On April 6, 2020, MMSD’s first day of virtual learning, we entered new territory together. And we learned together. In partnership with our students, families, and staff, we faced the challenges that virtual learning posed with patience, compassion, and out-of-the-box thinking.
We have always known that virtual learning in the spring would be imperfect. And we’ve known that learning from the experiences of students and teachers would be invaluable as we make adjustments for the future.
One key piece of evidence we have relied on to help us evaluate the successes and challenges of virtual learning is a set of surveys sent to all families, grades 3-12 students, and all teaching staff.
Between May 26 and June 7, we heard from more than 13,000 individuals. This feedback helped us refine and improve upon virtual learning for the future. From the survey results, we took away some promising levers for “driving” improvements, including supporting frequent and meaningful connection, strengthening our guidance, and creating robust learning experiences.
Our Instructional Continuity Plan for the 2020-21 school year features more robust guidance for staff related to several of these key drivers. This includes more frequent synchronous learning experiences, revised policies regarding grading and attendance, a comprehensive new assessment strategy, and expanded guidance for staff regarding remote learning platforms and practices.
We also expanded our professional development to include 9 days of learning dedicated to developing and strengthening the critical knowledge and skills needed to provide all students with a positive, rigorous virtual learning experience grounded in anti-racist principles.