What we heard; return to school plans
5/29/2020 -- In the past few weeks, we received over 10,000 thoughts from parents, staff and students from our community Thoughtexchange. Your feedback will help us tremendously as we prepare for the future. For example, we have already started planning for improvements to online learning experiences.
What we Heard
Learning online during this emergency closure was a challenge for everyone. You shared that it served a purpose given the circumstances. We also know when we use online or distance learning in the future, we can certainly improve. We heard these major themes regarding online learning:
- More interaction between teachers and students is needed. More than 1,000 thoughts were shared on this topic alone. We need to create more opportunities for students to connect with teachers and peers, including live instruction and recorded lessons to make online learning more like the classroom.
- Parents and students shared challenges with too many online platforms, resources and websites.
- Teachers were concerned with how to effectively engage students in learning online and how to increase student participation and motivation. We heard that grading and expectations for our students should be improved in the future if students are learning online.
Right now, we are heavily planning for what a return to school this fall will look like for students and staff. It’s too early to know what will be most appropriate based on health guidelines at the time, so we are planning for multiple scenarios, action steps and responses.
Watch this video for an update on our plans as we return to school this fall. While we continue to plan this summer, what I can tell you right now is:
- We will begin our 2020-21 calendar, as planned, on Monday, August 24.
- It’s important to have the most current information to make the best decisions for our students and staff. Therefore, we will make final decisions about school operations in mid-July.
What do you Prefer?
We also want to make sure our plans are consistent with the needs and preferences of our staff, students and parents. So we want to know how you feel about a return to school and preferences for your family. Please complete this important Return to School survey by June 7. We will likely ask for your feedback at additional times this summer as we plan for the upcoming school year. This will include more specific questions as we work to meet the needs of each student and staff member.
Our summer work is certainly different this year. Please know that we are working diligently to develop plans that will maximize learning for our students while also maximizing the health of our community. We will stay in touch over the coming weeks and months to share updates and information with you.
Thank you for your ongoing support, grace and understanding as we plan for the months ahead. I’m so grateful to be in a community that continues to champion our schools, students and staff. I’m confident we will work together to overcome any challenge ahead in the best interest of our children.