Survey: How BPS families are coping during school closures
May 19, 2020
By Matt Reed
VIERA, Florida – Parents and guardians of Brevard Public Schools students are juggling a lot at home during the coronavirus-related school closures. More than two-thirds say one or two adults are working from their home while overseeing their children’s remote instruction.
Adding to their likely stress: Nearly one-third of BPS parents and guardians report that adults in their households have lost jobs or significant income during Florida’s economic shutdown.
To learn what families are experiencing during school closures, BPS sent a survey link to more than 70,000 public-school households by text message and email. More than 11,300 answered the survey, which asked parents about online lessons, communication with teachers, and their level of comfort with reopening schools in the fall.
What Brevard County parents and guardians say:
· The sudden switch to online learning has been hard. The largest share of parents (40 percent) say the time and effort required for remote instruction “was hard to manage at first, but we’re used to it now.” However, more than one-third (35 percent) say “it is still hard to manage.”
· Teachers are communicating with students. More than 80 percent of survey respondents say their kids communicate by phone or email with their teachers at least once per week.
· Flexibility with instruction time is key. Nearly one-third of parents share a computer needed for remote work with a student who needs the same device for instruction.
· There is no consensus among parents about whether public schools should reopen on schedule in August or wait until later. The largest portion (38 percent) say they are “unsure – it is too soon to determine.”
The survey results were shared with BPS decision-makers including Superintendent Mark Mullins and the Brevard County School Board.
“I want to express appreciation to some new teachers – our parents and families at home who have provided invaluable support for our kids,” Mullins told board members at their most recent meeting.
The survey was conducted at no public cost by BPS’ division of Government & Community Relations, which has led countywide emergency communications and facilitated community-appreciation campaigns for teachers and graduates. Ninety percent of BPS parents and guardians said they are at least satisfied with district and school communications, with 70 percent rating communications as “very good” or “excellent.”
Full survey results can be found HERE on the BPS website.