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D. 202 parents, students, staff approve fall Remote Learning -- Remote Learning will remain a tool even after pandemic

Most District 202 parents, staff and students approve of the district’s fall remote learning program, according to results from a recent survey.

The district started the 2020-21 school year with remote learning on August 31, 2020 in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Work is underway to slowly return students to in-person learning this fall and winter, starting with multi-needs special education students on October 26, 2020.

SURVEY RESULTS

“The survey results are very gratifying considering the tremendous amount of work our teachers and administrators did over the summer to improve remote learning from last spring,” said Associate Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Glenn Wood.

“Obviously remote learning is not the best way to teach or learn,” Wood said, “but it will now be a tool in our educational toolbox even after the pandemic is done, so we want our program to be as strong as we can make it,” Wood said.

Whenever schools close, District 202 will now be able to use remote learning to continue teaching and learning with confidence, he said.

All 852 Illinois school districts implemented some form of remote learning in March when the governor closed schools because of COVID-19.

Many created their entire programs out of thin air, Wood said. Even those that had programs before the pandemic were prepared for only a few days of remote learning, not several weeks or months.

District 202 had a remote learning framework before the pandemic but had been focusing on professional development while steadily increasing its supply of classroom and student laptops.

“At the time we felt it made more sense to make sure our teachers knew how to effectively use technology in the classroom,” Wood said. So, when the pandemic hit, the district found itself a bit behind the curve.

However, staff and administrators spent thousands of hours this past spring and summer bolstering remote curriculum, teaching and learning resources and student supports. Meanwhile, the district spent more than $7 million to buy about 17,000 laptops and 400 mobile hotspots for students and families.

About 24,000 students, parents, and staff responded to the survey. Results showed:

  • About 73 percent of students, 70 percent of parents and 76 percent of teachers approved of their overall remote learning experience so far
  • About 88 percent of students, 83 percent of parents and 79 percent of teachers approved of the amount of work students are getting each day
  • About 67 percent of students said they have enough time to learn what is needed in class to do homework 
  • About 69 percent of students and 71 percent of parents said students are assigned a reasonable amount of homework
  • About 90 percent of students and 97 percent of parents said they know how to reach teachers outside of class for help

“We will continue to improve our remote learning program and resources as we do with our in-school programs and resources, to make sure all our students have the best chance for success that we can give them,” Wood said.

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