About 25% of parents said they would send their child to school if there were social distancing requirements, 26% said they would send their child regardless, and 25% said they would keep their child home and conduct remote learning. The remainder said they were not sure yet what they would choose.
The district conducted the survey to gauge how parents felt about their students' return in the fall as the coronavirus pandemic continues. The survey received 8,199 respondents.
Following the survey, Superintendent Fred Brent said the district plans to offer in-person and online learning to accommodate each family. Virtual instruction will be full time and equally as vigorous, he said.
“People want to come to school, and people want to do home learning. We will do both,” Brent said.
The district will provide an option for every student to borrow a device at the beginning of the year whether families choose in-person or virtual learning. Wi-Fi hot spots will also be provided to those who need it, the district said.
In addition, the district established safety protocols, including the wearing of masks when social distancing cannot be maintained, limiting the number of campus guests at any given time, and providing personal protection equipment for students and staff for their return in the fall.
From the parent survey, most supported a mask requirement for students returning to school in person as well as staff. Most parents were also at least slightly concerned about their children contracting COVID-19 while at school with most saying they were “extremely concerned.”
Staff also reported a strong support for mask wearing of both students and staff while on campus, adding they were most concerned, at 62%, for students' physical safety in returning to campus.
The survey also showed staff preferred a mix of in-person and distance learning with 45% in favor. About 33% said they preferred fully in-person instruction, while the remaining 22% preferred full distance learning, the report said.
Staff said for themselves, they were most concerned about the district's social distancing policy and monitoring the spread of COVID-19 when returning to in-person school, it said.
For students, most said they were excited to go back to school at 41%, with 36% saying they missed their friends. The group was also split on how concerned they were in contracting COVID-19 while attending school, with 27% saying they were not concerned at all.
In returning to school in person, students said they were both concerned for their physical health and academic learning, it said.
The district plans to release more information weekly as it becomes available.
Below are the survey results as provided by GISD. Click the black arrow for additional data.