The latest “reopening” update from Northborough and Southborough Public Schools shared results from recent family surveys.
Responses indicated that most parents would be willing to send children to school if it reopens fully, but many were undecided, and some unwilling. Significantly more stated willingness to participate in a hybrid model. For transportation, just under half of respondents would use the school bus to transport kids.
Results shared in the Friday email from Superintendent Gregory Martineau didn’t break out responses by towns or grade level.
Data from the most recent survey showed 2,644 responses. That represents about 60% of students in the three combined districts.*
The July survey asked parents to indicate whether or not they would allow their children to participate in 100% in person learning or a hybrid model with only half the students in the school at a time. The school shared the results in four charts with tables, which I distilled to the following two (click to enlarge):
The email also included results from an early June survey on hybrid learning models. The district was seeking feedback on how the school should schedule split attendance. Parents and students were asked to state a preference for alternating days or alternating weeks. According to the response, 55.6% preferred alternating between a day at home and a day of remote learning. (See image right.)
Only 1,711 responses were tallied for that survey, representing about 39% of the district.* The survey didn’t gauge how important selections were to respondents. It did encourage participants to explain why they supported the model they selected and share other important feedback. The results shared in the district’s email didn’t summarize those written responses.
[Editor’s Note: A reader asked me to encourage readers to comment on the hybrid model choices. I’ll kick that off with my personal comment below.]
The update issued on Friday evening noted that the district expects to have its reopening model to share the week of August 2nd. In the meantime, below is their update on efforts, including a link to a Table of Contents for the reopening plan. (The TOC gives a snapshot of all of the details that the district has to work out in order to make any kind of reopening possible.):
I want to thank families for completing the Fall School Reopening survey. These data are essential as we continue to develop our District’s reopening plans. In full transparency, I have included a summary of the survey results, as well as the summary of results of the 2020-2021 Fall Reopening: Hybrid Models survey. I apologize for the number of surveys, however, it is essential that we hear from all stakeholders.
As we plan for reopening, our work centers around seven principles, with the health and safety of our faculty, staff, students, and families being the most important. The seven principles are:
- Prioritize the physical, social, and emotional well-being of the school community, students, families, faculty, and staff
- Foster engaging learning opportunities for all students
- Address the needs of students who are English learners and students with disabilities
- Provide additional support to our most vulnerable student populations
- Provide for adaptability and coherence in how we deliver instruction to respond to changing health metrics
- Address the professional learning of our faculty and staff
- Attend to the experiences and needs of all stakeholders by providing opportunities for feedback and reflection
Our work this week continued to focus on planning for three reopening models: in-person, hybrid, and remote. We’ve made significant progress and will share a reopening plan with families during the week of August 2nd. We continue to rely on the medical experts as we develop our District’s plans and are carefully monitoring the health data. We will be prepared to pivot if circumstances change.
I would like to share with the community the District’s Reopening Guide Table of Contents, as it will provide an overview of what the final plan will include. Again, I appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to prepare for launching the 2020-2021 academic year.
*Updated (7/22/20 2:46 pm): Originally, my figures for survey participation were a little higher because my enrollment figures were lower (see original language below). Since writing the post, the Superintendent replied to an email I sent asking for the combined enrollment for next year. He lists that as 4,375. That lowers survey participation from 64% and 41% to 60% and 39%.
The Superintendent’s enrollment reports posted for school committee meetings in June project enrollment for the next school year as 4,136 students (1,178 in Southborough K-8, 1,548 in Northborough K-8, and 1,410 in Algonquin Regional High School). The survey asked parents to complete one survey per student in the schools.