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  3. August 2020 - The CARES Edition

Polco is Providing the Data Behind the Decisions

Join our VP of Strategic Development, Cory Poris Plasch, as she explains the inspiration behind Polco's K-12 Return to Work Parent Guardian Survey

Remote, in-person, or hybrid?  If you have any connection at all to K-12 education, whether as an administrator, a teacher, or a parent, you know that these three categories are the schooling options available in light of COVID-19.

As my family wrestled with the options our district gave us (in-person or remote) my social media feed was full of friends who were making similar decisions.  I quickly discovered that this is not a one-dimensional decision.  Factors such as parent work schedules, family members at high risk of COVID-19, gifted opportunities, and even extracurricular activities all converged to make these decisions very personal for each family. 

Many of us are parents at Polco and, throughout this process, one thing we felt was missing was the data behind the decisions. My daughter’s learning disabilities dictated our decision, while one of my coworker’s evaluated her son’s behaviors at home to inform her choice.   The different outcomes led us to consider questions like, why are families choosing one option over another?  What challenges do these options create?  And what will the consequences be for families? We knew that to answer these questions we needed more information, so we got to work creating our K-12 Return to Work Parent-Guardian Survey.

The survey experts at our research arm, National Research Center, developed this survey to measure some of these impacts and provide insight into these questions.  Designed to be used by school districts and local governments, the results will provide quantifiable information to understand how families are coping with the upheaval brought on by COVID-19.  The survey offers a data-driven way to understand the impact and provides a baseline for decision making going forward.

Like all of our COVID-19 surveys, it is available at no cost.    

We hope that you will publish the survey on your Polco profile, and encourage other units of local government in your area to do the same.  Data won’t solve all of the problems.  But data will let us know what the problems are, knowledge of gaps impacting families and a way to measure improvement.

Read the rest of this month's Polco Pulse here