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Results from the school re-entry survey

Thu, 18 Jun, 2020

News item: Results from re-entry survey

Thank you for your overwhelming response to our recent survey. Since March, we’ve adapted the way we work and learn during this unprecedented time. We’ve responded as a community to keep each other safe and healthy. Our teachers and school staff have ensured our learning environments remain supportive, engaging and welcoming. 

Your responses to this survey show how far we’ve come in a few short months. Your feedback is critical to Edmonton Public Schools as we plan for what school will look like in September. Thank you again for your responses!

Planning for September

At the end of May, we asked for feedback from parents, students and school staff about what the 2020-2021 school year might look like. We asked questions related to three different scenarios that the Alberta government announced in May:

  • schools return to normal operations
  • schools are open for classes with some health restrictions 
  • schools remain closed for classes and at-home learning continues

As we build plans for the next school year, we will follow Alberta government requirements and advice from Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health. As a public school division, we are also accountable to you, and your thoughts play an important role in how we make decisions. We know the decisions we make impact you, your family and your daily lives.

Record-breaking response

We had an overwhelming response to our survey, with more than 74,000 respondents—the largest response our Division has ever received to a survey.

Responses Pie Chart

Underlying health issues

A large majority of parents* and school staff told us they do not have underlying health issues that would put them at higher risk if exposed to COVID-19.

*Parents were asked if their children had any underlying health issues 

However, when asked if someone in their household has underlying health issues that could put them at higher risk, a larger amount of respondents answered yes.

Coping during the COVID-19 pandemic

More than half of students say they are coping with physical distancing measures very well, while 40 per cent describe their coping as so-so. The biggest concerns for students are not seeing their friends and wondering what school will be like in September.

Almost half of parents describe their children’s coping with physical distancing measures as so-so, while more than 40 per cent say their children are doing very well. Parents' biggest concerns include their children missing out on learning from teachers and their ability to juggle work while supporting their children’s learning.

More than half of school staff say they’re coping with physical distancing measures very well. Staff are mostly concerned about the uncertainty around how schools will operate in September. 

Returning to in-person classes

We asked how comfortable students, parents and staff are with the possibility of returning to in-person classes this fall. Almost half of students and parents are somewhat comfortable, while more than half of school staff are somewhat comfortable.

If social distancing measures continue in the fall, we also asked how comfortable respondents would be in different scenarios. Students, parents and school staff are not at all comfortable with attending or working at a location different from their current school.

Health and Safety Priorities

When considering health and safety protocols, Edmonton Public Schools follows the direction of the Chief Medical Officer of Health. Students, parents and staff all told us that regular hand-washing, enhanced cleaning and stricter protocols for responding to students and staff who are sick are among their top priorities. In comparison, masks were the least important.

Online or Distance Learning for the 2019-20 school year

We asked students and staff how comfortable they are with online learning and teaching. More than 75 per cent of students and staff say they're very comfortable or somewhat comfortable.

Since online learning started in March, the two biggest concerns for parents and staff are the impact of online instruction on learning and building and maintaining relationships among students.

Building relationships students

Online or Distance Learning for the 2020-21 school year

In a scenario where physical distancing measures continue, we asked staff how comfortable they are with delivering programming online only. The vast majority of teachers said they were very or somewhat comfortable, while the vast majority of parents felt somewhat or not at all confident supporting their children's online learning, given considerations such as work and childcare.

We also asked staff and parents how comfortable they were with a mix of online and in-person programming. Most school staff felt very or somewhat comfortable. The majority of parents felt somewhat comfortable or not at all comfortable.


Looking Ahead to 2020-21

Any decisions we make about what September looks like will be grounded in the direction of the Chief Medical Officer of Health. The health and safety of our students, families and staff has always been our top priority, and that will not change.  

We want to thank you for providing your valuable feedback in these uncertain and challenging times. The time you took to fill out the survey and share your thoughts will make a difference. 

For more detailed results, read the full results summary*.

For updated information about how the province is preparing, read about the Alberta government’s school re-entry plan.

*The results summary breaks down responses by staff group, while the data presented on this page represents school staff as one group.