COVID-19 Policy Fallout

Many Children May Need ‘Social or Psychological Support’ Following Pandemic

COVID restrictions have had a negative impact not just on students’ learning progress, but also on their emotional well-being, according to a report issued this month by MUSE Academy, a private institution based in New York that will serve students in pre-kindergarten 3 through second grade in the fall, with plans to expand grades as their students advance.

For the study, MUSE polled parents in public, private and charter institutions in New York.

Among the findings: “Parents ... noted a range of social and emotional impacts from the isolation resulting from online or "hybrid" learning models. 26% of parents surveyed noticed modest social and emotional symptoms. 24% observed social withdrawal; 19% saw reduced interest in friendships; 23% noted a reduced interest in outside activities; and 9% said their children had experienced depression or anxiety due to the schooling approach this year.”

Overall, according to the survey, parents were satisfied with their students’ educational programs, with “68% giving a rating of 4 or 5, with 5 being extremely satisfied.” However: “Despite this, 51% of parents had noticed a ‘moderate’ learning slide in their children, whereas 30% observed a ‘noticeable’ decline, and 10% saw a ‘severe’ learning slide.”

"The results of this survey confirm what a difficult year this has been for families in our city, and highlight the challenges we face as educators to help children catch up for what has been a 'lost year' for many students," said Deborah Bradley-Kramer, Head of School of MUSE Academy, in a prepared statement.

"The voices that emerge from the survey underscore the real distress that so many parents have felt trying to balance keeping their children safe with promoting their intellectual development," said Crocker Coulson, founder and Chair of the Board of Trustees of MUSE Academy. "As our city emerges from the pandemic, it is clear that not only do we need to invest in helping kids catch up academically. And we need to help them reconstruct the rich web of relationships that often centers around school and extracurricular activities."

MUSE Academy noted that “schools and teachers will need to work hard to regain lost ground and that many children may need social or psychological support to find a new equilibrium.”

Further details can be found at

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

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