ISD 728 Families Provide Positive Feedback on Distance Learning
ISD 728 conducted a year-end survey with parents, students and teachers from around the Distirct in an effort to collect feeback on Distance Learning, which took place from mid-March through early-June as the state of Minnesota responsed to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Overall, feedback was positive, with the majority of parents and students defining their Distance Learning experience as “good,” “very good” or “excellent.
Students and parents also rated the District’s response efforts highly, saying teachers and staff provided ample technology, plenty of information and access to instruction and a consistent schedule.
However, parents and students did have a collective concern about time management and consistency. Many parents said they’re worried about the time commitment required to manage learners during Distance Learning.
Three surveys issued in mid-June to parents, students and staff contained a variety of questions related to the Distance Learning experiences that individuals had. A total of 1512 parents, 1504 students, and 425 teachers completed the survey.
Results from each survey were tabulated and the results are listed below.
Parent Survey Key Findings
Key findings from the parent survey include:
- About 2/3 of parents rated the overall success of Distance Learning as Excellent, Very Good, or Good.
- Parental agreement with access to technology (93%), information received from teachers (87%), and clear expectations from teachers (82%) was very strong.
- Agreement was also strong from parents of special education students with respect to information received from case managers (80%) and meeting individual student needs during distance learning (74%).
- The consistency of the schedule allowed parents to help their children set up routines to keep their children engaged.
- Parents expressed concerns about trying to manage their jobs and supporting their children during Distance Learning.
- Concerns about the different approaches that teachers used (i.e. assignments in different places) caused confusion and frustration for some parents.
Student Survey Key Findings
Student survey key findings include:
- About two-thirds of students rated the overall success of Distance Learning as Excellent, Very Good, or Good.
- In ISD 728, 93 percent of students either strongly agreed or agreed that they had access to necessary technology during distance learning. In addition, more than 82 percent of students agreed that the expectations were clearly communicated by teachers and that the resources were easy to find in Schoology.
- Students really liked the ability to work at their own pace and early technical issues were resolved over time for most students.
- For some students, the flexibility of learning led to motivation and focus struggles and some students still struggled with internet connections and technology issues over the course of Distance Learning.
- Some students reported success with Distance Learning but the loss of connection to school and interaction with peers was difficult for many students.
Staff Survey Key Findings
Key findings from the staff survey include:
- In ISD 728, 88 percent of staff rated the overall success of Distance Learning as Excellent, Very Good, or Good.
- Teacher agreement to statements related to teachers knowing what is expected of them (96%), communication from the district to teachers (95 percent), and access to instructional materials (90%) were all rated very highly by teachers.
- Teacher flexibility to design lessons and to try new technology was reported as a positive by many teachers.
- Google Meet and other technology tools allowed teachers to remain in contact with their students and frequently engage with them.
- Concerns about the amount of differentiation, new technology, and meeting student needs were reported by numerous teachers.
- Concerns about reaching struggling students and students who quit participating in Distance Learning was also reported as a concern by teachers.
Results from these surveys will be reviewed by building and district administrators to identify successes and areas for improvement.