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Inclement Weather Survey, by the numbers – part 1

posted Mar 16, 2015, 7:02 AM by Norman PTA Council

Stay tuned for:

Inclement Weather Survey, the comments – part 2

And

Inclement Weather Survey, the suggestions – part 3

 

I would first like to thank all of you who submitted responses to the inclement weather survey.  As of Mar 12, we had 166 parents respond.  These parents represented 16 of the 17 elementary schools, all 4 middle schools, and both high schools.  Because a few of my survey questions allowed for multiple answers the percentages below may add up to more than 100%.

 

Which school(s) is(are) your child(ren) enrolled in?

Elementary School Parents – 151 (91%)

Middle School Parents – 51 (31%)

High School Parents – 40 (24%)

 

How did you find out about the early checkout/excused absence option for Monday, Feb 23 and Friday, Feb 27?

IRIS – 156 (94%)

Social Media – 27 (16%)

Child Texted – 34 (20%)

Other – 7 (4%)

 

When you received this notification, how did you interpret this message?

As school was not cancelled outright, I expect instruction to continue normally – 66 (40%)

The school district is closely watching the weather forecast and thinks the deteriorating conditions warrant my child coming home early for safety reasons – 77 (46%)

Instructional activities have ended and it is expected that I pick my child up early – 9 (5%)

Even though I am unable to pick up my child early, I expect instruction to continue normally – 43 (26%)

Even though I am unable to pick up my child early, I expect instruction to end and the staff at my school to keep my child safe until I can arrange for them to be picked up or they can ride home on the bus – 27 (16%)

Other – 18 (11%)

 

What did you do when you received this notification?

Even though I had the ability to check my child out early, I elected to keep them in school – 50 (30%)

I did not have the ability to check my child out early and they had to remain in school – 47 (28%)

I went to the school and checked my child(ren) out early – 53 (32%)

My child is old enough to drive him/herself to and from school and I gave them permission to leave early – 11 (7%)

My child was not in school either day – 3 (2%)

 

Choose the sentence with the condition that best matches your experience

My child left school early on both days – 51 (31%)

My child stayed at school (at least one of the days) until the end of the school day and informed me that further instruction was made extremely difficult due to the exodus of students throughout the day – 59 (36%)

My child stayed at school (at least one of the days) until the end of the school day and informed me that further instruction was affected but not impossible due to the exodus of students throughout the day – 35 (21%)

My child stayed at school (at least one of the days) until the end of the school day and informed me that further instruction was unaffected due to the exodus of students throughout the day – 14 (8%)

 

Do you support the school district's policy to send this notification after the school day has begun with the understanding that instruction may be affected by the disruption caused by parents checking children out early?

Yes – 78 (47%)

No – 62 (37%)

No Opinion – 24 (14%)

 

Would you prefer the district to make the decision to cancel school before it starts on days that are forecast to have deteriorating conditions, rather than post this notification?

Yes – 111 (67%)

No – 40 (24%)

No Opinion – 14 (8%)

 

If you checked your child out early, did you understand that your child would be responsible for makeup work missed later that day?

Yes – 58 (35%)

No – 30 (18%)

Stayed in School – 76 (46%)

 

I was pleasantly surprised to see that 85 of you left feedback comments in your own words.  I wish I could list them all here and discuss them all.  However, for brevity’s sake, I will list just a few that seem to be representative in part 2.

 

But first…a few observations of the numbers listed so far.  The school’s IRIS notification system and social media outlets seem to be working very well at getting important information to parents. 

 

The various interpretations of the message and the fact that they were fairly evenly distributed, indicates that there existed some confusion about what the district was actually trying to tell us as parents.  Of all the responses, 49% expected instruction to continue normally and of those that remained in school 87% reported that it did not.  

 

Almost half (46%) of the parents interpreted the message to mean that the district felt it was not safe for children to remain in school.  My follow up question then is this:  If safety is the motivating factor behind this notification, what safety precautions is the district taking for those children who cannot be picked up early or who must ride home on the bus?

 

Ninety-seven (58%) of the respondents indicated that their children stayed in school, either by choice or because they had no ability to pick up early.

 

Support for the district’s decision to notify parents that early pickups would be excused absences was fairly evenly split.  However the preference to call the snow day before school starts, based on the forecast, even if morning conditions are not bad, was overwhelmingly preferred (67%).  It appears that most parents agree (and many feedback comments support the idea) that the school district should err on the side of caution.   It is much better to have declared the snow day prematurely, than it is to let school continue and, by posting this notification, create unsafe conditions with novice drivers on the road and parking lots unable to handle the traffic.

 

It is also worth noting that a third of respondents who checked their kids out did not understand that any instruction done after their child left would be considered makeup work that the child was responsible for.

 

Coming soon...

Inclement Weather Survey, the comments - part 2

 

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