Local Parents are Split About Returning to Schools, Fascinating Survey Shows

The unscientific survey of local parents that we conducted over the past 24 hours has yielded some fascinating results. Parents at both public and private schools are clearly struggling with their decision on whether to send their kids back to school in person this fall.

With just over 300 responses in as of early Tuesday afternoon, about 45% of parents expect to send their kids back, and another 9% are leaning in that direction, while 26% expect to go full remote and 12% are leaning that way. Meanwhile a little less than 8% are split.

Even more fascinating are the answers explaining why. Several “returners” point to the benefits of in-person learning and some point out their dissatisfaction with remote learning in the spring.

They hated remote leaning and crave human interaction with teachers and friends.

A “full remote” parent expressed frustration with the Department of Education:

The DOE and in particular our school has not given us any info on who the teachers will be or how the school day will look. There is zero creativity among the administration and this is crippling the system.

One “50/50” parent said their family tested positive for antibodies, but they remain concerned:

We all tested positive for the antibodies in our household, but there’s too much uncertainty about its effectiveness, overall safety guidelines from the school aren’t clear and information/ data changes daily -hourly it seems, about its transmission, long lasting side effects or morphing capabilities. Kids at school have always been a Petrie dish, there’s no guarantee of safety.

You can access the full spreadsheet here, or below (scroll to the right to read the answers, scroll down for more entries). And you can still take the survey here.

SCHOOLS | 9 comments | permalink
    1. nemo paradise says:

      Interesting point. It doesn’t matter what the bureaucrats decide if the parents keep their kids out anyway.

    2. Lisa Orman says:

      This is a fascinating response. I am curious how parents plan to get their kids to school. Bus service is likely not happening. Will students walk, bike, take public transit, take for-hire vehicles, take personal cars?

      If you are walking or biking, how safe do you feel sending your kids with those modes? Can you ride on a protected bike lane the whole way? Are the sidewalks and crosswalks safe and clear of parked cars? Can cars see your kids if they are standing on the corner? Where will you park your bike? Does your school have bike parking?

      • lynn says:

        It’s highly unlikely that parents are going to send their grade schoolers off on their own, on a bike no less, to navigate the city every morning. If they’ll risk going back to school then why wouldn’t they be taking public transportation as they did pre-Covid?

        • World Peacenik says:

          They wouldn’t be taking public transportation as they did pre-Covid post-Covid to avoid contagion.

    3. KT says:

      The survey question wasn’t formulated very well. It should have asked what parents’ preferences would be. The question asked what we will do. I think for many of us the answer is whatever we have to do. If school is in person, we’ll send them back. If it’s hybrid, we’ll make that work, if it’s fully remote, we’ll do that. If my kids’ school is live, I’m not going to go on my own and home school them, even if fully remote is my personal preference.

    4. Karen L. Bruno says:

      Title should have been “The Majority of NY’ers want kids back in school”!

    5. Local Teacher says:

      I am a public school teacher who would like nothing more than to be back in the classroom. My students, especially those who are most vulnerable, need it. The teachers at my school did the best we could— we taught live, we had recorded lessons, we zoomed clubs and social gatherings, we had daily check-ins for students with IEPs, and we called home so much parents must have wanted to block us. But I still had about 20% who really struggled. A handful submitted fewer than five assignments (they had tech). Most of these were students who, in brick school, never did homework, but could generally be persuaded to do classwork and to participate. Now, they are losing ground they may not be able to make up. They need their school.

      However, I have grave concerns about our return. Is face covering use even enforceable? Will the DOE do even a fraction of what it is promising to keep us safe? Will hopping in and out of school for days or weeks at a time be even more disruptive than going remote? Will the sad, socially distanced school day even be worth it? Will blended learning allow me to be even a halfway decent teacher? What if we do this and a member of the school community dies or suffers permanent damage to their health? What if I bring the virus home to my family?

    6. School Speech says:

      I work in the schools as well and think there’s no perfect solution but the reasons to go back are negated when you think of how schools will look. I thought this article really expressed all of my worries.


    7. Karindnyc says:

      To the parent in the survey whose child will be a first year at Pace, my son will be too. If you want to get them in touch so that they might get to meet, reply to me here and I’ll give you his email address