Back to School, Not to Normal


September 20, 2021

Students across New York State returned for a new school year this month, by and large in person for the first time in 18 months. Yet, while most parents believe in-person instruction is ideal for their child’s learning, they remain deeply concerned about how the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is impacting their child’s health and well-being.

For the first time in our polling, that remained true across racial and income groups, underscoring the impact this pandemic has had on all of us.

The results of our latest poll – the sixth since the start of the pandemic – highlight the critical need for state and local education leaders to listen to the voices of parents and act with the greatest urgency to provide their children with the resources and support they need to safely thrive this school year – including clear and consistent safety precautions, a remote learning option, and clear plans for if schools need to close or students need to quarantine.