Parents ‘Guardedly Optimistic’ About Remote Learning, Poll Finds

For many parents, the abrupt shift to supervising remote learning that happened last spring when COVID-19 cases were just percolating in the country was enough to put them off the idea permanently.

But many stuck with it when it was offered again in the fall (or in the case of other states, mandated), and are now saying that while their child’s education was disrupted, they are “guardedly optimistic” overall, an NPR/Ipsos poll found.

NPR’s poll found that 62% of parents do say their child’s education was disrupted during the pandemic, and more than 4 out of 5 would like to see more targeted services to help remote learners catch up.

“In our survey, half of parents said their children were learning virtually, a third were attending in person full time, and the remainder were in-person part-time,” NPR explained. “As other polls have found, Black and Hispanic parents were far more likely than white parents to say their children were all remote — 65% for Black parents, 57% for Hispanic parents, and 38% for white parents.”

No matter how their child was attending school, almost half of parents worried their child would be behind when the pandemic was over.

“Yet when asked to pinpoint their areas of concern, robust majorities of parents actually judged their kids to be on track, or even ahead of schedule: in math and science, reading and writing, mental health and emotional well-being, and socialization and communication skills,” the news organization found.

Almost 80% felt their child’s school handled the pandemic well, and 82% said their school had done a good job communicating during the year. Exactly three-quarters of parents believe their child’s school will be open full time in person next year.

Twenty-nine percent of parents actually liked remote learning enough to say they were likely to stick with it indefinitely.

That’s clearly a feeling shared among local parents, too. Dallas ISD announced that its hybrid campus – which will offer on campus instruction twice a week, and remote learning the rest of the week – will open in the Oak Lawn area this fall.

Denton ISD said last month that it would begin working to open an all-virtual learning campus with a dedicated principal and teachers — and that they hope to have it ready for the next school year.

In other news:

  • Dallas County health officials said Tuesday that there were an additional 265 positive COVID-19 cases, and 31 deaths. A total of 3,180 have lost their lives to the virus since last March. Of cases tested at hospitals,  12.1% came back positive.
  • Gov. Greg Abbott Tuesday night declared the correction of any billing errors related to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) as an emergency item for the 87th legislative session — including any inaccurate excessive charges and ancillary service price issues.
  • Two new COVID-19 treatment trials hope to prevent disease in people who have been recently exposed to the virus and allow others who have been recently infected to avoid serious symptoms. Dallas’ Southwest Family Medicine Associates (SFMA) is one of 33 sites in the country to host two new COVID-19 treatment trials that hope to prevent disease in people who have been exposed to the virus and allow those who have been recently infected to avoid the more serious symptoms, D CEO managing editor Will Maddox writes.

Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, Digital Editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. Recently, she's taken home a few awards for her writing, including first place for her tornado coverage from the National Newspapers Association's 2020 Better Newspaper Contest, a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She is a member of the Education Writers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Real Estate Editors, the News Leaders Association, the News Product Alliance, and the Online News Association. She doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy. You can reach her at bethany.erickson@peoplenewspapers.com.

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