Thursday, November 19, 2020 - 8:51 am
Director of Curriculum, Assessment, and 4K MaryBeth Paulisse and Director of Communications Perry Hibner shared the results of separate stakeholder surveys to staff, families, and students in grades 5-12 at the Board of Education regular meeting on Monday, Nov. 16.
Board president Annette Ashley presided over the meeting at the District Services Center, while other Board members participated remotely. The School Board has been meeting virtually since mid-March.
The surveys were offered from Oct. 26 to Nov. 2, Hibner noted. Each survey had approximately 25 questions. Nearly 700 staff members and 1,700 students completed their respective surveys. Families were asked to fill out one survey for each school-aged child in their household and nearly 50 percent participated.
Paulisse noted the majority of families with elementary students indicated their children were spending 1-2 hours per day on synchronous learning, while secondary students were spending at least 3-4 hours per day. The majority of elementary families indicated they wanted an increase in synchronous instruction, while the majority of secondary families indicated the amount of live learning was appropriate.
Families indicated the top challenges their children were facing with virtual instruction was not enough interaction with staff and online platform challenges, Paulisse said.
Most families indicated their child will definitely return or most likely will return depending on safety protocols if students return to in-person instruction. The blended model selected appears to not be a big factor in that decision, Paulisse said. She also noted based on the results the District can expect to see some students switch instructional models if MCPASD returns to in-person instruction. Depending on the age of children, about 25-33 percent of families indicated they have no concern about returning to in-person instruction.
About one-third of staff indicated they are spending 3-4 hours a day on synchronous learning and about 50 percent are spending more than 4 hours a day. Staff indicated they are working more hours and experiencing more stress compared to a normal school year, Paulisse said. About 64 percent of teaching and other certified staff reported not having enough time to plan and that much of their planning time is used to create materials and lessons for virtual instruction
About half of all staff indicated they definitely would return should students return to in-person instruction. There were some staff who indicated they might not return and a few who said they definitely would not return. Staff members who indicated they aren't sure about returning also had more concerns about the safety protocols than staff who plan to return.
A majority of secondary students indicated they are spending 3-4 hours a day online. Students felt that it was the right amount of instruction, although many did feel there was too much screen time and reported screen fatigue. Students also reported spending an average of 3-4 hours with asynchronous learning. Students indicated their top challenges were reliable internet access and learning platform issues.
Paulisse noted staff and family survey results have already been shared with District and building leaders. Principals and District administrators are reviewing the data to determine how to improve the virtual learning experience for students and families, Hibner said. Student survey results are also available to building leaders at the middle and high schools along with their respective school social workers to make sure additional support is provided to those students who requested it through the survey.
Board members spent about 30 minutes asking questions and providing feedback about the survey results. The Board also asked that administration provide regular updates on virtual learning, similar to what has been happening with the pandemic planning update.