Tuesday, December 15, 2020 - 12:55 pm
Director of Secondary Education Laura Love and Director of Student Services Barb Buffington provided information regarding the District's responses to feedback from students, families and staff at the Board of Education meeting on Monday, Dec. 14.
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.
Love noted changes are underway based on survey data received from stakeholders in late October.
Love reviewed some common themes from the survey of secondary students and families, noting they want more support for technology, students wanting less screen time but appreciating time with teachers, students needing at least one adult at school to provide support, more strategies for social-emotional learning and mental health.
She also noted instructional staff reported spending long hours planning and teaching.
Love shared a couple of anecdotes, including students staying after a virtual class last week to connect further with the teacher. "Our staff's commitment to students and families is unwavering and always comes first,'' she said.
Love noted the survey data was reviewed by school improvement teams and building leadership. Those teams also meet regularly to monitor attendance, online participation and student progress.
Staff are working to build in additional social-emotional learning into classes to help students. Buffington reviewed some of the social-emotional supports already in place and also how staff are helping families and caregivers support their students.
Deputy Superintendent Sherri Cyra reviewed enhancements at the elementary level. She noted the Board received information from Superintendent Dana Monogue and families received a letter from Director of Elementary Education Rainey Briggs last week explaining the enhancements that will begin on Jan. 4 to the K-4 virtual instructional model., including more synchronous work, which means less time on Seesaw for students. Student services staff will follow up with students who have IEPs based on schedule changes.
Members wondered if it is worth making changes to virtual learning with some elementary students scheduled to return later in January. Briggs noted the District is trying to be responsive to what families indicated they wanted on the survey. He also noted even if the enhancements only occur for a few weeks it is worthwhile and shows families the District is listening to their feedback.