From Nov. 30 to Dec. 18, 2020, Tacoma Public Schools conducted a parent survey and student survey to gather input on remote learning experiences. Of the nearly 29,000 Tacoma Public School students, approximately 25,000 participate in remote learning.
Who Completed the Survey:
4,301 parents with students in remote learning completed a survey, this is approximately 17 percent of all remote learning parents.
3,169 students in remote learning completed a survey, this is approximately 13 percent of all remote learning students.
- 7,490 total surveys were completed by remote learning parents and students.
We saw participation from all grade levels.
- 2,753 surveys from grades Prek-5, this is 37 percent of all completed surveys
- 1,890 surveys from grades 6-8, this is 25 percent of all completed surveys
- 2,827 surveys from grades 9-12, this 38 percent of all completed surveys
Parents and students from every schools also completed surveys, the three highest number of responses by level are as follows:
High School (Grades 9-12)
- Stadium 596 responses
- SAMi 514 responses
- Wilson 440 responses
Middle School (Grades 6-8)
- Mason 400 responses
- Truman 240 responses
- Meeker 220 responses
Elementary School (Grades Prek-5)
- Sherman 208 responses
- Browns Point 177 responses
- Geiger 173 responses
Highlights and Key Findings:
1. The majority of parents and students said remote learning was going better than in the spring of 2020.
- 60 percent of parents said it was “Much Better” or “Somewhat Better”
- 51 percent of students said it was “Much Better” or “Somewhat Better”
2. Parents and students generally do not have a preference on the timing of live instruction, however they do prefer afternoons for independent work.
- Students are split almost evenly on the timing of live instruction.
- 32 percent prefer morning
- 32 percent prefer afternoon
- 29 percent like morning and afternoon
- For independent instruction only, 16 percent of students prefer mornings, while 48 percent prefer afternoons.
3. Nearly all students say they return to live instruction after lunch.
- 77 percent of students and 82 percent of parents say they “Always” or “Most of the Time” return for afternoon instruction.
4. Students would like fewer assignments.
- When asked what changes they would like to see the number one answer was fewer assignments, 20 percent of all student respondents selected this answer.
5. Parents would like more small group instruction.
- This was the number one answer when asked what changes they would like to see, 22 percent of all parent respondents selected this answer.
6. The majority of parents and students say Wednesday “Work well as it is.”
- 78 percent of parents and 52 percent of students did not suggest any changes to Wednesdays, they said “It works well as it is”
7. Parents and students were in agreement about feelings of overall success with remote learning.
- 42 percent of parents and 43 percent of students feel successful “All” or “Most” of the time with remote learning.
- 58 percent of parents and 57 percent of students feel successful “Some” or “None” of the time with remote learning.
8. Within the comments of both parents and students there was a strong desire to resume in-person learning.
- 2,441 total parent comments, with 451 comments expressing a desire for schools to reopen. This 18 percent of all parent comments.
- 992 total student comments, with 98 comments expressing a desire for schools to reopen. This is 10 percent of all student comments.
Remote learning changes as a result of survey responses:
1. During January teachers are focusing on helping students improve their grades and submit any missing assignments.
- We see from the survey many students are feeling overwhelmed and not successful. Having a chance to catch up is essential to building student confidence and ensuring students understand and learn all content.
2. Especially for secondary we are working to increase small group instruction.
- Small groups are an opportunity for teachers to work with students on a particular area or topic and for some the smaller setting makes is easier to actively participate.
3. Implementing plans to bring more students back to in-person learning, starting with kindergarten.
- We heard from many parents and students a strong and immediate desire to resume in-person learning. We know it is particularly challenging for our youngest learners to participate in virtual instruction.
- Following updated guidance from our state health authorities, beginning Jan. 19 we’ll welcome cohorts of kindergarten students for their very first day of in-person school.
- Nearly all Tacoma Public Schools have students in self-contained special education classrooms currently receiving in-person instruction. Schools have been able to implement and refine their health and safety protocols.
- By bringing back students incrementally, schools have the opportunity to scale up their health and safety procedures for larger numbers of students.
About Tacoma Schools
Tacoma Public Schools is the only district designated an Innovation Zone by Washington State. A leader in implementing innovative schools and programs to meet the diverse needs of every student, every day, TPS serves approximately 30,000 students from preschool to grade 12 and at nearly 5000 employees is one of the largest employers in Tacoma. Learn more...