Whether or not to offer distance learning in the fall? Schools are divided

Full-time distance education is likely to leave the scene for many educators and students next fall. But educators seem divided over whether their schools will offer limited distance learning options for some students.

This is one of the main findings of the EdWeek Research Center’s most recent monthly survey of educators, which was conducted from May 26 to June 7. A total of 893 educators responded to the nationally representative survey, including 280 district leaders, 235 principals and 378 teachers.

The survey also found that 84% of teachers, principals and district leaders say they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, which mask requirements in schools are likely to be on the rise. disappear and that almost all teachers do not like distance education.

Educators divided over whether to continue offering distance learning options

A slight majority of teachers, principals and district leaders (56%) say their schools will offer at least some distance learning options at the start of the 2021-2022 school year. However, a substantial minority (39%) say they will not offer any remote options.

No educator has reported that all teaching will be distance learning this fall.

Are educator immunization rates leveling off?

Eighty-four percent of teachers, principals and district leaders say they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, a slight increase from 80 percent a month earlier. Among those who were not fully immunized, 14% said they did not have an appointment and did not receive the first in a series of vaccines.

When asked why they haven’t received the vaccine yet, educators in this category are most likely to say they want to wait to make sure serious side effects don’t appear over time (50 %). Additionally, 29% believe they don’t need a vaccine because they have COVID-19. (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people who have had the disease get vaccinated because “experts don’t yet know how long you are protected against a new disease after your recovery from COVID-19.” “)

When asked what would make them consider getting the vaccine, unvaccinated educators are the most likely to report that they could get the vaccine if time passes and the vaccine continues to be safe and effective ( 46 percent). However, almost as many (42%) do not think of anything that would require them to be vaccinated.

Eighty-nine percent of school and district leaders say that in the fall, they won’t require anyone to get immunized to work or attend schools.

Mask requirements in schools are likely on the way out

Right now, the majority of school and district leaders say all staff and students are required to wear masks in schools and district offices, regardless of their immunization status.

But in the fall, that could change.

Thirty-six percent of principals and district administrators say they don’t know who will need to wear masks at the start of the 2021-22 school year.

Of those who know, almost half (48%) say no one will be forced to wear masks in the fall. About a quarter say masks will be required for all students and employees, regardless of their immunization status. A very small share (6%) say masks will only be required for unvaccinated employees. An even lower share (3%) say that only vaccinated students will be allowed to do without masks.

Teachers didn’t like distance education at all

Eighty-nine percent of teachers say they taught online for the very first time during the pandemic.

So what did they think of the new experience?

Apparently not much: only 3% say that, if given a choice, they would like to continue with 100% distance education. In contrast, 88% would prefer to teach 100% in person. An additional 7% would prefer to teach both online and in person, and 2% have no preferences.

This affinity for in-person teaching is likely a positive development for teachers given that 88% of principals and district leaders say that in the fall all teachers will be required to provide in-person instruction. fulltime.

The impact of the pandemic on teachers’ dress codes

Pajamas in the teachers’ room? Flip-flops under the teacher’s desk?

This is unlikely once most educators return to school buildings. But more than one in three school and district administrators (36%) say they have relaxed teachers’ dress codes during the pandemic, compared with just 3% who say their rules have become stricter. (The others did not change their teachers’ dress codes during the pandemic.)

These casual dress codes are unlikely to continue. Only 11% of school and district leaders say their post-pandemic dress codes will be more relaxed than they were before the pandemic. An almost equal share (10%) say their standards will become stricter than they were before COVID-19. Most (79%) report that post-COVID policies will stay or revert to pre-COVID standards.

Among administrators who intend to make pandemic-era dress code changes permanent, casual Fridays are the most common change, followed by the elimination of requirements that male teachers wear ties or sports jackets / coats.


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