In-Person Learning Survey: The Results are In

In-Person Learning Survey: The Results are In
Posted on 10/19/2020
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oct survey results graphicLakota Local Schools could not have completed its first quarter, offering both in-person and virtual learning options, without valuable feedback from parents, staff and students.

 

There were 4,180 responses to Lakota’s in-person learning survey that closed on Oct. 12. “We appreciate the continued high number of responses from our in-person learning community. We are in unprecedented times and it is important that all of us work together to make any needed adjustments,” said Superintendent Matthew Miller. He noted that a second semester commitment form for VLO is also now underway.

 

Parents and guardians accounted for 73.5 percent of the respondents, with students and staff making up 11.5 and 15 percent respectively.

 

When asked about feeling safe at school, 92.4 percent responded that they or their child felt “very safe” or “pretty safe,” consistent with the survey taken after the second week of school. Safety continues to be a top priority for Lakota, and protocols and guidelines are constantly updated to provide the safest learning environment for students and staff. Miller continues to meet regularly with the Butler County health commissioner for the latest information. Recent examples include playgrounds being open for use with precautions and music classes moving indoors.


The district also asked how much the new safety protocols (such as facial coverings and physical distancing), impact student learning. In the recent survey, 86.2 percent responded “not at all” or “a little bit,” similar to previous surveys.

 

The impact of the safety protocols on daily routines such as lunch has lessened over the last month. After week two, 23 percent of respondents indicated that lunch was significantly impacted, compared to 19.5 percent after eight weeks of school.

 

What have been the biggest challenges so far? Respondents answered with 65.6 saying physical distancing is difficult to maintain and 35.6 percent felt that there were not enough opportunities for mask breaks. There were also comments that it will be even more difficult to do mask breaks once the cold weather settles in; building principals are currently working on solutions for mask breaks in the winter.

 

Questions have remained fairly consistent over the first three surveys to allow for comparisons over time, but a new question was added in the latest questionnaire about the effectiveness of Lakota’s communication about COVID-19. Results showed that 79.5 percent felt that communications were “very effective” or “effective.” Lakota is continually looking at ways to make sure the community is informed; click here to let us know how we can best keep you informed about COVID-19 updates, guidelines and practices.


The only COVID statistic that Lakota is required to report by the state is the number of positive cases in our schools. “Lakota’s COVID-19 dashboard (updated every Monday) has always included information that goes well beyond that requirement,” said Robb Vogelmann, assistant superintendent and head of the district’s COVID response team. “Based on feedback, we’ve recently expanded the dashboard to show all students and staff who are quarantined regardless of whether it is related to a positive case in-school or out, as well as those who have recently traveled to high-risk locations.”


Guidance from the Butler County Health Department (BCHD) says that those individuals classified as high-risk for the spread of the virus must be quarantined for 14 days. High risk means a person has been named a close contact of a positive case either in-school or out-of-school. Close contact is defined as being within six feet of the person who has tested positive for a total of 15 minutes.

 

Many respondents were concerned about the rules for quarantining and how it affects their students’ learning. “Our positive cases remain relatively low considering the size of our district,” said Miller. “And we have not found that our quarantined cases have gone on to become positive.” Miller is hoping that the state may revise the quarantining guidelines. Gov. DeWine recently announced a study of districts across Ohio to review whether or not in-person learning is causing the virus to spread.


Overall, 63.8 percent of respondents said that Lakota has done a great job preparing for in-person learning and an additional 30.1 percent say that the district is going in the right direction. “There are constantly new challenges that arise, including the upcoming colder weather, and Lakota is working to prepare for those challenges,” said Miller. “We appreciate the flexibility that our students, parents and staff have shown adapting to this new learning environment.”