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BOE talks COVID-19 response
Survey of parents and staff reveal divide in how to handle pandemic
School Board 2

MONROE — School District of Monroe staff and parents had the opportunity to provide COVID-19 response feedback to administration through a survey given the week of Nov. 2.

The Board of Education discussed results at the Nov. 9 meeting, at which time 262 staff and around 400 parents had responded.

The survey touched on how the district has handled virtual schooling and what staff and parents think the best way to proceed will be.

For both the parent/guardian survey and the staff survey, answers varied greatly between respondents.

On an administrative level, the mixed responses make it difficult for District Administrator Rick Waski. 

In the Nov. 2 survey, 50% of staff respondents stated that they would prefer to remain in Plan B, while 33% said that the district should move to Plan C. Another 16.7% of staff respondents said that they were not sure, as they have seen both pros and cons to each.

“You’re not going to make a decision that’s going to make staff happy,” Waski said. “You know that among the staff you’re leading, a third to a half of them are going to be disappointed.”

Though the school district has received feedback both positive and negative with each decision made this year, overall parental survey results showed that parents are generally happy with the district’s handling of COVID-19.

About 58% of parent respondents stated that, as of the time they took the survey, the school district should be in Plan B the next week, with 22.31% choosing Plan C and 19.74% unsure. 

In some categories, parent responses reflected a more positive feeling in general regarding safety measures and schooling.

Staff responded to the question “I feel as safe as possible in the work place under the current conditions/I feel my child is as safe as possible at school under the current conditions” with an average of 3.68 with one being the lowest and worst score and five being the best. Parents responded with an average of 4.20.

Seen in both categories, those involved with younger grades were more apt to vote for in-person learning when possible. With older students who can better use the technology independently, Plan C was often desirable. 

Also included in the parent survey was “I feel my child should have virtual instruction provided on inclement weather days (“snow days”).” Parents and guardians responded with a mean in the near middle at 3.26.

Because “parents are all over the board on it,” administration will consider further discussion on virtual instruction on inclement weather days.

The district will also continue to hear feedback from staff and parents to continue shaping the school year.