Phase I Results – A Focus on Fall 2020

Teachers concerns and priorities for when school reopens in July or August 2020

Download detailed results here.

  • Seventy-nine percent of the teachers who responded plan to return to the classroom, although a substantial proportion (18%) remain uncertain. Only 3% of teachers are not planning to return to the classroom.

 

  • When asked if COVID-19 influenced their plans to return to the classroom, a majority of the teachers who responded (67%) said the pandemic did not influence their decision while over one-quarter (26%) said it did.

 

  •  More than half of the respondents are concerned or very concerned (52%) about their safety and health when they return to their classrooms in July or August.
    • Middle and high school teachers reported being more concerned about returning to their classrooms than elementary school teachers.

     

  • At the time of this survey, most teachers had not been involved in planning for the new year (56%), but 19% had been involved while 22% expected to be involved in planning in the future.

 

  • By far, teachers’ biggest concerns about returning to school are the health and safety of staff (67%) and students (62%). Teachers’ other key concerns are student mental health (37%) and helping students catch up (35%). Access to technology was a major concern of only 16% of the teachers who responded to this survey.
    • Elementary teachers were more concerned about helping students catch up (41%) than both middle (32%) and high school (25%) teachers.

     

  • A majority of teachers want to see rules requiring teachers and students to stay home if they are sick (75%). Additionally, teachers want to see strict sanitation procedures and access to cleaning products in the classroom (71%); clear protocols and procedures for staff, parents, students (everyone that might interact on the school campus) (65%); and professional cleaning of classrooms everyday (60%). Less important, but still strong priorities for teachers include efforts to minimize exposure with masks and no large gatherings as well as daily temperature checks. Forty-two percent of the teachers who responded thought that all of these strategies should be implemented.

 

  • Teachers’ top priorities to ensure safety in sports and extracurricular activities include professional cleaning of facilities before and after events (49%) and strict sanitation procedures and access to cleaning supplies (48%). Over one-third of teachers (35%) feel that in addition to professional cleaning and sanitation procedures, social distancing, temperature checks, attendance limitations, and requiring masks should also be implemented to ensure safety at sports and extracurricular events. Thirty-five percent of teachers felt that all of these strategies should be implemented.

 

  • Teachers feel professional development focused on student engagement strategies for distance learning (41%) and technological tools (making videos, using online platforms like Zoom or Google Classroom) (33%) would be most helpful.
    • Over 20% of elementary teachers also want professional development on strategies to promote parent engagement.

     

  • Many teachers felt comfortable (47%) about catching students up academically, but almost as many were concerned (41%).

 

  • A majority of teachers (76%) feel a diagnostic assessment or site/teacher developed assessment should be used in the fall to help determine student’s academic needs.

     

  • Teachers identified focusing on core ELA and math areas (46%) and providing 1 on 1 or small group instruction (41%) as the best strategies to help students learn and close COVID-19 achievement gaps. Other strategies teachers prioritized were having high
    quality curriculum materials (36%) and focusing on social emotional learning (37%). There was little support for extending the school day (22%) or year (13%).

    • Middle and high school teachers identified tutoring and high-quality curricula as the best strategies to close achievement gaps whereas, elementary teachers identified focusing on core ELA and math, providing 1 on 1 or small group instruction, and starting with 4th quarter learning as strategies to help students learn and close achievement gaps.