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Nearly One-Third Of Parents May Stick With Remote Learning

One year after the coronavirus pandemic shuttered classrooms around the country and the world, U.S. parents are guardedly optimistic about the academic and social development of their children, an NPR/Ipsos poll finds.

But 62% of parents say their child’s education has been disrupted. And more than 4 out of 5 would like to see schools provide targeted extra services to help their kids catch up. This includes just over half of parents who support the idea of summer school.

The nation has lacked solid national data on precisely where classrooms are open to students. In our survey, half of parents said their children were learning virtually, a third were attending in person full time, and the remainder were in person part time. As other polls have found, Black and Hispanic parents were far more likely than white parents to say their children were all remote — 65% for Black parents, 57% for Hispanic parents and 38% for white parents.

In a sign of the disruptions that have become routine this school year, 43% of parents said that they had switched among virtual, in-person or hybrid since the previous fall.

My kid is doing fine, but we want help

However their children were attending school, 48% of parents agreed that “I am worried that my child will be behind when the pandemic is over.” (In this question, as with others in the poll, there were not significant differences in the responses by race or ethnicity).

Yet when asked to pinpoint their areas of concern, robust majorities of parents actually judged their kids to be on track, or even ahead of schedule: in math and science, reading and writing, mental health and emotional well-being, and socialization and communication skills.

Considering their relatively positive outlook on children’s development across these areas, it may not be surprising that parents give high marks overall to their kids’ schools — 79% said “My child’s school has handled the pandemic well,” and 82% said their schools had clearly communicated during the year.

When it came to specific concerns, slightly more parents were concerned about socialization and communication skills (22%) vs. academic skills (17% worried about reading and writing and 19% about math).

Full time, in person — or remote indefinitely

Looking ahead, precisely three-quarters of parents polled expect their children’s schools to open full time in person next fall. And about half of those whose children now attend hybrid or remotely expect those schools to open full time in person as soon as teachers are fully vaccinated.

On the other hand, fully 29% of parents told us they were likely to stick with remote learning indefinitely. That included about half of the parents who are currently enrolled in remote learning.

Perhaps in response to this interest, many schools, states and districts are looking at continuing to offer a remote public school option, districtwide or even statewide to make it more efficient.

Personalize my learning, and maybe summer school?

Around 4 in 5 parents expected their own children would benefit from each of the following: “individualized, detailed assessment,” “social and emotional wellness programs,” “one-on-one tutoring” and “better software-based practice programs.” Across the board, Black and Hispanic parents saw even more potential benefits from these interventions.

And more than 4 in 5 parents support additional help for students in special education.

Just over half said they were in support of summer school as a policy.

Excerpted from “NPR/Ipsos Poll: Nearly One-Third Of Parents May Stick With Remote Learning” on KQED’s MindShift. Read the full article online.

Source: MindShift | NPR/Ipsos Poll: Nearly One-Third Of Parents May Stick With Remote Learning, https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/57470/npr-ipsos-poll-nearly-one-third-of-parents-may-stick-with-remote-learning | © 2021 KQED INC

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