The Northwestern Administrative Team and Northwestern Board of Education felt compelled to further discuss the possibility of returning to 5 days per week at some point – with this possibly being changed after Easter due to the timing of the second vaccination of employees and this current ebbing trend of COVID cases across Ohio and Wayne County. Prior to making a decision we requested feedback in the form of student, parent, and teachers surveys. I wanted to share the survey data with you all, which supports the decision to remain with our 4 days per week with 1 day (Wed.) online. My recommendation to the Northwestern Board of Education is to stay the course the remainder of this school year and remain with our current educational model of 4 days in-person with Wed. online instruction, while also continuing the support for our @ 8% total remote learners. We have a planned return to a traditional 5 day per week structure at the start of next school year.
I believe we all want normalcy and to ensure we are meeting the educational and socio-emotional needs of our children. There are many considerations regarding our school schedule as far as a possible 5 day a week return Vs. our current 4 and 1 instructional structure. We have dwelled over these many considerations for weeks. The survey data carries the most weight, as it is the will of the students, parents, and teachers. After studying the survey data from students, parents, and teachers I have to recommend that we continue our current structure at this time due to the majority of students, parents, and teachers sharing satisfaction with and supporting the schools maintaining this current structure for the time being. The survey results are on our district website for all to be able to view.
Four convincing things:
· The efforts of our teachers and staff with the online component on Wed. supports our continuing with the Wed. online day have shown to be excellent overall.
· There is evidence of strong communications between teachers - students - parents. We all knew the relationship piece between students-parents-teachers would be necessary and was especially sought-after for the students going total remote. The survey data indicates this is occurring with our in-person as well as our total remote students.
· The efforts of our teachers with the total remote students academically is viewed positively. Great job!
· In addition to discussions with the administrative team and our Board of Education I want to thank those teachers, other employees, and parents who reached out to me with your individual perspectives. This is the decision most of you wanted, but not what everyone wanted. The survey confirms this. Know that I listened and weighed a lot of factors before making my recommendation.
· The Board of Education has the final word. Know that the Board had approved the district plan in August and does not need to take any formal action to stay this course the remainder of this school year.
With all of this being shared and the overall effectiveness of our structure as has been shared repeatedly throughout the school year I want to again state that if parents and students have any concerns in regard to the in-person or on-line instruction being provided please contact the specific teacher - then the building principal, if desired. Without knowing specific concerns and situations in which we could improve, in a timely manner – as they occur - we cannot address the concerns. In essence, “we do not know what we do not know.” We cannot make things better if we are not aware. Thanks to everyone for pulling together and for your understanding during these very challenging times over the past 12 months! By working together we can continue to best serve our students by meeting their needs and while also supporting our families, teachers, and all employees!
Additionally, we have been planning and crafting “after school programs” for this spring and next school year, as well as “summer school programs” to provide additional supports for our students. Information will be coming out soon from your building principals regarding these programs.
We currently have Wednesday availability for tutoring and other supports in our buildings as well, which has been in place for months. Please contact your building principal for more information with this.
Highlights of Northwestern Student/Teacher/Parent Survey
March 8, 2021
The survey data indicated a preference for remaining with our current 4 days with Wed. remote through the remainder of this school year. Also, it indicates pretty strong satisfaction with the online efforts, communications, and accessibility of our teachers.
Student Data 3/8/2021 597 responses
66.7% Would like to remain as is (4 days in person/1 remote/remote student continue)
(I would assume that our 9.7% online students would also prefer keeping the current structure, as it would not impact their world, which would make it 76.4% in favor of remaining at 4 days per week).
23.6% Would like to return five days a week.
79.6% Students shared that the year overall is better than expected.
70.2% Student shared that overall remote learning is about or better than expected for remote learning.
71% Of students reported their teachers are overall available for support and questions.
Teacher Data 3/8/2021 78 responses
88.4% Reported overall the year was about or better than what was expected.
89.7% Reported the current structure (four days in person/one remote, some remote students) was about or better than expected.
89.7% Reported that the four day/one remote/some online was the optimal structure during the pandemic.
79% Would like to remain as is (four days in person/one remote/ all remote students continue)
20.5% Would like five days a week, but not with remote students.
Parent Data 3/8/2021 646 responses (parents could submit based on number of students)
49.1% Would like to remain as is (four days in person/one remote/all remote students continue)
(I would assume that our 8.3% online parents would also prefer keeping the current structure, as it would not impact their world, which would make it 57.4% in favor of remaining at 4 days per week).
42.6% Would like five days a week.
79.7% Report for four days in person/one remote day report about or better than expected.
Jeffrey N. Layton, Ed.D.
Northwestern Local Schools