Project Ready, the Newark-based social justice and advocacy group, just released a new poll as Newark students return to in-person instruction. This poll asked 300 parents, whose children attend a variety of district, charter, and private schools, about their concerns regarding disease risk, whether they are comfortable sending their children back to in-person classes, how they feel about the way schools managed academics and social well-being during the last year, whether they support vaccine and mask mandates, and whether they would prefer a remote option.
The results show that 87% of Newark parents are worried about their child contracting COVID-19. When parents were asked if they intended to send their child to school if only in-person learning is available, more than a quarter of parents said they either would not (10%) or were not sure (18%). Project Ready says, “these numbers reflect the widespread concern among Newark parents who want their kids going to school in an environment that is safe.”
More than half of parents would not send their children to school if there was a remote option. Overwhelming, parents listed their two main concerns as children’s “mental health/emotional well-being” and “long-term success in school” given the level of learning loss. The majority support all-school mask mandates and vaccination mandates for school staff. They are divided on vaccine mandates for schoolchildren.
“These numbers reflect the widespread concern among Newark parents who want their kids going to school in an environment that is safe,” said Shennell McCloud, CEO of Project Ready. “It is urgent that our leaders listen to the community and take the necessary actions to keep our schools safe.”