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Coachella Valley school districts use surveys to prepare for next school year

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Local school districts are asking parents what they think about the upcoming school year and trying to get input on how schools should handle the threat of coronavirus.

Parents are concerned about how local districts will handle back-to-school amid the pandemic.

"It is hard as a working parent," said Myra Garcia. "I don’t know if they should go to school with a mask and everything else because I know that they won’t follow regulations, but I also don’t want them at home doing nothing for working parents its a hard decision,” Garcia said.

Local districts are open to input. A survey posted on the Coachella Valley Unified School District’s website asks parents about their concerns for the next school year.

Superintendent Dr. Maria Gandera said, “Right now, our main focus is creating that plan that we are going to be presenting our board of education and to our community as our return to CVUSD schools.”

One survey question asks parents how concerned they are about their children's learning while school is closed due to COVID-19?

Gandera said it's crucial for families to answer these questions as the district starts looking at different school models. "One of them is returning to school full time, everybody returning at the same time," Gandera said. She added, "100 percent-- What would that look like for our students and staff and the second scenario is a hybrid scenario that means with students coming back two days a week and three days distance learning from home." Gandera said, "Scenario C would be what if we start with one grade level at a time returning to school? What would that look like returning TK and kindergarten for instance while everybody else is on distance learning for two weeks?”

The Palm Springs Unified School District saw more than four thousand families respond to its survey, posted earlier this month.

Director of Assessment and Data Analysis, Jim Feffer said, “we also asked them questions like in a perfect situation what would be in place for your child to safely return back to school? Or what concerns do you have opening the school year?”

Feffer said, “38 percent of our families reported a desire to come back to a traditional model of some kind. 29 percent were noting they would like to go to a distant learning model piece. And the other third were looking at some hybrid-type item.”

Feffer said no decision on what the new school year will look like has yet been made.

A Desert Sands Unified School District spokesperson said the results of its survey will be used by a task force as they develop a plan to present to the school board in early July.

Gandera says 1,500 families responded to the district's online survey on the first day alone, but there's still more time to reply.

PSUSD is hosting three virtual Town Hall meetings on June 25 and 26 to provide families with information and gather input and feedback on the start of the 2020-21 school year. Click Here.

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Dani Romero


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