(BPT) - Sponsored by Office Depot
With summer winding down, back-to-school season is in full swing. After a year of distance learning, parents and teachers are preparing for students to resume in-person education — but with some trepidation.
A recent survey by OnePoll for Office Depot has highlighted some distinct worries from both teachers and parents. Of the 2,000 respondents — 1,000 parents of school-aged children and 1,000 K-12 teachers — 54% acknowledged high anxiety for the 2021-22 school year.
For teachers, academics is the main concern. More than half of teachers worry that students have fallen behind in the past year, and nine of 10 teachers say their primary focus right now is to get students back on track. At the same time, over 90% of teachers also say classroom inclusivity and helping students feel more confident in their return to school is of critical importance starting this fall.
Parents, on the other hand, are worried more about protecting their children’s health and safety. Half of parent respondents reported that their biggest fear involves their child contracting COVID-19, while 40% listed the safety and cleanliness of the school is a key concern.
With many outstanding questions and uncertainties at play, getting ready to return to school this year can feel a bit daunting. That’s why family communication, preparation and supplies are key. More than half of parents said they are talking through concerns with their children and positioning their school routine in a positive light.
According to the survey, 79% of parents say that having the right supplies will help their child feel confident when they return to school this year with 54% buying supplies earlier than before.
While purchasing notebooks, pens, pencils, Chromebooks, headphones and the traditional back-to-school essentials this year, supplies will also include sanitizer and cleaning wipes. Being able to find everything their children need in one place is making preparation easy for parents, especially through convenient shopping and delivery options. Office Depot, for instance, offers 30-minute in-store and curbside pickup with same-day delivery available in some markets as well.
Teachers are also concerned about supplying and preparing their classrooms, according to the survey. Many expect to spend an average of $285.50 of their own money on supplies this year, while one in five will spend $401 or more.
"We know teachers are working hard to get their students back on track after last year. We want to help them get the most value for their budgets and assist them in creating an optimal educational experience for their students,” says John Gannfors, executive vice president and chief merchandising and supply chain officer for Office Depot. “Office Depot is committed to helping students and teachers get everything they need to teach and learn wherever, whenever all season long.”
This year, going back to school will take some agility and flexibility on everyone’s parts — parents, students and teachers. However, planning ahead can make the transition much easier along with the right supplies and resources that will help make every child feel confident and ready to conquer the year from anywhere.
For students, parents and teachers looking to ace the year ahead, visit www.officedepot.com/school.