Are Parents Ready to Send Kids Back to School This Fall?
While COVID-19 led to the shuttering of schools nationwide, a new study from the University of Michigan reveals that a third of parents aren't sure they'll let their kids go back to class this fall.
School systems nationwide are preparing various plans as to how school could resume in September, but a recent surge in coronavirus cases nationwide show the U.S. is nowhere near out of the woods yet.
In June -- even before this latest increase in cases -- researchers at University of Michigan found 1,200 parents from Illinois, Michigan and Ohio are still hesitant for things to get back to normal for the upcoming school year.
It's not an easy decision, as parents have to weigh safety with education, the scientists explained. "On the one hand, sending children to school could increase the risk of COVID-19 among children and family members," says Dr. Kao-Ping Chua. "On the other hand, children who don't return to in-person school may experience disruptions in their education. Some families simply don't have a choice because they need to go to work."
If school does come back in session, three-quarters of parents say they favor daily temperature checks, and half approved of "random, weekly coronavirus tests."
Over 60% say they're in favor of social distancing on school buses, with those parents in that majority saying it would be best to stagger the school's population, alternating between kids who attend school personally vs. those who attend virtually, via remote learning sessions.
The parents surveyed also agreed that their decision would be influenced by a school's post-COVID-19 safety protocols.
The study also reveal that while school staff, middle school and high school students should keep wearing masks, most parents agree that kids between kindergarten and second grade should not.