Tuesday, May 11, 2021

School Board Hears Feedback on Remote Learning Experiences

Dr. Jenny Coisson of K12 Insight presented the results of Carroll ISD’s spring remote learning survey to the School Board Monday evening. The survey was administered in April to collect feedback on the experiences of teachers, parents and students in grades 7-12 during the 2020-2021 school year.

A total of 2,370 parents, 339 secondary students and 350 teachers completed the survey. Dr. Coisson shared the survey results via Zoom, explaining that the survey measures overall attitudes about Dragon Virtual Academy during the past year.

Questions on the survey asked participants about whether or not they are concerned about academic growth, social-emotional well-being and the amount of time spent on Dragon Virtual Academy outside the regular school day. The parents and students who took the survey were generally more positive about their experiences than teachers. Sixty-three percent of parents/guardians and 70 percent of secondary students were very satisfied or satisfied with the overall remote learning experience. For both groups, the question about online interaction with classmates had the lowest percentage of favorable responses. Additionally, 35 percent of staff members said they were very satisfied or satisfied with the overall remote learning experience.

Some parents and students had mixed reactions to their DVA experience. There were concerns about switching from remote to in-person learning every nine weeks and the lack of consistency and structure. Parents noted inconsistencies in the amount of homework across grade levels. Concerns about academic honesty in the virtual setting were expressed by parents, students and staff, alike. Students said DVA worked well for some classes, but not for others. Students enjoyed the flexible schedule and felt there were fewer distractions in DVA. However some students said they were less focused during virtual learning and not attending school in-person made them feel isolated and depressed.

Staff members expressed concerns about having to teach in-person and DVA simultaneously. They were concerned students were not held accountable for their actions and there were no policies or consequences in place to support holding students accountable. Their concerns centered around academic integrity, low attendance and students not being engaged during class.

Dr. Coisson said the results of the Carroll ISD survey are consistent with other districts across the nation. Remote learning seems to work well for some students in some settings, however, generally staff, students and parents prefer in-person instruction. Click here to see the complete K12 Insight Remote Learning Survey Results.

Following the presentation of survey results, secondary principals presented information they collected directly from parents and staff about virtual options for the fall.  An instructional task force of more than 100 educators have been providing input to the Administration regarding remote learning. Administrators used guidelines outlined by the instructional task force to structure a survey that was sent out last week to 6th-11th grade families. Response to the surveys indicated a small number of families would still be interested in a virtual learning option for the fall. Educators at the elementary and intermediate levels who served on the instructional task force believe that in-person instruction is best for students PK-6. It was agreed that only secondary parents would be surveyed about their interests in remote learning this fall.

Superintendent Dr. Lane Ledbetter said a true virtual academy will not be implemented for the 2021-2022 school year. In fact, school officials are hoping most students will return for in-person instruction. That said, CISD will continue to study feedback from parents, students and staff with the possibility of expanding remote learning options, especially for secondary students, sometime in the future.

Click here to view the Instructional Task Force’s 2021-2022 Planning Update.