Parents say schools must make a plan... and stick to it

NEW POLL: PARENTS WORRIED ABOUT WHETHER KIDS ARE PREPARED FOR NEXT GRADE LEVEL 

NEW POLL: PARENTS WORRIED ABOUT WHETHER KIDS ARE PREPARED FOR NEXT GRADE LEVEL 

Half of surveyed parents don’t know what types of educational activities schools might be planning to offer this summer to help students prepare for next year

Majority of parents want both in-person and at-home online learning options to be provided for next year 

Boston, MA (May 4, 2021) — A new poll released today by the National Parents Union, an education advocacy organization, found that a majority of parents (66%) are concerned about their kids staying on track for the next grade level. Meanwhile, 50% of parents said their child’s school has not yet informed them about educational activities they might be planning to offer this summer to help students prepare for next year.

The poll also found that the majority of parents value having a choice between in-person and remote with 58% saying they want both options to be provided next year.

“Parents are expressing very real concerns about whether their child is prepared for the next grade level, and yet, it seems like schools aren’t doing enough to communicate with families about summer enrichment options. This is a trend we have seen since the beginning of the pandemic, school leaders not being responsive to the questions and concerns that families have. I wish I was surprised,” said Keri Rodrigues, co-founder and president of the National Parents Union. “I find it very interesting, and perhaps the start of reimagining education beyond the four walls of a school, that the majority of parents want both in-person and remote options for next year. Understandably, we are still worried about the health and safety of our children as it relates to COVID, but in talking to many parents across the country, they want to keep control . Parents are their own childrens’ most effective watchdog and schools will need to adapt to the evolving needs that families have.”

Although the majority of parents (62%) approve of President Biden’s handling of the reopening of schools for in-person learning, the poll found a sharp partisan divide between parents who identify as Republican vs. parents who identify as Democrat on in-person vs. remote learning priorities. 62% of Republican parents prioritize trying to get public school students back into the classroom this school year and implementing health and safety measures, compared to 43% of Democratic parents.

The poll also found strong partisan lines among parents when it comes to vaccination requirements. 54% of Democratic parents vs. 25% of Republican parents are likely to support vaccination requirements for students. Overall, 51% of parents are more likely to say COVID-19 vaccinations should be required for teachers and staff than for students.

When asked about what their child needs to be prepared for the next school year, parents highlight more school support:

  • 43% of those who feel their child is learning less than normal say they will need additional activities or help;
  • 4 in 10 parents of a child with a disability say they will need additional educational activities or help;
  • 3 in 10 say their child will need more than what their school is providing this summer to be prepared for next year;

The most popular educational activities this summer to help students prepare

for the next school year:

  • Online summer classes (35%);
  • Online educational activities other than classes (35%);
  • One-one-one online tutoring sessions (31%);

Parents are the least positive about schools providing the following resources:

  • Providing resources to support students’ mental health and emotional wellbeing (30%);
  • Providing personalized learning to meet your child’s needs (28%);
  • Managing online learning programs or resources for remote learning (26%);

Although the majority– 55%– of parents continues to want schools focused on rethinking how to educate students, frustration is growing among all parents and a greater cohort (39%) believes schools should be focused on trying to get back to the way things were before the COVID-19 crisis as soon as it is safe to do so.

Full toplines and crosstabs can be found here:

April 9-22, 2021

1,151 parents of K-12 public school students

ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARENTS UNION

The National Parents Union is a network of highly effective parent organizations and grassroots activists across the country that is united behind a set of common goals and principles to channel the power of parents. Our family advocates improve the quality of life for children across the United States and define the education conversation. https://nationalparentsunion.org/

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NEW EDUCATION POLL: STOP THE ROLLERCOASTER… MAJORITY OF PARENTS WANT SCHOOLS TO MAKE A PLAN AND STICK WITH IT

Washington, D.C.– A new poll from the National Parents Union found 54% of parents prefer their child’s school stick to a consistent plan for whether students receive remote or in-person learning, rather than changing plans based on the number of COVID cases in the area.

The survey, conducted in late September, also found that only a little more than half of all parents felt included in the decision-making process about the school’s plans for reopening. And many parents weren’t happy with the reopening plan for their child’s school, with more than a third (35%) grading their schools with a C or worse.

As far as the education experience goes, 38% of parents feel their child is learning less this year than they normally would. Additionally, a quarter of all parents say their kids are not receiving enough instruction time from the teacher. Nearly 40% say their children are not getting enough time to interact with other students.

Driving these numbers are parents of full-time remote and hybrid students who are more likely to say their children aren’t getting enough instruction time or student-to-student interaction time. Parents of hybrid students, specifically, are also more likely to want schools to focus on providing access to consistent, high-quality remote learning as opposed to focusing on trying to get students back into the classroom (50% vs. 45%)

“School leaders would be well-served to start listening closely to parents, many of whom remain frustrated with how their child is learning this year”, said Keri Rodrigues, co-founder and president of the National Parents Union, and mom to three boys. “Schools have had seven months to prepare for learning this fall, and it’s clear that too many are still lagging behind in providing a high-quality education, whether in-person or remote. Schools need to get down to basics and they need to do so fast because our littlest learners can’t afford another lost year and parents want off this roller coaster.”

MENTAL HEALTH– Lack of Resources:
37% of parents say their school is doing a fair or poor job in providing resources to support students’ mental health and emotional wellbeing. More than half (59%) say they are worried about how COVID is affecting their child’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.

REIMAGINE EDUCATION
Parents also reported wanting schools to use this time to reimagine education, with 60% saying the schools should be focused on rethinking how to educate students, coming up with new ways to teach children moving forward as a result of COVID. Just 33% say schools should be focused on trying to get back to the way things were before COVID.

Among Black parents, 72% want schools to reimagine education, with just 23% saying they want to go back to the way things were.

REMOTE LEARNING– What schools are offering:
Overall, 76% of parents said their child is either full- or part-time remote. The survey asked the remote/online families which of the following is being offered by the school:
Laptops or tablets for students to take home 58%
Live online classes with their teacher(s) 56%
Emailed assignments from teachers 38%
Tutorials for students on how to access and use online learning programs 28%
Pre-recorded online video lessons by their teacher(s) 27%
IT support to help address problems with laptops or tablets or difficulty accessing online learning programs 25%
Self-paced online courses provided through a service or app 20%
Hot spots or access to high speed internet for students at home 20%
Training or information sessions for parents on how to help students continue learning from home 19%
Activities or resources that do not require the use of a computer or Internet, such as printed learning materials or phone calls with their teacher(s) 18%

Click here for the toplines
September 21–29, 2020- 1,140 parents of K-12 public school students

ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARENTS UNION
The National Parents Union is a network of highly effective parent organizations and grassroots activists across the country that is united behind a set of common goals and principles to channel the power of parents. Our family advocates improve the quality of life for children across the United States and define the education conversation. https://nationalparentsunion.org/

Paid for by the National Parents Union for Education Equality