by Christina Muñoz
With the prevalence of virtual learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, students’ home and school lives merged and so did their stressors. From the pressure to help siblings and family members to the lack of consistent broadband or personal space for schoolwork, students have been under incredible stress.
Preliminary findings from a ground-breaking participatory action-based research study covering San Antonio students show that more than 71% of survey respondents consider virtual and remote learning as contributing more stress than in-person school.
Students have struggled to keep up with their work and stay in touch with their peers, leading to a harsh reduction in student engagement. Limited social interaction impacts students’ attention and interest in school in general. A Texas Education Agency (TEA) report found that 11% of the state student population (more than 600,000 public school students) were disengaged from their classwork or unresponsive to teacher and school outreach.
Schools and communities need viable solutions to address student mental health and wellness and the impact on academic engagement. IDRA advocates for legislation to bring these students relief and stability.