Johns Hopkins has been awarded a $1.47 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study parents’ perceptions of Covid-19 safety measures in schools.
The one-year study will focus on eight school systems in Maryland, including Baltimore City Public Schools, with high populations of underserved residents.
Researchers from Morgan State University, the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and four different programs at Hopkins will run the study.
The researchers will hold community conversations, surveys, and focus groups to determine what makes parents willing to let their children return to in-person school and comply with public health measures.
It will focus on parents of students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
“COVID-19 policies, particularly school return guidelines and mitigation efforts like vaccination and testing, vary across school systems,” Sara Johnson, director of the Rales Center and an associate professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in a statement.
“We will be able to evaluate these differences and understand what strategies help parents feel most comfortable in the return to in-person school, and why some approaches are more successful than others,” she said.
Researchers will use the data and input from communities to design a locally tailored public health messaging campaign.
The results, along with recommendations and community resources, will be provided to school systems.