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Marshalltown School District encourages Return to Learn survey participation

In preparation for Return to Learn, the Marshalltown Community School District sent out surveys to the public to get additional information.

The district Director of Business Operations Paulette Newbold said the student and family surveys are available on the Return to Learn webpage, www.marshalltown.k12.ia.us/students/return-to-learn-surveys-for-students-and-parents/.

“The best way to know how someone feels about possible plans for learning during these challenging times is to ask them,” she said. “Their feedback allows us to make informed decisions on the education of Bobcat students, as well as on maintaining safety and health for everyone at the district.”

In early June, Newbold said the district Return to Learn Data Team identified the need to collect feedback from families and students regarding the possible modes for learning. To ensure more participation, surveys are available in English and Spanish.

The district had received 841 responses by Monday — 254 students and 587 parents or guardians.

“Our goal with any survey we send out is for full participation,” Newbold said. “However, we know our families have busy lives. We hope to continue to see our students and families take the surveys if they have not already done so.”

The surveys were created for four groups of people:

• Students

• Families, parents or guardians

• Teachers and administrators

• Support staff, including administrative assistants, technology, buildings and grounds employees, transportation, nurses and food service.

“The student and family surveys ask questions about the student’s grade, building they attend, feelings about going to school in-person, online, or in a hybrid system, their preferred times of day to engage with school activities, and supplies and supports they need,” Newbold said. “We also asked about mental and emotional health and general well being during this challenging time.”

She said there are about 20 questions for participants to answer and there is no set deadline. However, she hopes to collect as much feedback as possible before the start of the school year on Aug. 25.

The data collected from the surveys are being used to inform how the Return to Learn Leadership and Infrastructure, Social-Emotional-Behavior Health, Special Education, Health and Safety, and Academic Standards teams design and refine plans for the 2020-21 school year.

“Knowing how our students and families feel about the various Return to Learn options is crucial to ensuring that our final Return to Learn plan is tailored, as much as possible, to meet the needs and desires of our students and families,” Newbold said.

Everyone at MCSD is working diligently to balance health, safety, educational and social-emotional needs, she said.

“We are so appreciative of the hundreds of Bobcat students and parents or guardians who have taken time to fill out these surveys,” Newbold said. “Their feedback is valuable, and we hope more students and families will fill out the surveys as the district plans to reopen school this fall.”

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Contact Lana Bradstream at 641-753-6611 or lbradstream@timesrepublican.com.

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