1) What measures do you feel need to be in place before any return to school takes place?
Out of 601 respondents, an overwhelming majority feel that schools should take numerous safety measures to protect their children. The Top 5 measures that need to be in place are:
- Enforcement of masks worn by all
- Deep cleaning & sanitizing regimen
- Abundant hand sanitizing stations
- Daily temperature checks for everyone entering the building
- COVID testing for all teachers and staff prior to the restart
In general, those who believe that schools should take precautions believe that those precautions be managed on an ongoing basis, with emphasis on mask wearing and heavy cleaning. Precautions like "establishing contact tracing" and "holding class in gymnasiums and auditoriums" have been overshadowed by continuous cleaning and oversight.
Following the Top 5 most popular precautions among parents, which were the same among different demographics, we broke down the level of preference by ethnicity. This accounted for the White, Black, Hispanic, and Asian American populations.
A noticeable difference is the White population in this study appears to be less concerned with safety measures than the other races, particularly the Black and Hispanic populations.
These precautions are popular among parents of all races. In the age of COVID, the 2020 school year should reflect the safety needs dictated by parents. This means these Top 5 precautions should be considered and logically implemented by school districts.
2) What is your comfort level with different back-to-school options?
The same 601 parents were asked to rank their comfort levels on various back to school options. They were asked to rank on a scale of 1 to 5, one being least comfortable and 5 being most comfortable. Those who ranked an option at 4 or higher are marked as "comfortable" with an option. Looking at the results, most parents feel the most comfortable with full time virtual learning. Notably, approximately 30% less parents are comfortable with any form of in-person learning as of 2020. On average, the hybrid methods are split evenly across the board, with split-week scheduling marked as the most appealing of the 3.
Breaking down the results based on ethnic populations, we found there are different schools of thought between the groups. For instance, only 1 out of every 10 Black parents support a full time return to school for their children. This is in stark contrast to the White population, where almost 1 out of every 2 parents support the return.
These findings are congruent with the previous question; the White population surveyed seems to value COVID precautions less that Black, Hispanic, and Asians populations.
Overall, those surveyed preferred full-time virtual learning. It remains to be seen which method will be implemented on a grand scale and whether the option will be preferred in practice as well as theory.