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Florida Department of Education launches new school return survey

Posted at 5:58 AM, May 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-14 08:24:20-04

The Florida Department of Education has launched a survey to gauge when parents would be comfortable sending their children back to school and when teachers would be comfortable returning to their classrooms.

"Ultimately the goal is to reopen our school campuses. There's no question that for the vast majority of students a great education occurs when a great teacher is directly in front of those students and those students are also learning from dialogue with each other," said Taryn Fenske, a spokeswoman for the department.

"We needed to take the temperature of our parents and teachers to see these next steps through their eyes," Fenske said. "Because no matter exactly how we proceed we need to have sympathy and compassion for how these next steps affect everyone."

The survey includes 5 questions and takes about 2 minutes to complete. School superintendent's across the state helped compile the questions.

The questions are:

  • What is your comfort level with students returning to school campuses?
  • Would you feel comfortable having students on campuses during the summer months (i.e. summer reading camps, youth development activities, summer training for athletes)?
  • Do you believe school campuses will be ready to open full time by the regularly scheduled (mid-August) start date, or would you rather school to start after Labor Day (September 7)?
  • Do you or your student have access to a device (e.g. tablet, laptop)?
  • Do you or your student have access to a reliable internet connection?

"All of these questions are related and can't be solved in isolation," Fenske said. "All of these questions help let us know how we can make parents and teachers feel confident about the next steps."

She also added that the department has a lot of work ahead.

"We realize that much of our work this summer and throughout the 2020-2021 school year will be devoted to helping students overcome the additional learning loss they have experienced."

There is no deadline to complete the survey. Fenske says they are continually reviewing the results.

Officials say the survey results will play into the state's decisions. The survey can be found here.