We have been celebrating our teachers and other employees all week, and there are great stories of support from the school Parent Teacher Organizations (PTOs), accolades for teachers who did something special to assist a student, and celebration activities throughout the week.

Today’s message is a thank you for our students’ first teacher—PARENTS.  The coronavirus crisis has upended our lives, and parents were required to step in and provide encouragement, guidance, and expertise that ACSD#1 professional teachers usually provide.  When we implemented the Virtual Learning Plan our intent was to provide virtual lessons as a stop gap and a resource for students and parents.  I wrote the following in this blog on April 14, 2020:

“Some people ask why we do not require more time for students to be actively engaged in academic lessons, some suggest we should do less or even not offer anything at all.  The schools are an integral part of our community and by creating an opportunity to engage in an online learning platform, we provide a focus for students to improve their understanding of content, practice their academic skills, and become better independent learners which is certainly an aspiration for students to be lifelong learners.  It all starts with connections and our relationships with each other.”

Relationships and learning have been the focus of our efforts for the past several weeks, and as we wind down the year, it was time to take stock in what has transpired and prepare for the summer and next fall.  We distributed a survey last Friday, May 1, 2020 and so far we have collected over 1000 responses.  We will continue to collect responses for the next week, but here are some of the results we have compiled so far.

The first question asks about communication that parents have received from the district.  Most (85%) parents are satisfied with the communication from the district and request that the district provide no more than weekly updates regarding COVID-19. Parents did notice that much of the weekly communication was returned to the school buildings, so we could focus on student-teacher relationships, and 88% of the parents responded that they are receiving weekly communication with the school.

Another question from the survey asked parents to agree or disagree with the statement, “The Virtual Learning Plan lessons have been helpful for my child(ren).

The answer to this question showed a little more than 50% of the parents agreed that the lessons were helpful for their children:  55% agreed, 30% disagreed, and 15% neither agreed or disagreed.

Parents were also asked whether they were satisfied with the school district’s response to COVID-19.   80% of the parents responded that they were “satisfied, very satisfied, or extremely satisfied with the response from the school district.”  5% of the respondents indicated that they were “not satisfied at all.”

We appreciate your taking the time to complete the survey.  The survey is still open for parents to share perspectives on the Virtual Learning Plan and the school district’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.  Parents can use this link to access the survey: Parent Survey COVID-19 May 2020.

HOMEWORK HOTLINE

One of the lessons learned from implementing the Virtual Learning Plan and receiving feedback from parents is the need expressed by parents to provide additional support for students.  ACSD#1 started a Homework Hotline this week, and students can access the link HERE or by going to the ACSD#1 Virtual Learning Pages https://www.acsd1.org/acsd/virtual-learning/ and clicking on the link to the Homework Hotline.   When you first access the service, you will have to enter the password, “parent” and click enter.  This is to provide bot detection and spam protection.  ACSD#1 paraprofessionals are providing support for the Homework Hotline daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.  We hope you will have your children connect with Homework Hotline when they need a little extra assistance.