The findings of a nationwide survey investigating parents’ perspectives for the 2022–2023 academic year were made public by National PTA today. The 1,400 parents & guardians who had children in grades K–12 in public schools who participated in the survey’s emphasis on the pandemic’s recovery, parents’ worries for their kids, mental health resources, curriculum content, and false or misleading information. Edge Research performed it between November 29 and December 15, 2022. This poll is the fourth in a line of studies funded by CDC Foundation and commissioned by the National PTA. The first three studies were released in September 2021, January 2022, and June 2022, respectively.
Key findings of the survey:
• The confidence level of parents with traditional classroom instruction keeps rising. Inequality in this comfort persists among significant subgroups, particularly among parents of racial group.
• Except for school violence, parents’ worries are largely constant from year to year. This is the only worry that has increased statistically since the survey’s previous wave, which was conducted in April/May 2022.
• •Parents place a high value on and stress the importance of student mental health programs, and the majority are in favor of schools evaluating students’ mental health in order to promote their wellbeing. In order to help support their child’s emotional health, parents would like more information to be collated and shared with them.
• The statistics also show that it’s challenging for parents to locate existing mental health resources in schools. A majority of parents believe that the mental health supports provided by their own child’s school have decreased or remained the same since before the pandemic, and less than four out of ten parents & guardians are very convinced they know on whom to approach at school if of their child requires mental health supports.
• President of National PTA, Anna King, said: “As highlighted by the survey results, it remains important that we all work together just to encourage learning settings where pupils feel secure and also to assure that kids as well as their parents have the best possible supports. “At PTA, we stay dedicated to uniting families, schools, and communities; bringing information, tools, and resources into families’ lives; and promoting to make sure they’re secure, have what they need, can overcome obstacles, and can thrive.”
• According to the poll, 82% of parents said they feel at ease leaving their own child at school in person, 65% said their school has handled pandemic-related challenges “excellently” or “very well,” and 76% said they believe their school is ready to keep kids secure in the case of a future pandemic. Parents’ fears are shifting back to pre-pandemic issues as their comfort level with the COVID-19 epidemic continues to increase. 53 percent of parents said they were concerned regarding their infant being bullied or facing violence at school, and 51 percent of parents said they were concerned about their child having social, emotional, or mental difficulties.
• MD, president & CEO of a CDC Foundation, Judy Monroe, stated that even though parents are becoming more at ease with their children attending school, the strong family support for in-school mental health services shows that the pandemic’s effects are still being felt. This survey offers crucial parental viewpoints that can guide upcoming public health efforts involving young people’s mental health.
• According to the majority of parents polled (88%) schools should offer services and tools to support the mental and emotional health of their children and other students. However, only a small percentage of parents (37%) said they were very sure they’d know who to contact or where to look for resources at their child’s school to help their mental health. Only 31% of parents said their kid’s teacher now provides more methods or activities for kids’ mental health than it did prior to the pandemic, according to the survey. In addition, 60% of parents surveyed said they would want to know why their kid is doing emotionally and mentally if their school conducted evaluations. Of the parents who said they were unaware that their schools conducted mental health evaluations, 66% stated that they would desire their child to be assessed if such a program existed. When questioned what resources schools should provide for students and families if assessments reveal that they need more assistance with their mental or emotional health, parents named in-school counsellors or psychiatrists, referrals to outside providers, interventions being incorporated into the school day, and initiatives to maintain parents informed and involved as some of the most important resources.
• “The young people’s mental health catastrophe is most acutely felt in schools. These statistics demonstrate how crucial it is for schools to serve as secure places of refuge during this catastrophe. They also show how committed parents are to working with schools to give their kids the tools, knowledge, and skills they need to succeed “said Dr. Kathleen Ethier, head of the Section of Adolescent & School Health at the Center for Disease Control & Prevention.
• 69% of the parents polled believed it was crucial for their kid’s teacher to implement policies or initiatives that addressed or provided emotional and social education. 70% of parents polled said it is crucial for their child’s school to instill values like respect, cooperation, perseverance, and empathy, and 75% said it is crucial for the school to have initiatives or policies that ensure all students feel seen, acknowledged, and included. Most parents agree that these subjects should be covered by the grade 5 and that parents also favor teaching material on race in schools.
• “Making sure the opinions and viewpoints of parents have been acknowledged is a primary concern for us at PTA,” stated CAE, executive director of National PTA. Nathan R. Monell. “Our most recent poll, as well as all the assessments we have commissioned as part of our series, have provided us with a critical chance to learn from or elevate parents’ perspectives on issues crucial to kids’ education, health, safety, and well-being. Furthermore, this is critical to our attempts to assist all children and families, improve the lives of all children, and secure their futures.”