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Majority of Stanly parents in survey want kids taught face-to-face

One motivation for Stanly County Schools to return students to in-person learning includes results of a survey of parents recently completed.

Dr. Amy Blake-Lewis, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, said of the 8,210 enrolled students, SCS received 7,656 responses from parents or guardians, making it a completion rate of 93.3 percent.

Blake-Lewis said when school ended in May, another survey showed people’s feedback at going back to school in person was 75 percent for and 25 against.

“We knew even from that we were probably looking at about a quarter of the population was going to be happy with remote learning,” Blake-Lewis said.

One school had 100 percent response to the survey, Badin, while the lowest response came from East Albemarle Elementary (77 percent). Of the 7 percent who did not respond to the survey, Blake-Lewis said, the majority of those not responding came from the Albemarle district.

Getting a 93 percent response rate to the survey “is almost unheard of,” Blake-Lewis said, adding SCS “heard from nearly every family in the district. That speaks volumes.”

East Albemarle also had the highest rate of those choosing remote learning at 41 percent, while the lowest percentage came from Oakboro STEM (17 percent).

Overall, 27 percent of students in grades K-4 will be remote learning throughout the system, with 28 percent in grades 5-8 and 30 percent in high school requesting remote learning.

The feeder programs for the high schools also stayed consistent with the numbers of those in high school requesting remote learning, Blake-Lewis said.

In the four high schools, Albemarle had the highest percentage of those requesting remote learning at 45 percent.

Blake-Lewis said SCS does not have any direct data on why numbers were higher in the Albemarle district, but said she and her staff “have noticed that there’s been a lot on the news regarding COVID infection rates among African-American and Hispanic populations…it is just one possibility.”

By grade level countywide, second grade overall had the most remote students (191) while kindergarten had the fewest (122). Blake-Lewis said the higher numbers for second grade could be just from the level having a larger group of students.

The survey closed July 31, Blake-Lewis said, to be able to crunch the numbers and work with principals for teacher allotments.

Getting back to face-to-face instruction is what the survey shows, Blake-Lewis said.

“(It’s) us being responsive to our clients, if you will. That is what they want … you have 72 percent or nearly three-quarters of your parent population saying, ‘My kids need to be back in school.’ You have to be responsive to that.”

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio was the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press from 1999-2001 and has currently served in the same capacity since 2008. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also been honored twice by the North Carolina Press Association.

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