It’s doubtful that the results of YouthTruth’s national survey of students in grades 5 through 12 regarding spring’s lockdown and all-remote schooling will surprise the parents of school-aged kids and/or their teachers.

For instance:

  • While 87% successfully handled the mechanics of accessing their schoolwork,
  • Just 79% turned in their homework,
  • And only 50% were able to focus on their learning.


  • While 51% said teachers gave them assignments that really helped them learn,
  • Just 39% said they learned “almost every day,
  • 64% complained they’d had to deal with daily distractions, and
  • 50% felt depressed, stressed, and/or anxious.

And while…

  • 57% of the 5th graders felt motivated,
  • Just 26% of the 12th graders did.

As one high schooler summed up the remote school experience: “I have no motivation and assignments are just filler work with not much learning.”

Also troubling:

  • Just 30% felt they were part of their school’s community, and
  • Only 38% spent any time outside,
  • 34% ate regular meals,
  • 33% got enough physical activity, and
  • 45% got enough sleep.

The only sort-of good news:

  • 61% had teachers who were available for extra help when needed, and
  • 54% had contact with a school adult they could confide in.

Concludes the organization’s Executive Director Jen Wilka, “There is a critical opportunity now to listen to and learn from students’ lived experiences during this unprecedented time. As we navigate the challenges ahead and adapt to new learning models, student voice and equity must be central to the way school is re-imagined.”

But are we succeeding as long-distance instruction resumes in countless schools?

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