LAST UPDATE: APRIL 21, 2021

Tracking the Return to Normal: School

Morning Consult is tracking how safe parents feel about their children returning to school amid the COVID-19 pandemic

 

This tracker is part of a series from Morning Consult gauging when consumers will return to normal activities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more and sign up for alerts.

Of the countless disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, few are as fraught or impactful as shifts from in-person learning to remote schooling. The vaccination rollout is providing a light at the end of the tunnel, but thorny questions remain about timing and protocols for a return to the classrooms. Leading into the fall 2021 semester, Morning Consult will track how parents are weighing these decisions on a weekly basis. The latest results are based on a survey of 490 parents of children ages 5 to 18, conducted Apr. 15 to Apr. 19, 2021. As more results come in, Morning Consult will begin trending to show how sentiment is shifting over time. 

1 in 3 Parents Are Currently Comfortable With Their Children Returning to In-Person Learning
Parents of children ages 5 to 18 were asked, “Based on what you know about the COVID-19 pandemic, about when do you expect you will feel comfortable with your child(ren) returning in-person to school?”
The latest results are based on a survey of 490 parents of children ages 5 to 18, conducted Apr. 15 - 19, 2021.

Less Than 3 in 10 Parents Currently Believe That Schools Are Opening Too Quickly
Parents of children aged 5 to 18 were asked, “Thinking about the speed of schools reopening for in-person instruction where you live, would you say that schools are being reopened too quickly, too slowly, or at about the right speed?”
The latest results are based on a survey of 490 parents of children ages 5 to 18, conducted Apr. 15 - 19, 2021.

More Than 2 in 3 Parents Believe All Teachers Should Be Vaccinated Before Returning to the Classroom
Parents of children aged 5 to 18 were asked, “Do you agree or disagree with each of the following?”
The latest results are based on a survey of 490 parents of children ages 5 to 18, conducted Apr. 15 - 19, 2021.

OTHER KEY FIGURES

More parents put public safety over in-person learning: Asked which of the following statements they agreed with more, 54 percent selected “Public and personal safety is essential. Schools need to be cautious about opening up for in-person instruction before it’s safe, even if it gets in the way of children’s education,” while 37 percent selected “Providing an in-person education to children is essential. Schools need to open as soon as possible, even if it could increase the risk of spreading COVID-19.”

Even by the fall, a hybrid in-person and online instruction is still favored over full in-person schooling: Thirty-three percent of parents say the best model for school in the fall of 2021 is in-person, while 43 percent favor a hybrid model. Sixteen percent prefer online only, and 7 percent say homeschool instruction is the best model.

Despite challenges, most parents have faith in their children’s school: 74 percent of parents say their children’s schools have generally made the right decisions when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic and school openings. The same share is confident that their children’s school will have the proper resources to reopen safely.

More than 1 in 3 parents are considering changing schools: 35 percent of parents are considering moving their children to a different school due to issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and school openings.

Tracking the Return to Normal

When will things return to normal and what will our new normal look like? It’s a question that business, economic and government leaders are grappling with as more and more Americans receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

To help answer this complicated question, Morning Consult is tracking how consumer attitudes are shifting across a wide range of categories, from travel to entertainment to dining, to gain greater insight into not only when consumers will be ready to return to their normal activities, but how their habits will be forever changed. We’ll be updating these pages every week with new data and analyses. Sign up for alerts below.

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