Dade County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jan Irons Harris released the results of a back to school survey during the Board of Education’s June 15 meeting.
The survey, which was sent out to parents to get their input on how the schools should reopen, netted 2,061 participants. The survey covers everything from bus rides to parents’ most challenging aspects of online learning.
According to the results of the survey, 87 percent of participants said they would allow their children to return to school. In regards to bus rides, 46 percent of students do not ride the bus, 36 percent of parents would allow their children to ride the bus and 19 percent would not allow their children to ride the bus.
The CDC recommends that schools stagger their scheduling, allowing groups of students in at different times for schooling and to allow the staff to clean the inside of the school. According to the survey, 54 percent of parents say they would not support a four day school week with one day of online learning. When asked about a fully online school year, a majority of the parents, 59 percent, said yes and 41 percent said no.
The survey also asked about the challenges of online learning, with 43 percent citing workload difficulty as the greatest obstacle, 29 percent saying communication with teachers, 28 percent citing device issues and 19 percent reporting Wi-Fi problems.
Harris said she also received over 1,000 comments ranging from problems with online learning to disputes about their children having to wear masks at school.
“We have to be flexible,” Harris said. “Our number one priority is the safety of our students, faculty and staff.”
Harris said that the schools are complying with a 10-page Path to Recovery Plan from the Georgia Department of Education, using it as a guiding force for a reopening strategy.
The plan breaks down information into three categories – low possibility of COVID-19 spread, moderate possibility of spread and high possibility of spread. Harris said that Dade schools fall somewhere between low and moderate risk.
Harris said she has established Dade County School Working Groups, with different DCS members working on each aspect of the reopening process. One such process is providing virtual learning for those whose parents refuse to allow their children to return to school. However, Harris said she believes all the students should return.
“I want to encourage everyone to come back to school,” Harris said.
According to the personnel report from the executive session, Custodian Frances “Candy” Garner retired.
Dade Elementary School Assistant Principal Billy Broom has resigned along with Dade County High School Teachers Karen Hayes and Dalton Green.
John Smith was promoted from Supervisor of Transportation and Facilities to Director.
Stacy Daniels was promoted from Paraprofessional to ESS Teacher at Dade Middle School.
Brandi Gann went from part-time to a full-time Art teacher for DMS.
White, who resigned as a Bus Aide, moved to full-time as a DES Cafeteria worker.
Heath Johnson transferred from DMS to DES as an Assistant Principal.
Shaina Chandler transferred to Davis as a Paraprofessional for the FY21 school year.
Stephen Graham transferred from DMS to DCHS for the FY21 school year.
Shelby Raston, Ivy Carter, Bethany Miller, and Lindsey Gil were hired as DES teachers for FY21.
LaKala Willingham and Melanie Kenneday were hired as DMS teachers for FY21.
Katherine Knox-Graves, Andy Williams and Charles Elliott were hired as DCHS teachers for FY21.
Dorea Lea Branch was hired as the DCHS Administrative Assistant for FY21.
Chase Bryan was also hired as Community Coach.
The Board approve 15 days of summer work for the Technology Department.