New national poll found parents more optimistic after students returned to school last fall

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ALEXANDRIE, Virginia, January 11, 2022 / PRNewswire / – The national PTA released the findings of a national survey on how parents’ mindsets, expectations and concerns regarding COVID-19 safety guidelines and protocols have evolved since their children returned to school.

The survey, which included 1,427 parents and guardians of K-12 children in public schools, was conducted November 9-24, 2021, by Edge Research, in partnership with HCM Strategists and supported by the CDC Foundation. This latest investigation follows a previous investigation conducted in August and reported in September. This most recent investigation took place before the emergence of the Omicron variant.

The latest survey results show:

  • Almost half of parents (48%) say they were told at some point in the 2021-2022 school year that their child may have been exposed to COVID.
  • Despite exposure notifications and parents’ concerns at the start of this school year, at the time of this survey more parents felt comfortable that their children were attending school in person than at the start of the year. school. 70% of parents felt at least somewhat comfortable in November, up from 61% in August.
  • Comfort with in-person learning increased in all cases with black, white and Hispanic parents, but the increase was particularly noticeable among Hispanic parents, with an increase from 53% in August to 68% in this survey. .
  • Parents’ preference for full-time in-person learning was 56%, an increase of 6 points from August.
  • Almost two in three parents surveyed (66%) said their child attended school the way they preferred, either full-time in person, in a hybrid model, or in full-time virtual / distance learning.
  • Parents’ worries and children’s perceived anxiety about complying with safety measures had also diminished since the start of the school year.
  • The worry of caregivers that their child would contract COVID-19 at school remained the top concern, especially among parents of color. 61% of all parents said they were very or somewhat worried about their child contracting COVID-19, compared to 75% of Hispanic parents and 66% of black parents.

There were also key findings regarding the mental health, as well as the social and emotional well-being of students:

  • When asked to compare the emotions at the time of this survey at the start of the 2021-2022 school year, a plurality of parents reported that they and their child felt happier, more excited, and calmer. and / or more secure. Pluralities also say that the negative emotions of anxiety, frustration, confusion, sadness and anger have decreased since the start of the school year.
  • Many parents are actively engaged in supporting their child’s mental health and seek ongoing support for their child’s social and emotional well-being at home and at school.
  • The desire for social and emotional support was higher among parents whose schools closed at some point in the school year due to COVID-19.

“Teachers and caregivers should feel encouraged by the shift in perspective reported in the November poll,” said the PTA National President. Anna king. “Parents felt less worried about their ability to keep their child safe at school. Instead, they felt confident in the school’s ability to meet the health, safety, and social and emotional needs of their child. The results also showed that more than half of the parents surveyed were able to identify a new resource that their school developed to address social and emotional concerns. These survey results are an encouraging sign that teachers and school staff will be able to respond appropriately to their families’ concerns and evolving challenges related to COVID-19. “

“The pandemic continues to evolve with rapidly changing information. This latest national PTA survey came at a time when parents were feeling more optimistic about their child’s return to class,” said Judy Monroe, MD, President and CEO of the CDC Foundation. “Today it is essential that we take action and that our children, who are eligible, are immunized and that they practice school safety measures. Our children are our greatest treasure and we must protect them.”

“Kindergarten to Grade 12 administrators, teachers and staff worked countless hours to overcome protracted and unprecedented challenges,” said Kathleen A. Ethier, PhD, director of the School and Adolescent Health Division of CDC, the CDC’s primary center for monitoring and treatment of school health. “These data reassure us that their tireless efforts are making a difference in many ways, including the student mental health and their parents. ”

Students benefit from in-person learning. Schools play a vital role in providing students with health education, helping students feel connected—An important protective factor for young people that can reduce the likelihood of a variety of health-risk behaviors — and direct students to mental and physical health services.

The CDC recommends that all eligible teachers, staff, and students be immunized as soon as possible. Most children and all teens can get the COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC recommends that anyone aged 5 and over get a COVID-19 vaccine to protect themselves against COVID-19, and anyone aged 12 and over can receive a COVID-19 booster shot.

CDC guidelines for preventing COVID-19 in K-12 schools are available here.

About the survey
The online survey was conducted in English and Spanish by Edge Research November 9-24, 2021, based on a national sample of 1,427 parents and guardians with Kindergarten to Grade 12 children in public schools. The survey included supersamples of Latino / a parents representing a mix of acculturation levels and black parents. Data has been weighted to be representative of parents in public schools in the United States

This project was supported by the CDC Foundation through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and through financial assistance in the total amount $ 447,531 with over 99% funded by CDC / HHS and $ 2,400, less than 1%, funded by non-governmental sources. The content is that of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official opinions or endorsement of the CDC / HHS or the US government.

About national ATP
National PTA® includes millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders dedicated to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a 501 (c) (3) registered nonprofit that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to get involved and make a difference for the education, health and well-being of children and youth. For more information visit PTA.org.

SOURCE PTA national

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