Dear Northfield Public Schools Families:
Once again, thank you for your cooperation and patience as we continue adjusting during this era of distance learning. Your support is valued!
No Distance Learning Friday, May 1 and Monday, May 4
Per the Governor’s orders, there will be no distance learning scheduled for Friday, May 1, or Monday, May 4. These dates have been set aside for staff planning and training. Free meals and child care for school-aged children of emergency and health care workers will continue as normal.
Recording of Cindy Boyum Self-Care Webinar
The recording of the District’s second webinar with national board-certified health and wellness coach Cindy Boyum about self-care is posted on our website.
Parent Distance Learning Survey (1,582 PreK-12 responses including 54 Spanish speakers)
We asked parents to provide explicit ratings in four areas on a five-point Likert scale.
- 76% of respondents rated the quality of distance learning activities as “Excellent or Good”
- 77% of respondents rated the clarity of expectations as “Excellent or Good”
- 80% of respondents rated communication from their child’s teachers as “Excellent or Good”
- 90% of respondents rated communication from the District as “Excellent or Good”
- Less than 10% of respondents rated any of these four areas as “Below Average” or Poor
There is, of course, room for continuous improvement but there is a lot to celebrate in the parent data.
One key element of the survey was “How do you feel about the amount of time your child spent on schoolwork last week?” District-wide:
- 66% of respondents felt it was “about the right amount”
- 19% thought it wasn’t enough time
- 15% thought it was too much time
Interestingly, students have a different view than their parents. We are beginning to analyze a student survey that revealed 46% of high school students and 37% of middle school students indicate they were spending “too much time” on school work.
While we cannot satisfy everyone, this data shows that we are getting the amount of time spent on school activities right for about two-thirds of our students. This item varies between elementary and secondary parents, with 70% of elementary parents feeling it is “about the right amount” and 20% feeling it is too much. At the secondary, 63% of respondents think it is “about the right amount,” and 27% indicating it wasn’t enough.
Finally, we compared data from our teacher survey to a national survey conducted by the Network for Public Education. Northfield teachers indicated better adjustment to distance learning/remote teaching than the national survey respondents. Our teachers also indicate our students have adjusted to distance learning at a better rate than the national results. You can review an analysis of three key comparisons between Northfield teacher responses and the national survey by clicking here.
We share the disappointment that our seniors are feeling. The spring of our senior year is a special rite of passage. Our high school administrators are reviewing ideas from families about how to best honor our Class of 2020.
We are awaiting expected guidance about graduation ceremonies from the Minnesota Department of Education and plan to make a decision about our approach to honoring our seniors on May 5, 2020.
Please accept my sincere gratitude for your ongoing support of our work. There isn’t a playbook for this situation and we continue working to improve our service to you and your students during this historic global health pandemic.
Matt Hillmann, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools