet. As far as she knows, she is the first person to organize the data in a way that shows the breakdown of cases by state and school district and school.
Morris’s spreadsheet has been shared on Facebook and among teachers as the debate continues across the country over whether it is safe for schools to start in-person learning amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Morris, who is entering her eighth year of teaching, said she does not yet know whether she will be required to return to school in person or teach virtually this fall.
She hopes its not just teachers who are looking at the data she continues to compile, but also the district officials and school board members who are deciding whether teachers and students return to classrooms.
“I do hope that teachers are able to take this information to their district and school board members to help them make informed decisions,” said Morris.
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