The Examiner U-46 News Feed
U-46 releases data from virus-related survey
By Seth Hancock
School District U-46 has released the results of a survey on community needs issued in late April and ending in early May amid the government mandated shutdown over COVID-19.
In a statement from Superintendent Tony Sanders, he said the survey will be used for planning for the 2020-2021 school year if distance learning continues.
“Once our doors were closed due the COVID-19 pandemic, our priorities shifted to 1) care and comfort of our families and students, 2) communication, and 3) learning,” Sanders wrote. “We all know that a child cannot learn if their basic needs are not met. This survey shows us that 95 percent of our families said their basic needs of food, shelter, clothing, and mental health support were met during the school closings.”
Around 27 percent, 6,308 families, of U-46 families responded to the survey according to Sanders.
Only 9 percent of students participated in the online learning all day, 29 percent most of the day, 46 percent some of the day, 15 percent a little bit of the day and 2 percent none of the day according to the results.
About 97 percent of students had access to technology, family-owned or taxpayer-funded, and 94 percent had access to the internet.
Another 3 percent said they had limited internet access, through cellphones, and 3 percent did not have internet access. The district ordered 100 mobile hotspots, according to Sanders, and “prioritized our distribution to homeless students. We have also entered into an agreement with Comcast so that the District is providing the Internet Essentials program with no barriers for low-income families.”
The results showed that 79 percent of families said they were “food secure” while 20 percent said they relied on the taxpayer-funded meals U-46 has handed out, 86 percent said they were not or only slightly concerned about housing and 13 percent said they were concerned, 66 percent said they were not or slightly concerned about the emotional wellbeing of their children and 34 percent were concerned and 88 percent were not or slightly concerned about child care and 13 percent were concerned.
Only 43 percent of families were satisfied with U-46’s distance learning.