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Acad Pediatr. 2020 Nov 26:S1876-2859(20)30593-3. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2020.11.017. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: To determine which factors are associated with plans for in-person school attendance during the 2020-2021 school year and with support for 15 school-based COVID-19 risk mitigation measures among parents and guardians.
METHODS: In June 2020, we conducted an online survey of parents and guardians of public school children in Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio. In a child-level analysis, we used linear regression to assess which demographic factors, health-related concerns, and parent/guardian views were associated with plans for in-person school attendance. In a respondent-level analysis, we used linear regression to assess factors associated with the number of risk mitigation measures supported.
RESULTS: Among 2,202 children in the child-level analysis, in-person school attendance was planned for 71.0%. Such plans were less likely among children of Black respondents (-14.1 percentage points, 95% CI: -25.7, -2.6) and Asian respondents (-16.8, 95% CI: -31.3, -2.2), and among children with perceived high-risk health conditions (-9.7, 95% CI: -15.8, -3.6). Among 1,126 respondents in the respondent-level analysis, the mean number of measures supported was 8.0 (SD 4.4). Several factors were associated with support, but the magnitude of associations was generally modest.
CONCLUSIONS: During the COVID-19 pandemic, families of children with health conditions or who are of Black or Asian race/ethnicity may be less likely to opt for in-person learning. For these families, addressing barriers to remote education is critical. As schools plan for the 2020-2021 school year and beyond, they should respond to the desire among parents and guardians to implement substantial numbers of risk mitigation measures.