June 11, 2020
Dear EPS Families and Staff,
My purpose for writing today is to share the results of our 2020-2021 Back to School Planning Survey. Nearly 9,000 parents completed the survey providing crucial input that is already assisting us as we develop and refine our instructional plans for the upcoming school year.
As mentioned in my email last week, we are planning for a traditional school year, with reasonable changes to minimize the spread of COVID-19. We are also planning to offer a blended model of instruction, utilizing face-to-face teaching and distance learning, as well as a virtual learning model, in case the pandemic forces school closure or partial closure.
Key findings of the survey are as follows:
- 85% of respondents want their children to return to a traditional classroom setting with face-to-face instruction.
- If COVID-19 results in significant restrictions or partial shutdown of schools this fall, 90% of parents prefer that their child(ren) receive a blended model of instruction (virtual and face-to-face instruction) rather than just virtual instruction.
- 68% of parents will allow their child (ren) to eat lunch in a school cafeteria.
- A majority of respondents (76% middle school, 82% high school, 65% elementary school) will allow their child (ren) to participate in extracurricular activities.
- Parents’ top concerns about distance learning are as follows: motivating students to learn, students’ mental health, parent requirements to complete distance learning, and finding adequate childcare.
Despite an overwhelming desire for their child(ren) to return to a traditional classroom setting, the survey also revealed that parents are simultaneously worried about their child(ren) contracting the virus. Parents’ top three safety concerns about their child(ren) returning to school are:
- Enduring restrictions (e.g. having to stay in the classroom for lunch)
- Being exposed to Coronavirus at school
- Falling behind academically
- Wearing a mask (elementary parents only)
While we can’t be sure what the virus will bring in August and moving forward, we can assure you that every effort is being made to ensure a safe return to school. I am very proud of our employees who are working diligently to design and implement our back-to-school plans. The challenges brought about by this pandemic are significant and the variables that employees are juggling are immense, but please be assured that student and staff safety is at the heart of every decision.
Thank you for your patience and understanding at this time. Remember, if you have a question that cannot be answered by school site personnel, please reach out to us at Covid19@edmondschools.net. Until our next communication, please stay safe and take care of yourselves.
June 4, 2020
Dear EPS Families,
I hope this message finds you enjoying a well-deserved summer break. Even though it’s months away, I know many of you already have questions about the fall semester, which is understandable. We miss our students, and we are excited about the 2020-21 school year as well. Please know we are putting together multiple plans to ensure we can safely serve students when they return on August 13.
We will continue to work with local and state health and education officials to be sure the measures we put in place will meet the specific needs of our community and district, as well as comply with the required guidelines.
A traditional school year, with reasonable changes to minimize the spread of COVID-19, is being planned. We are also planning for a blended model of instruction, utilizing both face-to-face teaching and distance learning, as well as a virtual learning model, in case the pandemic forces us to close down again. Our distance learning options would not be like the dashboard we rolled out last March. Instead, each teacher will be responsible for providing instruction for his/her students and assessing their learning. In order to be prepared for this, we have set up a number of working committees to create detailed plans for how to deliver education safely and efficiently.
Your input and feedback will be essential as we move forward. Here you will find a survey for elementary, middle, and high school. Please fill out one survey for each level in which you have a student enrolled. We will use this input to help us develop our instructional plans.
Over the next two months, we’ll keep you informed about our planning progress by posting updates at www.edmondschools.net. Even our most effective planning will be subject to change as new information about COVID-19 becomes known. While no one can predict the future, there is one thing I can guarantee: Edmond will focus on creating a school environment that protects the safety of our students and staff.
Thank you for your assistance with this survey and please keep checking your email and our district website for updates as we move through the summer.