While Osseo Area Schools has several years of experience with digital learning for grades 4-12, the current extended school closure/distance learning period for pre-K through grade 12 has posed different opportunities and challenges. To learn more about what is working well and where distance learning needs to improve, Superintendent Cory McIntyre requested feedback from students, parents/guardians, and staff. The initial survey was administered from April 17-24; a follow-up survey will be conducted at the end of May.
Satisfaction: Teacher support, access to technology and internet
Feedback showed that students, families, and teachers are satisfied with distance learning efforts in the following areas: level of support for students from their teacher, access to technology needed, and access to the internet needed to do schoolwork.
Areas for improvement: Tech support, establishing routines, and supporting homeless students
Feedback also surfaced regarding opportunities to more effectively meet the needs of students, families, and teachers. Areas identified for improvement include the way support is provided for technology issues, helping students establish routines and next steps in learning, and strengthening support for homeless students.
- In grades 3-12, 90% or more of students reported that the basic elements of distance learning (safety, space, support, care, and technology) are in place for them.
- Almost all students with district-issued devices had used them recently, and that use was mostly educational in nature.
- English learners and homeless students face major obstacles to distance learning, and families are struggling to address many competing demands with limited resources (time, stress, availability and support).
- Inequities that existed before the school closure are more apparent during distance learning. These include different levels of student access to the curriculum due to English language proficiency, and different levels of parent/guardian availability, knowledge, and experience to support their child’s distance learning.
Using the data to improve
After reviewing the feedback, staff promptly identified actions to improve the distance learning experience. Examples include:
- Purchasing Seesaw, a student engagement platform, to better allow elementary students to show their learning, teachers to provide feedback, and to promote communication between the district and families.
- Distributing 3,000 iPads so every student, K-12, has access to a mobile device.
- Procuring Wi-Fi hotspots for a limited number of families without internet access.
Staff is considering other ways to improve the distance learning program, particularly in areas where obstacles to full participation in distance learning are beyond the student’s control.
If you or your student did not receive the April survey and would like to provide feedback on the follow-up survey, please complete this form.