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Monday numbers: A closer look at COVID’s ripple effect as students return to the classroom

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Image: Adobe Stock

Today marks the start of the new school year for those on the traditional calendar. But with the highly contagious Delta variant, many are wondering what this academic year will look like for the more than 1.4 million students attending public schools in North Carolina.

A new report by the Kaiser Family Foundation’s [2] COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor examines parents’ assessment of the mental and financial toll the pandemic has taken on their children.

The findings paint a picture of some of the challenges teachers, school psychologists and support staff will face as children return to the classroom.

The financial worries articulated by parents in the report also underscore a desire to keep children safe, but in a school setting with high-quality teaching.

Read questions and methodology from the KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor here [3]; more information is available in KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor: Parents And The Pandemic. [4]

39 — Percentage of parents of children ages 5 and over who say at least one of their children fell behind academically in the last 12 months

36 — Percentage of parents who say their child fell behind in their social and emotional development

29 — Percentage of parents who say their child experienced mental health or behavioral problems because of the pandemic

27 — Percentage of parents who reported their children had more difficulty concentrating on schoolwork in the past 12 months than they had not experienced before the pandemic

19 — Percentage of parents who reported their child had problems with nervousness or being easily scared or worried

18 — Percentage of parents who reported their child had trouble sleeping in the past 12 months, which they had not been experiencing before the pandemic

49 — Percentage of lower-income parents who say their child exhibited one of these mental health symptoms in the past 12 months, which were not present before the pandemic

1 in 10 — Number of parents who say they thought their child needed mental health services over the past year, but did not get help. Parents cited reasons such as the inability to find a provider, time away from work, and costs of care.

1 in 6 — Number of parents, or roughly 17%, who say their child received mental health services in the past 12 months

1,211 to 1 — Estimated ratio of students per school psychologist in the U.S. (Source: National Center for Education Statistics)

1,900 to 1 — North Carolina’s estimated ratio of students per school psychologist

4 in 10 — Number of parents who say they or another adult in their household were forced to change their work schedule or leave their job to provide childcare in the past year

1 in 5 — Number of respondents say the adult who left their job or changed their schedule to provide child care is still not working or continues to work reduced hours

51 — Percentage of Black parents with young children who say their household suffered a job disruption due to childcare needs in the past year

43 — Percentage of Latino parents with young children who say their household suffered a job disruption due to childcare needs in the past year

32 — Percentage of of white parents with young children who say their household suffered a job disruption due to childcare needs in the past year

30 — Percentage of  North Carolina children ages 12-17 who have been vaccinated against COVID-19
(Source: NCDHHS [5])

Additional findings from the August KFF study include:

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(Source: KFF Vaccine Monitor kff.org)
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(Source: KFF Vaccine Monitor kff.org)
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(Source: KFF Vaccine Monitor kff.org)