A majority of families in the Anoka-Hennepin School District approve of its rollout of distance learning, according to a survey reviewed by the School Board April 27.

Across the district, a total of 4,873 elementary families and 3,408 families with children in secondary schools responded to the survey.

About 60% of elementary families responding said they were satisfied or extremely satisfied with distance learning. Almost 69% of secondary-level families said the same.

Families dissatisfied with the overall experience made up 5% of elementary families responding and almost 3% of secondary-level respondents.

About 70% of families at each level of education reported they felt the amount of work given was appropriate. Secondary education had the largest percentage of respondents reporting too little work given (22%), and primary-level education saw the most respondents saying there was too much at 20.5%.

Superintendent David Law said the district shared that information with teachers in the respective grades to try and adjust the work they give out.

“Given the fact that we have about 20 days left of school this year, we don’t have a huge opportunity for (teachers) to make major shifts, but it could guide in the event that we have to do something down the road,” Law said.

The vast majority of respondents were happy with the distribution of technology and material. At the elementary level 92% of respondents approved, and 88% of secondary-level respondents approved.

Many families reported using their own devices to access education. A little under half of all secondary-level families and almost 40% of elementary families said they used their own devices.

Almost 36% of respondents at both levels reported using only district-owned devices, while the remainder used both district and family-owned devices or paper packets.

The response to communications from the district and teachers was largely positive, though respondents had some suggestions for how to improve.

About 76% of elementary families were happy with overall communication, and 80% of secondary families agreed. At both grade levels about 80% of respondents were happy with communications from teachers.

But some comments indicated families were getting too many messages.

“Some of our families are reporting getting numerous, numerous emails a day, and they’re having a hard time managing those,” Johnna Rohmer-Hirt, director of research, evaluation and testing, said. “They gave us suggestions like having some sort of central site where they can go and get the different communications, or have a check list of things so they can manage expectations.”

Some families with multiple children suggested including the name of the relevant child in the subject line of an email. Parents also reported differing expectations from staff across grade levels and requested a centralized page of tutorials and expectations, Rohmer-Hirt said.

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