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School staff express concern about in-person classes

August 06, 2020
As the Gilford School Board weighs a proposed plan for school reopening, a survey indicates most parents want an in-person school year, while staff members are concerned about that option.

During its Aug. 4 meeting, the school board reviewed a proposed plan for a phased school reopening in the fall that will include options for in person and remote instruction depending on family wishes. (The board's decision occurred after press time and will be reported in a future edition of the paper.) The report was posted on the district's Web site.

The recommendations came after a committee reviewed options and data, including surveys of families and staff members in all three schools.

According to the report presented by Superintendent Kirk Beitler from the reopening task force, parents and employees were surveyed in July with 766 responses from parents and 144 responses from employees.

Parents of students in all three schools generally favored all in person instruction (60.3 percent from Gilford Elementary School, 57.8 percent from Gilford Middle School, and 56.1 percent from Gilford High School) with some (23.7 from GES, 28.7 from GMS, 30.2 from GHS) having a preference for hybrid instruction mixing in person and remote learning. Fewer parents favored enhanced remote instruction and a scant few preferred to unenroll from school in favor of homeschooling or virtual learning.

Staff members had generally mixed results. At GES, 38 percent favored in person education and 36 percent favored hybrid. At GMS, 39.4 percent favored hybrid and 27.3 favored in person. Of GHS staff, 45.7 percent favored enhanced remote instruction, 28.6 percent favored the hybrid, and 22.9 percent favored in-person.

Staff members were also asked how concerned they were about a full in person opening. Of all GES staff 48 percent were "Somewhat concerned" and 38 percent were "very concerned, an even 39.5 percent of GMS staff were both very and somewhat concerned, and 45.1 percent of GHS staff were "very concerned" and 35.3 percent were "Somewhat concerned."

Klumb Environmenta;
Varney Smith
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