Charleston Teacher Alliance releases Midyear Survey of CCSD’s COVID-19 response

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Charleston County School District (CCSD) teachers have laid out their concerns as they reach their midyear mark for the 2020/2021 school year. The survey, conducted by the Charleston Teacher’s Alliance (CTA), allowed the administration to better understand what is happening in the schools as teachers and students are putting their lives at risk to learn. 

The survey had 744 CCSD teachers reply and nearly 50% said they do not wish to move to full online instruction, whereas 38% said they do. One of the main deterrents for teachers is that 74% are concerned that online students aren`t engaging with their classes.

There are some days that I come in and I think, is this going to be the day that this happens to me, you know that I die. Then some days I see how the kids are engaged, how much they are learning, how much they are really thriving being back in school, I think this is the right decision. 

Jody Stallings, Director of CTA & Moultrie Middle Teacher 

Jody Stallings, the director of the CTA and an 8th grade Moultrie Middle School teacher, said he—like many others are conflicted. Stallings said he sees that his students do better in classroom, as research has shown, but wants to do what the health professionals say is the safest.

One of the items that health professionals say is the key to success in schools is to have a clean room. However, the survey showed that only 38% of teachers said their classrooms are being regularly disinfected in accordance with the district’s protocol.

Stallings said that some teachers may have an opportunity to clean their own rooms between periods while other teachers may not have the same opportunity to do so. Some teachers may also not have the supplies to clean or their supplies have not been restocked. Or as Stallings noted, in a number of cases, it was expected that it was being done, and then, in fact, was not being done on a regular basis. 

Aside from cleaning, most schools are said to be following important safety protocols. 66% of teachers agree that the safety protocols and procedures at their school help keep students and staff safe. 52% of teachers feel their school is doing everything it should be doing to keep teachers and students safe. The survey also found that in terms of social distancing, 62% said their schools enforce it, and 82% said their schools enforce proper mask wearing among students. 

The issues with technology do remain a problem as teachers listed a number of technical issues impeding their ability to teach. According to the survey, they include poor school internet connections, microphone and sound issues, poor internet reliability for at-home students, online students` inability to hear classroom instruction, Canvas unreliability, poor connectivity with district iPads, and age barriers with students being too young to handle technology. Despite this all, 61% said their school provides online students with reasonable support to help them succeed in addition to providing teachers training with the used programs.  

Stalling said that after the findings of the survey were compiled, they did pass the information onto the district immediately. Since then, there have been improvements to cleanliness reported back to Stallings by other teachers in the district among other notes taken and implemented.

We did reach out the district for comment on the survey as a whole.

“We appreciate the Charleston Teacher Alliance’s efforts to help gauge teachers’ opinions, and this latest survey is particularly timely because it focuses on CCSD’s response to COVID-19. Feedback from teachers is critically important as we strive to offer safe and healthy learning environments, and we will review these survey data to help plan for our schools’ safe operations moving forward.”   

Charleston County School District

The reason the CTA released their findings to the media was simply to allow parents, students and the like to understand what the inside of the school temperament is amid the pandemic.

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