Lessons Learned from our Faculty – Survey Results are a key to success for the 2020-2021 school year and beyond

Schools across America had to adjust to new learning approaches due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Banner School was no different, although we feel we were somewhat unique due to our talented, dedicated and flexible faculty and staff. Distance learning approaches were rolled out very quickly to maintain academic continuity and the Banner School teachers were up for the challenge. Middle School students had 15 ZOOM sessions with their academic core teachers each week and the students in the Primary School received a combination of ZOOM sessions with their teachers and take- home work packets. Our community faced distance learning together and through our experiences, we wanted to create plans to support our students through COVID-19, both on campus and at home.

In order to gather feedback to assess and improve the School’s first experience with a distance learning program, surveys were developed for each of the three pillars of the Banner Community Learning Triangle – Faculty, Family and Students. The first survey was sent to the faculty and had a 100% participation rate, which is a testament to the teacher’s willingness to provide important feedback so that Banner may incorporate lessons learned during the Spring of 2020 into our planning for the fall. The teacher survey was developed to gather feedback from teachers on the impact of distance learning on their work and personal life, as well as, to capture opportunities to fill gaps in learning approaches, technology and professional development moving forward.

Our teachers, like those nationwide, reported higher levels of stress and anxiety as they took on additional teaching responsibilities and the simultaneous care of their own families. Additionally, teachers shared the need for greater access to technological devices and software for both teachers and students; improved internet access; and the desire for more professional development that focused on distance learning approaches.

In response to these needs, Banner is investing in technology and professional development to give teachers a platform that will allow for in-class and full distance delivery as well as support a hybrid model when one more student is participating from home. The teacher feedback is sincerely appreciated and their ‘voices’ are very much a part of the planning and decision-making process.

The Banner School students will return to campus on a full time, 5 days per week, schedule in September 2020, while we work to ensure that teachers and students have the necessary tools and training, should circumstances necessitate students to be off campus at some point in the future. The Banner School Leadership team are working on how to maximize use of technology, provide professional training, and build on our experiences to develop educational programs that support our teachers and engage our students this fall and throughout the 2020-2021 school year

Take care,

The Banner Marketing & Development Committee

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