Distance Learning Student and Parent Feedback
We started our design process with 40 1:1 interviews and 20 open listening sessions. We will hold additional listening sessions later this summer but for now, please view the below themes to provide insight into our planning.
Community and connections
- Small groups: connect with all classmates, not just close friends - MS recess
- Power of incidental and unstructured connections/meetings w/ teachers and students
- I’ve been impressed by how attuned our current students are when it comes to welcoming new students, how to support during transition
Choice & Agency
- Schedule - Maintain structure with flexibility, We heard about Friday - everyone wants the fall schedule today (remember flexibility)
- Keep sense of autonomy (can plan day, work load)
Personalization and Press
- Support you feel from teachers and peers in daily interactions
- Pace does not equal rigor (not about # of minutes in day, maintain retention of material) - Depth over breadth
- How does a more flexible schedule accommodate AP’s?
- We’ve heard over and over again about benefits of more breathing space in the day (less mental energy navigating the day, fewer transitions)
Systems and communication
- Outline potential scenarios (What causes movement from DL to Hybrid)
- Clarity and organization of messaging from teachers and school
Interest to Action
- Students, parents and faculty all called out the projects and innovative work done during DL
- Opportunity to try new things and meet new people - build on community partners with more curricular integration?
- One student said that if breck is a place where students can follow the things they care most deeply about (art, Law, snakes, a desire to address social justice) then other work will also be greeted with more passion and effort.
- Another talked about how she does not know how to have conversations with those who disagree with her, but she believes Breck can teach her that.
- Finally, a third student shared that she strives to be a leader and wants practice on those skills during her time at Breck.
Either way, there is a desire to find ways for students to apply skills, rather than practicing them in isolation
June 1 Update:
Since mid-March we have worked to provide a variety of feedback mechanisms for students and families to provide input on their experiences during distance learning. This input is critical to our future planning as it allows us to generalize the excellence you experienced and innovate around the challenges you identified. Below are the themes we heard from your feedback.
- Relationships between faculty and students are critical for engagement and are the foundations of the Breck community.
- Students miss the social connections that cannot be replaced online.
- Classroom learning requires structure, personalization, clarity, and consistent teacher feedback. While some students enjoyed the self-paced nature of distance learning, others need more direction and certain subjects (like ceramics) did not translate well online.
- Prioritize what needs to be in-person and what could be online.
- It is nearly impossible to have a full-time job and be a teacher of young children.
- While kids are resilient, it’s important to pay attention to mental health and social-emotional learning of students.
- Plans for reopening need to be based on current, scientific information and include strict protocols for hygiene and safety.
- Multiple learning platforms can be confusing and sitting in front of a screen all day is not ideal for engaged learning.
- Continually gathering constituent input is crucial throughout the process.
We've shared some quotes from our community in the gallery below.
Breck Upper School students Joseph Purvis ‘21, Ayres Warren ‘22 and Maddie McDermott ‘22 share their experience interviewing Leslie Redmond, a local community organizer and former President of the Minneapolis NAACP. They also share their excitement for the MLK Symposium and Amplify Our Love with Pie events happening at Breck this upcoming week. Ms. Redmond will be the Upper School keynote speaker for the our 20th annual MLK Symposium.
On Sunday, January 17th, Breck will co-host Sweet Potato Comfort Pie’s seventh annual MLK Holiday event: Amplify Our Love with Pie, to honor the 92nd birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breck student, Kai Miller ‘22, has been working behind the scenes to get ready for the event. The communications team at Breck did a brief interview with Kai to ask about her experience working on the event.
Natalia Rico Hernández, Ed.D., Head of School, updates the Breck community on the School's response to Wednesday's events.