Exclusive KSTP/SurveyUSA poll questions parents about the return to school

With early alarm clocks and homework, the frenzy of a new school year returns.

Unlike past years, this school year starts with a lot of change and some big unknowns.

Over the labor day weekend, KSTP and Survey USA polled parents, asking what learning model their child would be using to start the school year:

  • 33 percent are doing remote learning only
  • 24 percent will do in-person learning
  • 37 percent will use a hybrid school model.

Part two of the survey asked parents if they approve of the way their school district has handled the process of deciding how school will operate:

  • 30 percent strongly approve
  • 40 percent somewhat approve
  • 20 percent somewhat disapprove
  • 5 percent strongly disapprove

"Seventy percent of anyone being happy right now with anything, in a pandemic, it’s good. It is high. I think the 70% is a good high to start the school year with. I think we’ll see a little drop in that as we move into October and November," said University of Minnesota education expert and researcher Katie Pekel.

"This is generally good news that in the middle of a pandemic parents are generally satisfied with the decisions their local school districts are making," Pekel said.

In July, the governor along with the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Education formed a data-driven formula based on COVID-19 numbers and population to help school districts determine how to return to school.

"I think that set up has allowed us to make decisions at the local level that communities feel is right for them, they might not like it, they might not like that they’re having a spike in the cases, but I do think they feel some urgency and how they can respond," she added.

So how can school districts continue to keep that satisfaction level high all year, in a pandemic?

"I think if districts continue to be transparent in their communication and seek the input of parents, families, community and students, I think that satisfaction rate will stay in a livable range," she added.

Full results from the poll can be viewed here.