Last Friday, we launched our first remote learning parent survey. We were pleased that 129 parents filled in the survey representing 187 students. This represents 49% of our student body. From speaking to other schools, this response rate is considered excellent. Of the 187 students represented, 100 were from our Lower School and 87 from the Upper School.
In response to the question: “Overall, how do you feel about SJK’s remote learning program?” the score was 4.2 out of 5. In a similar question we asked, “How does your child feel about their remote learning experience?” and the score was 4 out of 5. In reading parents’ comments, the slightly lower score was related to their children missing their friends, their routines and their teachers. It was less about the program itself than the situation we find ourselves in. We agree with the children—we know that remote learning is not the same as being the classroom.
We asked a number of questions about technology; 87% of respondents rated their internet reliability Good or Very Good and 91% of respondents rated their access to devices Good or Very Good. It would seem that of those who filled in the survey, internet and access to devices does not seem to be an impediment to them. We are looking into various supports for those who are having difficulties in these areas and encourage them to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
with specific issues. We also know that our overseas students are experiencing some connectivity issues.
We asked questions about student workload. Overall, 71% of respondents when asked about workload selected “My child has just the right amount of work to do”. We did note that workload was slightly more of an issue for younger children while parents of older students especially those in Grade 7 to 10 felt their children could have a little more work. We have made adjustments according to this feedback.
We also received some feedback about communication. We asked parents to rate the statement “The communication between the teacher and my child is clear and easy to access.” 81% of respondents selected Agree or Strongly when asked to rate the statement. We realized that we asked two questions in that statement so for the next survey we are going to break this down into two statements, one about clarity of communication and the other about ease of access. In reading the comments, some parents and students found it hard to access some information. We have made some adjustments to our communications so they are clear, concise and consistent. We have also made teachers aware of the challenge of logging into many other systems beyond onSJK and they are working on streamlining their apps.
We also read that parents and students are enjoying the live interactions and have relayed that information to our teachers. They are thinking of ways they can create other opportunities for students to see and interact with their teachers and classmates in real time without adding to their students’ workloads.
Parents shared with us the challenges they are facing. They are juggling assisting their children while managing their own work responsibilities, having difficulty finding their child’s work when it is located in different places, monitoring their children’s focus, and adapting to change. We appreciate that this situation is hard for everyone and have shared this information with our teachers so they are aware and can offer support.
We did have a few questions from parents about busing and the meal plan. We are working with our suppliers to see what can be done. Many contracts related to schools have high fixed costs. Our CFO is working hard to negotiate with our suppliers. We will bring these matters forward to the Finance and Audit Committee and the Board of Governors.
What struck us the most about the feedback we received in the survey was how appreciative our SJK parents are of our teachers and the program they have created. Here are a sample of the comments received:
"We appreciate the colossal undertaking to move everything to remote learning. Thank you for all of your hard work."
"So grateful to be a part of such an amazing school that has handled this change with professionalism and confidence and has produced a clear and thorough remote curriculum to keep the kiddos engaged and moving forward."
"I’d like to commend the teachers on a fantastic implementation of a great learning platform in such a short timeframe."
"What an amazing first week! Amazing what the school, faculty and staff have accomplished in such a short time! So good to have a child learning again within a structured yet adaptable program. Bravo!"
"I have been very impressed by week 1. I am so grateful to be a part of a school community who is investing so heavily in maintaining continuity for our kids. Thank you to all of the teachers who have spent so much time and energy already into making this week a success."
"Thank you for all your hard work around this. I really appreciate all of your efforts. It really reinforces to me once again, that sending our child to SJK over the public system is well worth it. THANK YOU EVERYONE!!! 😊"
"I think everything has gone incredibly well - much better than expected, and I had high expectations!"
Thank you to everyone who completed the survey and for supporting our teachers and our students. Everyone is trying to make the best of this situation we find ourselves in. We will continue to elicit feedback and act upon it. Look for the next survey on Friday, April 17.