BRUNSWICK, Ohio — The Brunswick City School District is checking in with parents, students and staff members for their opinions of online learning in the wake of more than two months of canceled classroom time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I want to thank the close to 1,400 parents who took the time to complete our remote learning parent survey last week. Your responses have provided us with valuable information as it relates to online learning as well as future planning,” Superintendent Michael Mayell wrote in a May 28 letter to parents and students.
The survey looked both backward and forward, with questions ranging from the overall effectiveness of distance learning to a question about whether parents would send their child to school if the student was required to wear a mask all day, should classroom instruction return in 2020-2021.
On a scale of very effective, effective, ineffective and very ineffective, the majority of respondents — 57.2 percent — felt distance learning was “effective.”
Likewise, the largest percentage of parents, 41.3 percent, responded that instruction “went O.K.,” and gave favorable marks to the effectiveness of teachers’ hours (59.1 percent approval) and the amount of work given (69.5 percent favorable).
The area of greatest concern for the largest percentage of parents (43.6 percent) was student preparedness for next year.
With regard to the question of mask wearing, 46 percent of parents said they would allow it, 22.8 percent said they would not send their child to school if there were a mask-wearing requirement and 31.3 percent responded “unsure.”
The district is asking that students complete a similar online survey by June 5, with the staff survey to be conducted “in the near future,” Mayell said.
“As we look to the future, there is only one certainty: School will look very different than it did before March 16, 2020,” Mayell said in the parent-student letter. “The Ohio Department of Education is collaborating with the Ohio Department of Health and Gov. (Mike) DeWine’s Office to provide clear guidance as to how schools will need to operate in all aspects of students’ and employees’ daily experience.
“This guidance, which is in draft form, includes physical and social distancing, daily health checks, use of personal protective equipment (face masks), daily hygiene habits, cleaning and sanitizing throughout the day and at the end of the day, attendance policies related to coronavirus symptoms, and teaching and learning from home whenever possible.”
Mayell said this guidance is “not locally determined” and should be finalized in the near future. He encouraged parents to contact state officials to share specific concerns.
“Our district is in the process of analyzing various sources of information in an effort to develop recommendations for the start of the 2020-2021 school year,” Mayell wrote. “When decisions have been finalized for how our district will begin the 2020-21 school year, we will communicate accordingly, but please know that the situation is fluid.
“Whatever decision is made, it will be based on multiple factors and regulations. The safety and security of our students and staff is always our top priority and guides all decisions made.”
A different looking end of the year
Meanwhile, the 2019-2020 school year ended with a number of unique ceremonies, including a drive-through clap-out, replacing the traditional senior class elementary school walk-through clap-outs.
Students and families decorated their cars and drove through the Brunswick High School parking lot May 21 as staff members “clapped” the Class of 2020 out while adhering to social distancing measures.
On May 16-18, seniors participated in graduation ceremonies that included students, with five permitted guests, walking across the Brunswick Performing Arts Center stage individually, with all guests required to wear face coverings and maintain social distance.
A virtual graduation ceremony broadcast was aired Sunday (May 31) on the Brunswick Cable BEAT Channel and the district’s YouTube channel. DVDs of the ceremony are also available through the BEAT studio, upon request.
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