Skip to main content

Lesson Learned: 70% of Parents Want Post-Pandemic Online School Option

New survey from Stride, Inc. shows parents found schools unprepared for pandemic; 91% want multiple education choices for their kids

According to a survey conducted by Stride, Inc. (NYSE: LRN), the pandemic has changed the way parents look at their children’s education and most want more options to choose from - including a virtual option - going forward.

“There’s no question that the pandemic turned the public education system completely on its head. The events of the past year forced parents and schools across the country to recognize that the future of education is digital – a trend we saw coming two decades ago,” said James Rhyu, CEO at Stride. “As with any large scale digital innovation, there’s little wonder why parents don’t want to go back to the way things were.”

When schools across the country were forced to shift online in the Spring of 2020, technical challenges and a steep learning curve impacted educational continuity for millions of students. Despite the best efforts of school districts nationwide, results from the national survey show that parents felt let down by brick and mortar schools. And even though no one could have predicted a global pandemic, parents want better in the future.

  • A majority (64%) of parents agree that U.S. public schools have demonstrated that they are ill-prepared to shift from the classroom to online learning in the event of scenarios that lead to school closures.
  • An overwhelming majority (89%) of parents believe that public schools should be prepared and equipped to shift to online learning in the event of future school closures.
  • And it’s a safe bet that many will be reconsidering traditional learning in favor of virtual going forward: A staggering 91% of parents agree that it’s important for their children to have multiple school options.

As the school year remained online for much of the ‘20-21 school year, many parents have set their sights on alternative education options for their kids going forward. This year, only 13% of K-12 parents used an online school option outside of their public school’s shift to virtual learning, but almost two-thirds of parents would consider full-time online public school as an alternative in the future; 45% would consider online private school, and more than 70% would consider a hybrid model that blends online and in-person learning.

When it comes to those online learning options, data shows that parents want to go with an expert. More than two-thirds of parents indicated they would consider a more established online option for their child over their public school’s solution. And while many students at traditional schools suffered from the ‘COVID slide,’ a recent report shows that students at Stride K12-powered schools maintained or progressed further than their peers.

“There’s a huge difference in the learning outcomes at brick and mortar schools that scrambled to go virtual when compared with a seasoned online learning platform,” added Rhyu. “Parents have obviously taken note and will be expecting much more from schools going forward – including full-time virtual learning or hybrid models that meet the diverse needs of students.”

Interviews for this research were conducted online between March 26 - April 1, 2021 from a national sample of 1,023 Kindergarten – 12th grade parents in the U.S. by Stride, Inc. in partnership with third party research provider Qualtrics. Respondents were surveyed using an online research panel method across a combination of computer, mobile, and tablet devices. Survey questions were administered in English. To ensure accurate representation of the U.S. K-12 parent population, sampling parameters based on U.S. Census data were used on key variables that include gender, ethnicity, education level, income, employment, and student grade level. The results have a calculated error margin of ±3%.

About Stride, Inc.

At Stride, Inc. (NYSE: LRN) we are reimagining learning – where learning is lifelong, deeply personal, and prepares learners for tomorrow. The company has transformed the teaching and learning experience for millions of people by providing innovative, high-quality, tech-enabled education solutions, curriculum, and programs directly to students, schools, the military, and enterprises in primary, secondary, and post-secondary settings. Stride is a premier provider of K-12 education for students, schools, and districts, including career learning services through middle and high school curriculum. For adult learners, Stride delivers professional skills training in healthcare and technology, as well as staffing and talent development for Fortune 500 companies. Stride has delivered millions of courses over the past decade and serves learners in all 50 states and more than 100 countries. The company is a proud sponsor of the Future of School, a nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the gap between the pace of technology and the pace of change in education. More information can be found at,,,, and

Lesson learned: New survey from @Stridelearn shows 70% of parents want post-pandemic online school options.


Emily Riordan

Director, Corporate Communications

Stride, Inc.

Data & News supplied by
Stock quotes supplied by Barchart
Quotes delayed at least 20 minutes.
By accessing this page, you agree to the following
Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.