Fall 2021 marked a wholly unusual back-to-school season. As America’s youth packed up their Chromebooks and returned to in-person schooling, we invited students from districts across the country to reflect on their experience through YouthTruth surveys. We are asking students a new timely question this year: “The COVID pandemic has changed learning for many students. Is there anything that you think your school should know about how this change has been for you or that your school can do to help you during this period of change?” We analyzed over 11,000 high school student comments shared through our October and November survey rounds. Five themes emerged:
- Friends & Social Skills
- Mental Health
- Sense of Loss
- Masks & Mandates
- Future Plans
We invite you to explore 100 evocative student comments representing these themes In Students’ Own Words here.
We hope this window into students’ experiences inspires reflection, conversation, and ideas about how to continue supporting students this spring.