A new survey shows nearly half of pubic middle and high school students aren’t attending online classes amid the coronavirus pandemic, a statistic more than 2.5 times higher than students in private schools.
The poll of 849 teenagers, by Common Sense Media, conducted with SurveyMonkey, found that as schools across the country transition to some form of online learning, 41% of teenagers overall, including 47% of public school students, say they haven’t attended a single online or virtual class. …
There is a big gap between public and private school students in the survey, with 47% of public school students saying they have not attended a class, compared with just 18% of private school students.
The poll questioned students between the ages of 13 and 17 from March 24 through April 1, shortly after most schools opted to close down in response to the coronavirus. NPR points out many schools are expected to begin online classes after spring break.
There were other themes from the survey.
“Teens are worried about how the coronavirus will affect their families,” Common Sense Media reports. “Sixty-one percent are worried they or someone in their family will be exposed to the virus, and 63% are worried about the effect it will have on their family’s ability to make a living or earn money.”
Many students feel disconnected from friends and school.
Forty-two percent of teens reported feeling “more lonely than usual” during the pandemic, and 48% contend they feel less connected with friends.
“Almost one in four teens (24%) say they’re connecting with their teachers less than once a week. Students in private school report more frequent contact with their teachers and more communication related to school in general. Two-thirds (66%) of teens in private school say they’re connecting with their teachers once a day or more, including 33% who connect a few times a day and 14% who connect once an hour or more,” according to the survey. “Among teens in public school, just 31% connect with their teachers once a day or more often, including 15% who connect a few times a day and just 2% who connect once an hour or more.”
Just over a quarter of all students also reported troubles finding space to do school work.
The upsides to the lockdown seem to be stronger family bonds and more conversations with loved ones.
“The outbreak is bringing families together,” according to the survey. “Forty percent of teens say they feel more connected than usual with their families.”
“Teens are connecting to others through a variety of means – even phone calls! A majority (59%) of teens say they’re connecting with family or friends who are outside of their home at least once a day. The top ways to stay connected to people they can no longer see in person are texting (83%), phone calls (72%), social media (66%), and video chats (66%).”
“Sixty-five percent of teens report talking to friends or family via texting or social media more often than they usually do,” Common Sense Media reports. “More than a third (37%) have reached out to a friend or family member they haven’t talked to in a while.”