Parents undecided about sending kids back to school, poll shows
KITCHENER -- A new poll suggests many parents are still on the fence about whether or not to send their kids back to school in September.
Caitlin Eddison said she's looking forward to her kids returning to the classroom, especially her daughter who is starting junior kindergarten.
"They need the social interaction with the other kids," Eddison said.
She said despite the COVID-19 pandemic, she's confident her kids will be safe.
"With the numbers as they are right now, it seems to be pretty low," Eddison said.
A new poll by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies found 59 per cent of parents would send their kids to class at least a few days a week. However, 18 per cent plan to keep their kids at home and another 23 per cent are undecided.
The province has yet to release its back-to-school plan, but said it will be one of three options -- in class, online or a mixture of the two.
"We need to know what the plan is and we need to know very quickly," said Kristina Llewellyn, a social development studies professor at the University of Waterloo.
She said parents need a plan, since they are currently in limbo. Llewellyn added families of vulnerable or marginalized children are especially affected by the uncertainty.
"Particularly those who are low income have great concerns about how they're going to go into the fall if there is not a full return," Llewellyn said.
Of the parents polled, 81 per cent said they want teachers wearing face masks if they return to the classroom and 65 per cent would like students to wear masks. Eighty-two per cent also said they'd like children to have their temperatures taken and 77 per cent supported the idea of screening questionnaires.
School boards in Waterloo Region are preparing for all scenarios as they wait for the province to decide on the back-to-school plan.