Spring 2021 Student Survey Results

The shift to remote learning caused by COVID-19 made it more important than ever to check in regularly with students to get their feedback about instruction and learning, and for improvements to be made over the course of the school year.

To gather feedback from students about remote learning, Seattle Public Schools administered anonymous student surveys in October 2020 and again in May 2021 to all students in grades 3-12. These surveys were given entirely online, either during synchronous learning time or during their asynchronous, independent learning time.

Translations for the spring student survey were made available in Amharic, Chinese, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Students at all 104 schools responded to the survey. However, the overall response rate on the Spring 2021 survey (56%) was lower than the response rate for the Fall 2020 survey (64%), and lower than the last, pre-pandemic, annual school climate survey conducted in the spring of 2019 (74%).

From the survey findings, many students experienced challenges with remote learning this year. Overall, a majority of students reported a positive experience, however elementary students (grades 3-5) were significantly more positive than were middle school or high school students. Based on an average across several survey questions, only 52 percent of middle schoolers and 34 percent of high schoolers expressed positive perceptions of their remote learning experiences this year.

The survey also found that 78 percent of surveyed students prefer to return to full-time, in-person learning in the future, and only 5 percent want to learn fully remotely after the pandemic is over.

While most students report that they prefer in-person instruction to remote or hybrid learning, many want more from their in-person learning experience. In particular, students want in-person learning environments to be safe and to center peer and teacher relationships with multiple ways of engaging. Students generally want to continue using technology for instructional purposes in the future, particularly for accessing assignments, reviewing lessons, class communications, and collaboration on projects with peers.

Thank you to our students who participated in these important surveys. At Seattle Public Schools, we want to ensure the best learning experiences for our students, no matter the setting, and gathering student feedback is vital for continued improvement.

Read a district summary report of survey results.

Read detailed survey results, including findings for specific schools and student groups.