COVID-19 Education Policy
60% of K–8 Parents Now 'Hesitant' to Send Kids Back to School in the Fall
Amid new fears arising over the Delta variant and wildly
contradictory messaging on COVID-19 policy at all levels of
government, parents appear to be growing increasingly concerned about
sending their kids back to school in the fall.
These and other factors have left parents facing difficult decisions
about in-person instruction in the fall.
In a new
survey of parents of K–8 students from Stride Inc., when asked
if schools should offer an online option for school at all times,
regardless of the pandemic, only 31.7% said no. The plurality (47.3%)
responded yes, and 21% were unsure.
A majority, 60.4%, said they were concerned about sending their kids
back to in-person instruction in the fall, and 59.6% said they were
somewhat concerned or very concerned about exposure to unvaccinated
adults in school. Nearly a third were unconcerned about their
children contracting COVID or spreading it to family members, but
more than two-thirds were concerned about those possibilities:
26% were concerned about their kids contracting COVID-19;
7.9% were more concerned about their kids spreading COVID-19 to
family members; and
33.5% were concerned about both possibilities.
Regardless, at the time of the survey, nearly 70% of parents planned
to send their kids to school in-person. About 26% plan on a mix of
environments for their kids. And only about 4% planned for their kids
to be online-only.
When asked about their feelings regarding back-to-school, the biggest
response (26.6%) was "hopeful." The second-largest (20%)
was "anxious." These were followed by "excited"
(12.4%), "indifferent" (12.3%), "happy" (8.4%)
and "afraid" (7.8%).
In guidance updated today, the CDC recommended that all students,
staff and teachers wear masks in K–12 schools, regardless of
vaccination status, reversing its stance on masks for the second time
since the pandemic started and sending mixed signals about the
efficacy of the vaccine two days after the United States hit it 70%
vaccination target for adults.
survey, including raw data, is available at K12.com.
About the Author
David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 29-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.
He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEDavidNagel (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).