Survey shows teachers, parents want students back in classrooms when safe to do so

By Taylor Boyd

The results of a recent survey by the Patrick County School division shows that parents and teachers want children to be in the classroom four days a week, when it is safe for them to return.

Andrea Cassell, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, said the school received 719 responses from parents for the three-question survey.

“If parents had multiple students in the school system, they answered a survey per child. This is because they may have a diffident response for what model they would want each student to participate in,” Cassell said.

The first question asked which educational model the student was currently using.

Cassell said “70.8 percent of parents said their kids are currently in the hybrid model of two days in class and two days virtual, and 29.2 percent were in all virtual.”

As of Nov. 30, Cassell said there were 1,397 students in the hybrid model and 801 participating in the allvirtual plan. Since the Oct. 8 School Board meeting, four students have transferred to private schools and four students transferred to homeschool. Cassell said a total of 26 students shifted to homeschool, and 14 transferred to private schools, since the start of the semester.

The second survey question sought to determine which education option the parent would select for the student “if guidance from CDC (Center for Disease Control), VDH (Virginia Department of Health), and VDOE (Virginia Department of Education) allowed more students in classrooms and on buses with masks and community transmission at a low-risk level, Cassell said.

She added that 72.5 percent of parents selected the four days in person hybrid model, and 27.5 chose all virtual.

“Basically, it (results) kind of stayed the same as to what the students are currently participating in, she said.

The last question asked which option parents would choose if increasing face to face instruction to four days a week meant the school would not follow CDC guidelines and would not enforce a 6-foot social distance, one child per seat on the bus and maintaining maximum classroom capacity.

“The percentages changed a little there. The hybrid model dropped to 58.7 percent and the allvirtual increased to 41.3 percent,” Cassell said.

The two-question employee survey was answered by 297 teachers, according to Cassell.

She said the first question asked what teachers “preferred under current guidance, which follows CDC and VDH guidance, and how they think we should proceed under current guidance.”

The survey showed that 68 percent of teachers supported remaining under the current hybrid plan, and 26.5 percent wanted to move to the four days in person hybrid model.

Survey results also showed that 2.4 percent of teachers wanted to go to all virtual, and 3.1 percent supported another education plan.

The second question asked teachers “if guidance were to change to allow more in person, what do you think we should do,” Cassell said.

Almost half of the teachers, 49.5 percent, wanted to move to the fourday hybrid model, and 44.3 percent wished to stay with the current twoday hybrid plan.

Only 1.4 percent of teachers wanted to move to all virtual, and 4.8 wished to move to an education model not listed on the survey.

In a majority vote, the school board recently approved a proposal to allow winter sports to begin.

There also were limited discussions at that meeting about implementing a four-day hybrid instructional plan, but so far, no vote has been taken.

The board meets again at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 10 in the Patrick County High School auditorium.


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