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Giving Compass' Take:
• According to Bruno Manno school officials must act with thoughtful immediacy to address parents' concerns over the impact of school closures on their children.
• How do school closures disproportionately affect marginalized communities? What can funders do to address parents' concerns during coronavirus lockdown?
Parents of public school children increasingly believe that closing schools due to COVID-19 jeopardizes their child’s future.
This troubling news comes from a nationally representative survey of 500 public school parents and guardians who have been asked weekly since late April by Echelon Insights to describe the educational impact of closing schools on their children.
To sum up, COVID-19 confronts parents with unprecedented challenges as they strive to understand new and incomplete information on the disease and school closings. Their views change as they learn more. Health and education officials must listen closely to these views, exercising restraint and humility in their well-intentioned, authoritative efforts to say when and how schools reopen.
Here are four suggestions these officials should consider as they think about providing support to parents and reopening schools.
First, parents are increasingly worried about the negative educational impact school closures are having on their children. They want assistance now to deal with this.
Second, the percentage of parents not wanting to rush reopening schools is decreasing. This suggests there may be a limit to their tolerance for closing all schools for long periods.
Third, when schools reopen, parents want specific measures in place to protect their children and want reopening decisions to be a collaborative effort among health and school officials.
Finally, an unexpected 61 percent of parents across income, racial and political groups consistently say since polling began in April that in light of COVID-19, schools must rethink how students are educated.
These suggestions should catalyze health, education and other K-12 stakeholders to undertake new approaches to learning, instruction and health care that improve upon the current state of affairs.
Read the full article about parents' concern over school closures by Bruno Manno at The 74.