Survey finds most Enumclaw parents and guardians want their kids to keep learning in person

Mask wearing, WIAA policies are more controversial.

Most Enumclaw School District parents and guardians want in-person schooling and don’t agree with mandating vaccines, but opinions on mask wearing are split right down the middle, according to a recent district study.

Those are just some of the highlights of the survey, which polled hundreds of parents and guardians on a wide range of COVID-19 safety measures.

The outcomes of the survey won’t change any of the district’s current policies, but they will be shared with the community and with other decision-making organizations, according to the school district.

Rules about mask wearing and vaccinations have consistently come from the state level, and Enumclaw school officials have said they don’t have the legal power to override the governor or public health officers during the time of a public health emergency.

Of the 773 respondents, 66 (9 percent) had preschool-age students, 471 (61 percent) had elementary-age students, 288 (37 percent) had middle-schoolers and 278 (36 percent) had high-schoolers.

The full survey results are attached to the bottom of this article, and the following interactive chart shows the questions re-organized in order of how many respondents agreed with each question.


The clearest takeaway from the survey is that most parents and guardians likely want to keep their kids in school, in person.

The lion’s share of respondents — around 95 percent — agreed or strongly agreed that learning in person is good for their students’ social and emotional wellbeing. Only 12 respondents strongly disagreed.

Overall, 88 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that their students are safe attending school in-person, and 80 percent agreed or strongly agreed there are adequate safety protocols to keep students safe from COVID. Most respondents — about 85 percent — agreed or strongly agreed that their families receive enough information about testing and returning to school when asked to isolate or quarantine.


No issue divided parents and guardians as equally as mask-wearing. And mandatory COVID vaccination, especially for children, isn’t popular.

Forty-nine percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that staff and students should wear masks. Fifty-one percent disagreed or strongly disagreed. And only about a third of respondents didn’t feel “strongly” about their response, regardless of whether they agreed or disagreed with mask wearing.

When it came to requirements that staff receive COVID-19 vaccination, 62 percent of respondents disagreed or strongly disagreed with the idea. That number jumped to 68 percent when it came to the idea of students being required to get the vaccine.

A more modest majority (59 percent) of respondents disagreed or strongly disagreed with the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) policy requiring athletes, coaches, trainers and support staff to be tested three times a week for the coronavirus.


A little over 300 respondents gave additional feedback in the survey, sharing a wide range of thoughts, hopes, concerns and feedback.

A few common themes show up: Gratitude for the teachers who have navigated teaching during the pandemic, pleas to remove mask wearing requirements, concerns that mask wearing is too lax at the high school level, and the possibility of many parents un-enrolling their students if vaccines become mandated.

Here’s a selection of what parents and guardians had to say, edited for space. (The full results are attached below.)

“I feel like the elementary and middle schools do a pretty good job of following safety protocols. However, the observations my high schooler share makes me worry. I’ve considered pulling him out of in-person several times because of the lack of adherence to covid safety protocols at the high school.”

“I am tired of my children being treated like they are bad kids, by being literally being yelled at and given lunch detention, because their mask falls below the nose. There are many teachers that don’t abide by the same rules and some that will actually take their mask down to tell the kids to pull up their mask up. My kids are not bad kids, they just want to breathe.”

“I am neutral on a few of these questions, but that wasn’t an option.”

“I just want to be done with this pandemic, our family has done literally everything we can to avoid catching and spreading this virus and it’s intensely demoralizing to witness the vast majority of my community failing to understand the severity of the situation on a seemingly fundamental level.”

“Enforce vaccines as a requirement to attend school for 5 and up just like all other vaccines. You have the power to stop the absences and increase the test scores for our district.”

“Medical advice and interventions should not be part of our school system. This should be solely between the parents and their personal doctors. Completely left up to the parents choice.”

“We appreciate the Enumclaw school district who has gone through some very difficult times to help keep our schools open and safe. … We support both sides, people who choose to get vaccinated and people who choose not to. However, we do not support the state mandating any medical decisions for any of us. The hard part is that this has become so divided when it really shouldn’t be.”

“When they mandate the vaccine for students I will be un-enrolling mine from the Enumclaw School District. It is too dangerous of a vaccine to give to kids.”

“We’re very happy that our son is attending school in person, this is very important to us. We’re also happy with the COVID precautions that are in place.”

“Obviously staying in person is best practice, and what we all want, but there should be some metric of positive cases in classes/schools that would unfortunately dictate online learning. Please continue to put our children’s safety first because that is who we all care about most.”

“I feel the dashboard does not provide accurate or truthful reporting on in school spread. My child and 4 of her friends contracted Covid from another friend they only see in school. The contact tracer never asked where we believe my student contracted Covid and the dashboard didn’t reflect in school spread.”

“My daughter reports that there are students in her class that pretend to wear masks but they do not cover their nose, and they intimidate the teacher if she asks them to over their nose and mouth, to the point that they refuse.”

“I know many parents that want to volunteer or even Sub but they can’t because of the vaccine mandate. If this madness does not end, the district will lose major funding by a mass exodus from public school.”

“You are doing a great job for our kids! So thankful for everything the staff is doing! You are the best!”