As the District prepares for the new school year, input from the Frisco ISD community continues to play a vital role in the planning process.
More than 16,000 parents across Frisco ISD completed a survey in late May regarding their interest in sending their children to school under various circumstances related to COVID-19.
Survey results show parents are concerned with the health effects of COVID-19, but the comfort level of families to send their children to school varies widely. Families who do not have high-risk household members, are more concerned about their children falling behind and have difficulty accessing technology were more likely to feel comfortable sending their children back to school.
In the survey, parents weighed three possible scenarios for the upcoming school year:
School starts as normal with additional safety and health measures in place
School starts in a “socially distant” instructional environment with some blend of face-to-face instruction on campus and online learning at home. There would likely be a rotation of whole days on campus and whole days at home for students.
School starts in a “totally online” instructional environment
When provided the three options in direct opposition, 44% of parents favored starting school normally with additional safety and health measures in place, where 33% were interested in a blended approach and 22% favored eLearning.
Parents also had the opportunity to rate if they strongly favor, somewhat favor, oppose somewhat or strongly oppose each scenario individually. About 63% of parents were in favor (somewhat or strongly) of starting school as normal with additional safety and health measures in place. A majority of parents (56%) favor starting school in a “socially distant” instructional environment, whereas only 41% favor starting school in a “totally online” instructional environment.
If school was to reopen as normal and the option was available, ⅓ of families would prefer to have their children learn from home 100% of the time rather than attending classes in person. Similarly, if the school district chose a blended “socially distant” approach to the 2020-21 school year, nearly a quarter of families would prefer to have the option to let their child learn from home 100% of the time rather than attend any in-person classes.
Of note, parents are closely watching trends related to the number of COVID-19 infections.
When parents were provided a hypothetical situation involving a declining number of COVID-19 cases, the majority of parents preferred going to school on a daily basis while only 14% preferred eLearning. When faced with a hypothetical situation of increasing COVID-19 cases, half of parents preferred eLearning while only 25% preferred going to school each day.
“This was important information for us as we continue to plan the upcoming school year,” said Superintendent Dr. Mike Waldrip.
The District has not made a decision on how the 2020-21 school year will look and is thankful for the input of families, a key part of the puzzle.
While there is no clear consensus among parents, it is clear there is a wide variety of opinions that are based on each family’s unique concerns and circumstances. The District recognizes that its decision will directly impact the day-to-day lives and livelihoods of families across Frisco ISD and it weighs heavily on the district to do what is right for the community.
The District continues to receive guidance from the Governor and the Texas Education Agency and is weighing how their suggestions could best fit the Frisco ISD community. The District may send additional surveys seeking further input from parents over the summer as it prepares for the 2020-21 school year.
No matter what, Frisco ISD will follow the guidance issued from the state when determining what school will look like in the fall as it also watches trends related to COVID-19.
The District is committed to sharing any news regarding the new school year throughout the summer so please stay connected through our Frisco ISD website and the District’s Facebook and Twitter pages.