Surveys of CPS Parents on Teaching and Learning During the Pandemic

NORC administered two surveys to CPS parents to gauge parents’ perceptions of schooling during the pandemic. The results can be used to target interventions.

Kids First Chicago sought to continue their series, Parent-led Solutions to Education Recovery, by collecting original data to learn how parents in Chicago experienced remote and hybrid learning during the 2020-2021 school year. Given NORC’s reputation and experience with high-quality independent survey research, Kids First Chicago reached out to NORC to design and administer two waves of surveys that would capture parents’ perceptions of their child’s learning experiences during the pandemic. The results of the surveys will be used to identify areas of support for students.

Kids First Chicago sought to continue their series, Parent-led Solutions to Education Recovery, by collecting original data to learn how parents in Chicago experienced remote and hybrid learning during the 2020-2021 school year. Given NORC’s reputation and experience with high-quality independent survey research, Kids First Chicago reached out to NORC to design and administer two waves of surveys that would capture parents’ perceptions of their child’s learning experiences during the pandemic. The results of the surveys will be used to identify areas of support for students.

This project highlights how parents’ relationships to remote learning during the 2020-2021 school year are more complex than they initially appear. Many parents were satisfied with multiple aspects of their child’s remote learning experiences. Despite CPS’s announcement that children would be fully in-person for the 2021-2022 school year, many are still struggling with what the best learning model may be for their child during the pandemic. In June 2021, only 4 in 10 parents said that they would prefer fully in-person learning over hybrid or fully-remote options for the 2021-2022 school year.

75% of parents in the second wave of the survey were moderately or very satisfied with the quality of their child’s education (compared with 64% in the first wave), and 88% reported that their child’s teacher(s) or other school staff were available when help was needed.

This project also generated recommendations for moving forward: 9 in 10 parents want to keep varying modes of communication they had with teachers during the pandemic (e.g. emails, Class Dojo) to continue. 88% want the frequency of electronic communication with teachers to continue, and 82% want virtual parent-teacher meetings to continue. One key area that stood out for additional research and focus was the social-emotional well-being of students: 1 in 3 parents were moderately or extremely concerned about their child’s mental health and social-emotional well-being, and 37% were moderately or extremely concerned about their child’s peer relationships.

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