Survey: Parents Say Pandemic Learning Models to Remain into New School Year

by: Adam Newman and Andrea Zurita | Papers |Jul 22nd, 2021

Despite recent announcements that many of the nation’s largest school districts will return to fully in-person instruction for the 2021-2022 school year, almost half of parents say they won’t discontinue many of the remote and hybrid learning models adopted in response to pandemic-related school shutdowns. That is according to findings from the second publication in Tyton Partners’ “School Disrupted” series, developed with support from the Walton Family Foundation.

Surveying 2,500 people, the “School Disrupted” report aims to understand parent and caregiver decisions to switch or supplement their child’s school, their motivations for making the change, their satisfaction with their choices, and their expectations for the future.

“A majority of parents are emerging from pandemic-schooling with a favorable view of the role learning pods and other forms of alternative school models can have on the breadth and quality of their child’s education,” said Adam Newman, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Tyton Partners. “Parents’ experiences and insights will persist into the new academic year.”

Results show:

  • The adoption of supplemental learning pods is real – the percentage of parents enrolling their child has steadily increased during the past year and is it expected to persist – and expand – into the 2021-2022 school year
  • Parents report being highly satisfied with their decision to enroll their child in a supplemental learning pod, irrespective of their child’s core school. This segment expressed the highest overall satisfaction with their child’s educational experience among all surveyed.
  • Parent satisfaction with alternative school models increased since the start of the pandemic and was higher than the satisfaction of parents whose child continued their pre-pandemic school arrangements
  • Nearly all the parents who enrolled their child in a learning pod or microschool as a core school said they will continue with this model into the 2021-22 academic year
  • Despite positive parent sentiment, funding, cost, and trust barriers may make it difficult for learning pods and microschools to achieve significantly greater scale of adoption

“Schools should be actively rethinking how they can meet the full spectrum of learning and development needs for students as a result of the pandemic,” said Andrea Zurita, Principal at Tyton Partners. “Parents want – and students need – experiences and support that extend beyond the traditional classroom environment.”

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