Inspiring life-long learning in all students.
Thank you for your responses to our community survey regarding current and future pandemic protocols. Of our 82 families, 48 responses were received. All responses are included in the numbers below.
We have attempted to classify longer responses into categories that reflect shared main points, and in trying to provide a thematic overview of a reasonable length, we cannot capture every comment or nuance.
DVWS conducted this survey as a listening exercise, to give a voice to all families in our community who want their opinions known to the board, administration and faculty as we make decisions on these difficult issues. This is not a case of “majority rules”, and we also realize that changing conditions, orders of the government and public health agencies, and other unforeseen factors may impact future decisions on the protocols we put in place. Our ultimate goal is to find a balance that allows continuous in-person learning, providing the best learning environment possible for all the children in our care by using a set of reasonable, layered protocols.
Let’s look at the responses:
The survey asked if you have a child, or someone living in your home or with whom you have frequent contact, who has compromised immunity or a condition that could increase the risk if such child or other close contact were to contract COVID 19:
- 16 answered Yes
- 31 answered No
When asked about unmasked outdoor education programs:
- 38 support unmasked outdoor learning and play
- 2 responses favor outdoor masking
- 7 were on the fence, of those 3 expressed concerns that social distancing wouldn’t/ couldn’t be accomplished
When asked to consider protocols in the event that the mask mandate is lifted,
- 26 favored optional indoor masking
- 22 wished to keep masks on indoors for this school year
- 3 comments on this topic included trust that the governor's action would only be done when it was safe for children
- 4 stated that once vaccines are available for children, they would support optional masking
- Some (4) stated that more information would be needed to consider this question
- Some (3) stated that what was done last year worked, so keep it up
- 3 expressed strong views that masks are harmful to children and ineffective
- 3 expressed concern over reuse of dirty masks
- Some (3) expressed trust that the school would act to balance the diverse views
- 2 responses stated that masks protect others and to wear one for that reason
When asked about the impact of protocols on peer relationships:
- several (10) noted negative impact on peer and family relationships
- Many (9) expressed gratitude for in-person learning last year which brought positive mental health
- 6 responses indicated that their children were taking it in stride, and/or found ways to balance the negative impact
- One response noted improved family bonds
- Some noted that general illness decreased last year with the protocols-handwashing, masking, and increased cleaning
The average of the 1-10 responses was 4.9 with 10 being high negative impact on peer relationships.
When asked to rate feelings about COVID and its impact on your child’s social-emotional well-being;
The average was 4.9 on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being a high negative impact
- Some (4) expressed sorrow from death and illness, Covid or other, of loved ones during this time
- 2 expressed realized or feared negative impact (trauma) from protocols
When asked how well DVWS communicated throughout the pandemic the responses were :
- very well (36)
- adequate (9)
- not well (3).
The survey asked for responses regarding the recap of the community meeting and any further thoughts.
- 22 respondents expressed their support, gratitude, and/or agreement to the protocols presented and about the communication at the meeting
- One expressed a heartfelt appreciation for being heard
- 2 people felt that vaccines should have been part of the conversation
- 3 felt the presentation was biased against the mandates and/or the CDC/ science.
- 2 felt the recap did not fairly relay the views in support of the current mandate and guidance, and protocols used last year
- 2 support anti-mandate actions
- 2 did not agree with the protocols, but are willing to follow them for in-person learning.
- One wished for better attendance at the meeting
- One said that not enough conversation about the emotional and physiological impact of the protocols was included
- Two wrote about defying the mask mandate; and two expressed plans to seek alternate schooling plans
- One response indicated that these protocols were acceptable, but vaccination and online school would not be
There were some requests for clarification or more information:
- protocols for positive Covid cases
- what happens if the school goes mask optional during the mask mandate
- a question came about why the protocols from last year aren’t being copied, if not increased, given the Delta variant contagion level
- Are there proposed policies on vaccinations for eligible students and staff?
- What is the plan to begin a conversation about protocols after the mask mandate ends?
And, finally, there were two requests for reconsideration:
- There was a request to continue the use of the Symptom Checklist to increase accountability.
- A respondent expressed concern about teachers lowering their mask for visual articulation for 1-2 minutes. It was said that this action can be accomplished in less time
- One respondent asked why the school waited so long to present the protocols
To summarize, we have a broad, varied population within our school. There are common themes of support for in person learning and DaVinci Waldorf School in general. Thank you!
Please know that the teachers, staff and board appreciate and take very seriously the trust placed in us by the community, and especially by the parents and caregivers of the children we have the blessing to see and teach every day.
We invite follow up questions, which can be sent to our Board President Matt Myren at firstname.lastname@example.org, and look forward to a fabulous and instructive year of school in 2021-2022.