Survey: Parent Awareness and Economic Barriers Shaping the Future of Supplemental Learning Pods

by: Adam Newman and Michael Chiaro | Papers |Oct 28th, 2021

Final report in Tyton Partners’ three-part series investigating the scale and scope of alternative education models concludes with an optimistic view of the future of SLPs

As schools strive to achieve a “new normal” following the 2020-2021 academic school year conducted primarily remotely, the continued adoption of supplemental learning pods (SLPs) is impacted by whether parents view gaps in their children’s educational experience are being addressed through the traditional K-12 ecosystem. In the third installment in Tyton Partners’ “School Disrupted” series, developed with support from the Walton Family Foundation, our surveying of 3,000 parents in July 2021 further explores parents’ rationale for adopting SLPs and their intentions for future participation.

“Parents continue to view positively the use of supplemental learning pods to address gaps in their children’s academic and social emotional development stemming from schooling during the pandemic. However, the awareness and prevalence of affordable options remain barriers to their widespread adoption,” said Adam Newman, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Tyton Partners. “If these issues can be addressed, there is a real opportunity to evolve the current K-12 system into the future.”

Results indicate:

  • The number of parents adopting SLPs continued to increase in spring 2021, climbing to 14 percent from 12 percent of all parents surveyed during the fall 2020
  • SLP adoption has become more attractive as delivery models continue to evolve, with options oftentimes hosted at schools and facilitated by a certified teacher
  • Parents were primarily motivated to adopt SLPs if they could positively contribute to the academic support, academic enrichment, and/or social emotional development of their child
  • Lack of awareness, affordable options, and trust in the approach contributed to more than 70 percent of parents choosing to forgo SLPs for their children
  • Parents who adopted a SLP for their children last year – compared to those who did not – have different expectations for the 2021-2022 academic year, with increased demand for more hybrid or flexible learning options

“It is increasingly evident that parents are not necessarily interested in moving away from their children’s core school instructional model but continue to search for the right options that best meet both their child’s academic and social emotional needs,” noted Michael Chiaro, Senior Associate at Tyton Partners.

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