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Dunkirk parents surveyed in school reopening process

Questions answered

A parent survey was recently held in the Dunkirk City School District regarding household and the return to school possibility during COVID-19 this fall.

A total of 1,597 surveys were mailed out with 681 respondents as of 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

“We asked parents in terms of models of instruction indicating ‘Will you return to in person learning whether it’d be full in person or a hybrid model,’ or ‘Will you not return until there is a vaccine?'” Superintendent Michael Mansfield read off at the Dunkirk School Board Workshop this week. “The respondents said that 63.7% will return and 36.3% will not, of that 70 parents said they would return with a vaccine.”

According to the survey, 32% will return, 32% will return with social distancing and face coverings, 12% will only return when there is a vaccine and 24% will not return for in-person learning. Another question asked: “If in-person learning should continue, face coverings should be worn by staff and students when social distancing is not possible,” with 427 who strongly agreed, 156 were neutral and 98 strongly disagreed. To the question that remote learning be continued, 234 agreed, 249 were neutral and 198 strongly disagreed.

Another question asked: “Would you prefer your children attend a fully remote learning program this school year?” To that, 32.4% said yes, 31.5% would consider it with conditions and 35.9% said no. When asked “which learning model do you think would work best for your family?” 225 parents chose fully in-person, 226 said fully remote and 200 chose a hybrid concept.

Reliable internet access was also posed as were devices to access remote learning. Of the respondents, 614 parents say they have reliable access while 46 said only sometimes and 21 homes said they don’t have internet. As for devices, 55.4% of parents say yes while 44.6% said no.

“In order for those students who need devices, we need about 617,” Mansfield said.

Meals would still be affected as well, as 46% of parents rely on district provided meals while 54% do not.

“I do suspect that as we continue to talk more in depth about what we’re going to do we may have to update it with shorter questions,” Mansfield said. “The next thing I’m working on is a staff survey to get some of their feedback and their thoughts.”

The Dunkirk City School District hopes to have a more cohesive model of the 2020-21 school year in the coming weeks.

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