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    Remote Learning Pulse Survey Results
    Posted on 12/17/2020

    Remote Learning Pulse Survey Results

    The shift to remote learning has made it more important than ever to check in regularly with students, families, and educators to see how instruction is going, and so that improvements can be made over the course of the year.

    In October, the Seattle Public Schools Research & Evaluation department partnered with Panorama Education to deliver a short survey to students in grades 3-12, all families, and school staff. The student survey was given during class. Family survey links were emailed to all parents and guardians in English or one of the other top five home languages. The school staff survey was emailed to all instructional school staff.

    Overall, 65% of students and 55% of school staff completed the survey. For the family survey, 34% of students had at least one parent or guardian respond to the survey. It is important to note that respondents are not fully representative of the racial or language diversity of our district’s families.

    Overall Perceptions of Remote Learning this Fall

    Among students, elementary students are the most positive and high school students the least positive about remote learning. Compared to last spring, most families and school staff feel better about remote learning this fall. Overall, roughly one-fourth of students feel worse about remote learning this fall. African American male students and students of color furthest from educational justice – as well as their parents and guardians – are significantly less likely to feel better about remote learning compared to last spring.

    Technology Challenges

    Of the respondents who participated in the online survey, few students and families reported major challenges connecting to remote learning. Of those that reported challenges, having a good internet connection during class has caused the most issues for students, whereas Microsoft Teams has created the most challenges for families. School staff reported more challenges with technology compared to students and families. The biggest challenges for staff included supporting students and families with using technology devices and Microsoft Teams. The pulse survey is only one way we are gathering feedback from families and students. In other engagements we have heard that many families are still facing challenges accessing the internet and online tools and we continue to work to provide tech support and access. Find resources and Tech Supports for Families.

    How to Improve Remote Learning

    Overall, students identified "more opportunities to be social with other students" as an area that needs the most improvement. Similarly, families identified "more opportunities for my child to connect with other students" as the top area that needs improvement. Elementary families (grades K-5) identified "connecting with other families" as a top area for improvement. Additionally, the current model requires a significant level of adult support for student learning, and this clearer expectations or directions for supporting learning at home could be improved. In comparison, secondary families (grades 6-12) identified "more check-ins with teachers" and "clearer expectations for supporting remote learning at home" as areas that need the most improvement. School staff identified "better technology tools for remote learning" as the top area to improve. Access to better curricular materials and more student supports were also top concerns for school staff across K-12.

    Next Steps

    As survey results were being compiled and analyzed and the data dashboards built, the Research and Evaluation team presented preliminary findings to school leaders, child care providers, the Superintendent's Student Advisory Board, and others involved in helping to gather additional feedback. Thank you to our many partners who helped increase participation in the survey and to the Research and Evaluation team for their analysis and publication of the report and school results.

    The Remote Learning Task Force will study the fall findings as they work to monitor the progress of the reopening plan and remote learning model. A second pulse survey is scheduled for January.

    Read More

    A district summary report includes a quantitative breakdown of results, as well as further analysis of the student survey results, including a thematic summary of nearly 2,500 "write-in" comments from students. Themes from additional engagement efforts are also summarized, including the perspectives of the Superintendent's Student Advisory Board and organizations providing childcare services to students during remote learning. The district summary report and results for each school are accessible to the public School Survey