School district seeking parent feedback on returning to school

By Randi Pierce
Staff Writer

In its effort to determine what school will look like in the fall, Archuleta School District (ASD) sent out surveys to families and staff last week, and has scheduled upcoming meetings to garner additional feedback.

According to ASD Superintendent Dr. Kym LeBlanc-Esparza, one survey was sent to families and another to staff on July 1.

“Our best hope is to get feedback from our families as well as our staff on how we return to school in the fall,” she wrote in an email to The SUN, explaining later, “As we began to write our draft plan for returning students to school, we felt it was important to hear from families and from our staff, specifically around their comfort level and support for returning to in-person learning versus blended learning versus online-only learning. Obviously, we will follow the local health authority guidance as well as the governor’s office executive orders. However, it is also important that we hear from staff and families.”

The survey sent to families asks about:

• Remote learning experiences last school year.

• If parents plan to have their children return to school buildings if public health officials believe it is safe to allow in-person instruction.

• What learning model best meets the needs of children and families given current health and safety conditions — in-person instruction, remote learning or a hybrid.

• Comfort levels with things such as transportation, daily health screenings, face masks, movement through hallways, eating in classrooms, keeping students together in one classroom and more.

• If children would require child care for the days they are not in school if ASD were directed to adhere to remote learning or a hybrid model.

• Transportation needs.

The survey also asks for additional feedback.

Those survey responses, she explained, are guiding the leadership team developing the district’s draft plan for the fall.

As of Monday evening, LeBlanc-Esparza reported, the district had received more than 400 family responses and more than 100 staff responses so far.

“Once we develop the plan, we will share it with our Board of Education for their input and feedback. We have also invited staff to provide feedback, ask questions and suggest edits via meetings we have set next week,” she explained, adding, “We are currently taking RSVPs for both staff and family meetings. Our overall goal is to create a plan through a collaborative, transparent process, but one that also adheres to health and safety guidelines.”

ASD is advertising that the parent meetings will be held on Tuesday, July 21, and a draft plan for opening schools this fall is slated to be presented.

The meetings will be held at 5:30 and 7 p.m., with both meetings taking place virtually via Zoom — a change from what the district previously announced.

Those looking to attend either meeting are required to RSVP to Robyn Bennett at rbennett@pagosa.k12.co.us or by calling 264-2228, ext. 5401 to obtain access information.

This story was posted on July 12, 2020.