New Poll:

Majority of Parents Expect Children to Have Challenges with Learning & School Routine Readjustment Next Year


80% of parents say this school year was an eye-opening experience for them and want schools to ask for more parental input and feedback.

Survey also finds 64% of parents are more involved than ever before in their child’s education

Boston, MA (June 29, 2021) — A new poll released today by the National Parents Union, an education advocacy organization, found that a majority of parents(56%) expect challenges in academic learning as well as routine readjustment for children next school year. Meanwhile,80% of surveyed parents say this school year was an eye-opening experience that also resulted in a demonstrable shift in parental involvement(64%)when it comes to their child’s education and parents’ desire to engage schools with more input and feedback.

“As the new school year approaches, it is clear that parents will need a holistic support system from schools and teachers to ensure kids are adapting well to a new routine following a turbulent year of unprecedented challenges and learning loss,” said Keri Rodrigues, co-founder and president of the National Parents Union. “It is paramount that parents are engaged in how schools will handle diverse academic and emotional wellbeing needs and are seated at the decision-making table to ensure their child is set up for success.”

Specifically, the poll found that most parents are concerned with learning loss in key areas: 42% say their child has fallen behind or needs additional instruction in math, while 36% express the same concerns inEnglish/Language Arts, reading or writing. The poll also shed light on familial hardship as parents balanced household and financial responsibilities while also juggling their child’s education. 4 in 10 families with more than one child said children needed to take on additional household responsibilities due to family’s work, school or childcare situation. In addition, 18% of families with children in grades 9-12 needed to get a job or take on extra work due their family’s financial situation.

“Parents have shouldered the responsibilities of facilitating education for the past 15 months and have their finger on the pulse about what needs to happen to best serve their child’s educational needs as we embark on an educational recovery path with COVID-19 still in the rearview mirror,” said Keri Rodrigues, co-founder and president of the National Parents Union. “We should not be having a conversation about overcoming unfinished learning without parents and families front and center because the only way out of this mess is if parents, teachers and school officials confront these challenges together—where all voices are heard and respected.”

The survey also found that COVID-19 concerns remain a top factor for parents choosing remote learning, while concerns about their child’s mental health and emotional well-being remain elevated across the board for parents who choose in person learning (62%), remote learning (56%) and a hybrid model (59%).

Toward the end of the academic year, in person attendance increased with 40% of students currently attending only in person classes.Meanwhile, a majority of parents (54%) say schools should offer both in-person and remote learning for next school year (2021-2022) with 52% of white parents, 56% of Black parents, 56% of Hispanic parents and 61% of Asian parents showing similar preferences.

In person learning is the top choice for parents across grade levels for the next school year:


For parents of children grades K-5, 58% prefer only in person learning


For parents of children grades 6-8, 47% prefer only in person learning


For parents of children grades 9-11, 50% prefer only in person learning

A third of parents won’t send their children back until they’re vaccinated and currently prioritize the following:

45% of parents say schools should provide masks to all students and staff and replacing masks regularly.

41% of parents say schools should limit the number of students who are in common areas to maintain social distancing

40% of parents say schools should require all teachers and staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19

Moreover, 51% of parents say schools should be focused on rethinking how we educate students, coming up with new ways to teach children moving forward as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

Full toplines and crosstabs can be found here:

June 11-20, 2021